Is writing a piece of code a complex process? It depends.

Today, when the majority of people want to learn coding, and build careers as successful programmers, while others believe that coding is utterly complex work that involves genius-like skills, certain questions need to be answered.

As many other professions and jobs, programming is surrounded by many misconceptions and misinterpretations. However, when you know the questions, you should know whom to ask.

We thought about all of you who seek advice and decided to share our experience and knowledge with you. 

For first time learners getting started is perhaps the hardest part in the learning process, given numerous online sources and websites.

So, what are the best online sources for programmers beginners?

W3Schools

W3Schools offers precise and simple to understand tutorials and guides related to web development topics.

This is where you can learn basics about web programming, including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, PHP, ASP, SQL and more, through practice.

As a great source for newcomers, W3schools teaches you things that should be remembered, and due to good reference purposes it will be easier for you to move on to advanced levels.

HTML Dog

If you wish to learn HTML or CSS, HTML Dog is another great source for beginners.

This is a tutorial website with a massive archive of examples of the CSS, HTML and Java Script, in three categories, for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners. The guides offered are easy to follow and easy to read.

The website also offers publications and books related to the subject, covering more great examples and practice. HTML Dog: The Best Practice Guide to XHTML and CSS  is a great publication that delivers specific aspects of XHTML and CSS and the most common web design techniques in concise and clear writing style, making it a reliable reference book that answers the most common questions.

GitHub

GitHub is a social networking site for developers and a code and sharing publishing service.

It is an open source project mostly used for coding, however, whether you are interested in improving your skill through coding or reading, or you wish to find an open source project to contribute to and collaborate, or share your own project, GitHub is where you start.

Git Hub screenshot

Moreover, this is probably the best place to search for examples of open source code that you can later reuse on your own projects.

Lastly, GitHub offers a place for your professional portfolio and it is a great community for every programmer-to-be.

CSS Wizardry

Maintained by Harry Roberts and located on the GitHub software development collaborative, CSS Wizardry is a home of inuit.css framework.

Harry writes about the topics of CSS offering high-level guidelines for writing maintainable CSS.

CSS -Tricks

Due to the great content, Chris Coyer’s blog is more than just a blog, and with  more topics then just CSS, although it is his primary focus.

CSS Tricks screenshot

CSS-Tricks is a place where one can find useful information on CSS, jQuery and web design techniques, where one can find tutorials on web related topics, free screencasts-instructional tutorials, and it is also a forum for knowledge-hungry web learners.

Sitepoint, another great place packed with useful articles on numerous web-related topics.

Apart from great content, Sitepoint, as a company, specializes in book publishing, covering various topics (web design, web marketing, web programming, and business online) and offering a broad range of instructional content through their online platform Learnable, great for those who prefer learning via reading.

Learnable has a large community and offers guides on HTML, CSS, Ruby, JavaScript, APS.NET, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PHP, SQL, and more.

Symfony, for those who want to start learning Symfony PHP framework

If you decide to work with Symfony PHP framework, this is the best source where you can get all information, documentation, tips, and learn everything related to open source projects.

Symfony home page screenshot

We take part in Symfony PHP conferences every year whether as sponsors or visitors, which is also a great way to learn from others and be part of the community eager to share.

WebDesignTuts + , for those who are new to web design

To learn more about web design, you should visit Web Design Tuts+, a blog dedicated to web design tutorials and articles focusing on the visual side of web design; showcasing the best practice. It offers techniques and tricks to maximize every aspect of web design. Apart from the tutorials, you can also find e-books and courses.

StackOverflow, a community of programmers

It is a question and answer site for professionals and enthusiasts, and it is especially good for beginners. Just reading and browsing through questions may also increase your curiosity towards programming and in time increase your coding skills. The big community that tackles questions from all web-related industries is a great asset for programmers.

Stack overflow screenshots

Google and Google Groups are a good source of information

With a few query tricks, such as -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:”index of” +(“/ebooks”|”/book”) +(chm|pdf|zip) “python”, Google will find book or e-book directory with Python books in them, in different formats.

Some people prefer learning from books or blogs 

Every book is good if it’s focused on the subject and topic you are looking for, and searching Google for relevant books can certainly point you in the right direction, however, reading without practice and test projects is hardly enough to improve your skills.

In the list above you will find great blogs you should be checking out every day, and if you read on, we have chosen some titles we recommend reading (and practicing).

Erica Sadun’s Books

Given that she has written, co-written and contributed to dozens of books on technology (programming and digital media in particular), any of Sadun’s book you choose will offer a great learning experience. As an author of iOS Developer’s Cookbook series and writer on TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) Sadun can successfully introduce you to the iOS world.

iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide by Joe Conway and Aaron Hillegass

An excellent source for experienced developers, though confident beginners can also use it to expand their knowledge (gurus can learn more as well). The book covers essential concepts, tools and techniques for developing iOS applications and other high levels of topics, and when you are done with it, you should be able to move easily into programming applications and learn more along the way.

AngularJS by Brad Green and Shyam Seshardi

A great book, which is an introduction to AngularJS by two engineers who worked at Google, teaches you how to build AngularJS applications. You can find more great books by the same publisher, O’Reilly Media.

jQuery Cookbook: Solutions & Examples for jQuery Developers

In 435 pages, you will find it covers more than 150 jQuery and JavaScript common problems from nineteen jQquery community experts and leading developers.

It is good for beginners because it starts with the basics and moves on to more complex topics, giving great information and good examples along the way.

Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional by W Jason Gilmore

A well-written, well-organized book offers clear and useful examples that one can easily adapt. With 500 code examples, it is written for web developers who are searching for powerful solutions to create powerful web sites.

Smashing Magazine Library is another great source of quality books on different web-related topics.

That being said, there is more to come. As a programmer-to-be, certain things should always be on your mind and you should nurture certain behaviors to succeed and improve your skills.

To get on the right path to your success, read on to find out several pieces of advice from Eton Digital developers and programmers. 

  • Similarly as with saying Res Non Verba, theory without practice is a road to nowhere.
  • Accept challenges; go out of your comfort zone.
  • Mistakes are inevitable, and surely, mistakes make you better. Moreover, even advanced programmers make common mistakes when trying to be faster and more efficient.
  • When something goes wrong, take a break, ask your friend or colleague, or start over.
  • Sharing is caring, so share your code, help your friends/colleagues and value will come back when needed.
  • Every documentation (usually) is kind of a book; read it.
  • Be yourself; do not try to make everyone happy.
  • Work, work and work. If programming is what turns you on, you will not hate Mondays and you will not love Fridays that much.
  • Try to make your micro world better every day, don’t just focus on yourself; that way you (and your micro world) will rise up.
  • Programming is not for individuals, it is a team effort. A programmer is as good as the team he works in.
  • Find yourself a job. It doesn’t matter if it’s paid or not, as the experience you are getting is the most valuable thing you could get.
  • Take a 10 minute brake after every 50 minutes of work and engage in physical activity.
  • Giving up is the biggest mistake.

Working in the IT sector has many advantages; however, programming is not a routine, it involves great mental effort and strength, and one should not underestimate that effort, but rather decide whether he or she is prepared to invest their time and abilities.

Experience is mandatory and crucial and theory without practice will lead to giving up easily.

But, with devotion and patience, and good courses about programming and developing, you can enter the programming world.