How to Become a Front End Developer

Posted in Resources

Lynda.com Playlists

I’ve been asked many times over the years, “How do I become a front end developer?” I’m tempted to respond, “You should start by building some websites and learn as you go.” But that’s not really answering the intent of the question. I believe what people are really trying to ask is, “How do I learn how to become a front end developer?” That requires a bit more structure and planning than just experimenting and trial by fire on the job.

One of the best sources of online training for web designers and developers (and an impressive list of other fields) is the amazing Lynda.com online learning site. There’s a staggering number of videos in an ever-expanding list of subjects, so it can be a bit tricky to figure out where to start. I’ve created and shared a few helpful playlists to get you started.

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Responsive Starter Kits (in Two Flavors)

Posted in Resources, Responsive Web Design

Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on a video training course on responsive web design. During this project I created a basic starter kit that I used for demonstration purposes in the videos. Once I completed the training videos I decided to make a more full-featured variation of the starter kit which includes all the bells and whistles in a typical responsive website. I’ve made both starter kits freely available on GitHub. Continue Reading →

Responsive Web Design: A Gentle Introduction

Posted in Resources, Responsive Web Design, Screencasts, Tutorials

RWD A Gentle Introduction

Are you new to the whole responsive web design thing? Have you been required to build a responsive website at work, but you’re not sure where to start? Are you somewhat skeptical about fitting a responsive workflow into your organization? Whatever your situation happens to be, you’ve come to the right place. In this video training course we explore the topic of responsive web design—what it is and how it's done. We also take a detailed look at a responsive starter kit that can help you get started in your own responsive projects. Finally, we discuss some ways to explore the topic further with some helpful resources and additional training.

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How to Transcribe Audio Recordings for Free (with an iOS Device)

Posted in Accessibility, Tutorials

Dragon Dictation

Well, perhaps it’s not entirely free. I do appreciate that your time is valuable and the following method is not entirely automatic. But it’s pretty darn close! Before we get into the specifics, there are a few small challenges to this method that you should know: 1) you’ll need an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, 2) it takes a bit of manual labor to correct the inevitable minor mistakes, and 3) the dictation app only records up to a minute of audio at a time. It also works best if the recorded voice is cleanly isolated from any other sounds, like background music, ambient noise, or other people talking at the same time.

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How to Get Started with Responsive Web Design (and How to Keep Up)

Posted in Resources, Responsive Web Design, Tutorials

Coding on a Laptop

From time to time I’m asked a deceptively complex question: “How do I get started with responsive web design (or web design, in general)?” On the surface it seems like a pretty simple question. I’m tempted to tell them to do what I did. But, like many people in our field, that’s a long, drawn-out—and certainly not direct—path that I don’t necessarily recommend. Or maybe they’re expecting one perfect—and short—book they can read (more on that later). Or perhaps even a local event or industry conference to attend… to see if they’ll even like it.

Unfortunately, like a lot of things worthwhile, it’s not as easy to get started as you might have hoped. It’s even more challenging to keep up once you actually get going in the right direction. Momentum is a powerful force to keep you headed in the right direction, but it’s good to have some handy references to get you started. So I’ve started the process of collecting a growing list of online resources for reading about, listening to, watching videos on, learning about, fostering community around, and ultimately keeping up with the fast-paced topic of responsive web design (and web design, in general).

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