How to improve your Web Development skills

Vitor Lopes

How to strengthen your Web/Coding skills for free.

There are several resources online to help sharpen your coding skills, if you’re just starting to learn or are looking to improve what you already know.

I am going to list the places that will provide you with Certificates of accomplishment to fortify your CV and knowledge.

FreeCodeCamp is a great resource if you are just starting out, and when you finish you will get a certificate of achievement. Their focus is on Web Development using the JavaScript language, they have 3 kinds of certificates, one for Front End Development, Back End Development based on NodeJs and Data Visualization.

When I started FreeCodeCamp I already had some coding experience under my belt, so if you are a fresh starter you have to complement FreeCodeCamp with other sources.

MVA ( Microsoft Virtual Academy ) Is not very known, their videos are professionally made and while they are part related to Microsoft products, the skills you will get there are valuable and can be used through your Web Development career. They have courses on different subjects and languages from DevOps to Back/Front Web Development, Python and others.

UDEMY Is another great resource, although the course quality varies, and you have to be picky because your time is precious. If you are pursuing Frond End Development I advise  JavaScript  Essentials By Lawrence Turton, as it is by far the most complete JavaScript course I have done online, everything is explained in detail.

The Gymnasium Is another good contender, although I haven’t had the time  to fully get around it, the content seems to be professional and they have courses about UX, Web Design, Graphics and data Visualization, JQuery and Writing for the Web.

Open2Study only have one course that  interests me, ‘User Experience for the Web’ and perhaps ‘Writing for the Web’,  if you intent to produce content also.

Practice your coding skills

Reading books and watching videos is not enough, you have to start building stuff and interacting with code every time you can as early as possibly.

Work on your own Applications/Websites, rebuild them again and again until you have something you’re happy with. Contribute to open source, read other peoples source code, this is important as it helps you see how they structure their application.

Be ready to fail I fail all the time, all it takes is a missing bracket or semicolon.

Coding without reference takes time and even seasoned Developers enjoy using a cheat sheet, so get a few of those, also there is nothing wrong with some copy paste I do it all the time, as long as you know what the code is doing and can modify it to suit your needs.

I can promise you one thing, being a self taught Developer will make you a better developer since you will be solving issues on your own without anyone there to help you.

Soft Skills

Learning how to be a Web Developer is not just knowing how to code and learning the syntax, there is a few other things that are good to have.

Research is very important to advance your skills and solve problems on a daily basis.  Master how Google works, this is important! Ask on Stack Overflow, don’t be shy, coding in the basement will only take you so far, socialize with other coders.

Online Marketing

Emarketing Institute Will provide you with some extra knowledge in online marketing and some nice free certificates to go with it, just download the books, read them and do the test online They  cover Online Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Seo, Social Media Marketing and Web Analytics.

Another one you can look at is The Digital Garage, by Google, all of those are important to know the basics at least.


(Quote from Wikipedia)

  • Scrum is an interactive and incremental agile software development framework for managing product development

If you intend to work in a Web Development Agency you will probably need to learn this, because the chances are they are using it.

Free Scrum Training, got you covered they also give you a certification if your test is 90% score or above so make sure you do your homework. Udemy also has an introduction to scrum.

Code Camp

A Code Camp is a full time commitment, which will make it difficult to work for the duration of the code camp, but if you can afford to do that, or even get a loan, then this might be  a good choice for you.

Founders & Coders I am mentioning this one in London since I live in the United Kingdom, there is a few more free ones out there but not many.

Founders & Coders has and excellent free Code Camp for someone that wants to get into Full Stack Web Development, they offer 10 weeks of full time mentorship, plus portfolio building and job interviews, they teach JavaScript and Nodejs.

(Quote from Founders and Coders)

  • Each place on the Founders & Coders programme costs us about £2,500 to provide. We ask you to consider either seeking employment with one of our partners who will help pay for these costs or, alternatively, making a regular voluntary contribution after you graduate as a way of ‘paying it forward’, so that we can provide a place for someone in a future cohort.

Linux and the Command Line

Good to have since you will be dealing with things like Git and automatized tools, also most servers are running Linux and while you can do everything by point and click, using the command line for some tasks will take you there faster. After you learn the basics it is as easy as typing someCommand -h to learn what that specific command can do, if that does not work for you there is always Google.

There is a free Course on Edx about Linux, but they don’t offer a free certificate anymore, I was lucky enough to do it before that.

There is a big choice of Linux distributions out there, personally I will advise Manjaro Linux for Web Development, but if you are just starting out Ubunto is a solid choice and is the  most used Linux distribution. You can download VirtualBox and create a virtual machine for your own Web Development purposes.

Did I leave anything out? Let me know you thoughts.


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