EDIT: I wrote this just after I started learning but updated it with new resources and links just before I launched my personal site three years later.
I was really afraid to start building something for some reason. I guess it was because I had spent so much time learning, and I was scared that when it came to it I would still be totally rubbish? And guess what, when it came down to it I totally sucked at building an actual webpage. But! I learnt a lot and it really helped me identify where I needed to focus my work on in the future.
My Delusions Vanish
To create my master piece, I basically got a nice picture on unsplash, found some icons that would kind of go with the picture (well they both had bits of yellow on them) and went for it. I
designed straight into the browser, with no preconceived idea of what the final page or site would look like. It looked terrible. Simple things that I
knew how to do following my hours of tutorials didn't work.
I was a failure.
I'm laughing now, but I actually pretty quite down about the whole thing at the time. But, I learned that
- I need to learn about design, and design is not easy
- I need a lot more practice building actual things; and
- I'd have a long way to go before anyone might actually pay me to do this
Getting Back on Track
Fortunately, there's some great resources out there to help you get started with building things for free. Here's two of my favourites:
- The Odin Project - This provides a nicely laid out pathway with links to free resources that will give you the knowledge to have a go at the challenges. I've only done the assignments in the HTML and CSS sections, but I found them very helpful.
- Frontend Mentor - This is the best resource I found for HTML and CSS challenges and getting feedback. There's no pathway abut a lot of challenges at different levels, with all the assets you need included, that you can have a go at building using any approach you like.
Using these resources as a basis for practising building things quickly exposed me to a whole new set of areas where I didn't realise I needed to up my game. E.g. version control (i.e. git and GitHub) to enable me to submit solutions on both the Odin Project and Frontendmentor, and pretty much everything else I had previously
learnt coding along in tutorial land!