Trying your hand at a little Web development work? The task probably seems pretty daunting, as experienced developers are typically entrenched in a sea of scripting languages that make the layperson wrinkle their eyebrows in utter confusion. But hey, anyone can do it if they set their mind to it—and if you set your mind to learning one language at a time, it’s more than do-able for the average tech enthusiast who has an ample amount of fortitude.
Fortunately, the same technology that has made Web development such an essential part of the world today has also made it possible for skilled development gurus to share their tactics with the world at large through blogs. And there are plenty of developers who have chosen to share their hacks and tricks for the benefit of newbie developers. We’ve rounded up 25 of the most useful resources for beginning developers which include tricks, step-by-step instructions and a plethora of other essential information. Most of these blogs talk in easy-to-understand language, so even if you’re not up to par with developer lingo and you’re trying to figure out how to code a specific project, you can probably follow along. Listed in no particular order of importance, here are 25 blogs we suggest for beginner developers. Oh, and a little bonus section with five useful tutorial sites.
- A List Apart – A blog “for people who make websites,” A List Apart is a great resource for tackling common HTML and CSS challenges, along with some more advanced info for not-so-new designers and developers.
- Net Tuts Plus – Net Tuts Plus is a new developer’s paradise, with hundreds of articles and tutorials. Don’t take it from us; take it from their 63,000 Twitter followers and 67,000 Facebook fans.
- Sitepoint – Sitepoint is a major company, but they freely give away tons of valuable information for developers. With all kinds of recommendations, advice articles (covering everything from social media to working with freelance writers for your copy needs), Sitepoint is a go-to resource for virtually any needs you might encounter along your journey as a developer.
- Amber Weinberg – Amber’s an expert developer, but she doesn’t stop with what she knows. She’s always on the lookout to improve her skillset, and she graciously shares the best resources she comes across with her readers—and that’s in addition to the quick-and-easy tutorials she shares.
- Webmonkey – Webmonkey is a great resource for everything from coding tips to industry happenings. You can search the site’s entire collection of resources by APIs, platforms and software or even design and development categories. Not only is it valuable, but it’s easy to find what you’re looking for with Webmonkey’s well-organized and user-friendly categorization.
- WebAppers – The source for open-source Web resources, WebAppers offers great lists, resources on plugins, design information and more.
- Developer Drive – Great tutorials on tons of WordPress developer needs, brought to you by the folks at WebdesignerDepot.com.
- Code Visually – Code Visually is a collection of user-submitted development tools, libraries, plugins and other good stuff you don’t want to miss.
- Web Developer Plus – A fantastic source of information on free stuff that helps you code easier—and better, WordPress hacks, and useful lists of tools, tips and apps that simplify the life of a new developer.
- Inspect Element – A great source for both beginners and seasoned developers (and designers), Inspect Element has tutorials, themes, code snippets and tons of tools and resources.
- One Extra Pixel – A ton of designer and developer resources packed into an easy-to-understand and lighthearted format, One Extra Pixel is a nice change of pace to many of the tech-speak tutorials that tend to overwhelm newbies.
- The David Walsh Blog – Another goldmine for both developers and designers, The David Walsh Blog offers an abundance of simplistic tutorials for everything from creating a Twitter card to complex coding hassles—along with interviews with experts, cool tool lists and other fun stuff.
- Cats who Code – How can you not love a blog titled Cats Who Code? Lists, hacks, tools, tips and more await the next budding coder cat.
- Webitect – This site is geared towards designers, developers and freelancers, so there’s a bit of everything for everyone. Not only is it jam-packed with resources and tools to make coding easier, but there’s advice on streamlining your workflow and improving your cash flow, too.
- A Fresh Cup – Primarily targeting Ruby on Rails development, A Fresh Cup fills your cup with tutorials for overcoming coding challenges, workarounds and hacks, and some useful tool recommendations for your developer toolkit.
- Noupe – Freelance goodies, AJAX, Photoshop, tutorials, WordPress, CSS and even inspiration…need we say more?
- Ajaxian – Ajaxian tends to focus on—you guessed it—AJAX, but you’ll find much, much more than that here. This comprehensive blog covers virtually every topic a new developer would ever be searching for. A must-bookmark resource. Check out the massive list of topic areas to the left.
- Six Revisions – Jacob Gube shares plenty of advice, tips, tutorials and hacks for both designers and developers at Six Revisions.
- Treehouse – Slightly tilted to the designer standpoint, Treehouse is still a valuable blog for beginning web developers. Get down to the nitty-gritty of coding, plus be entertained with advice on making the most of your time and when to invest—or not to invest—your time, energy or resources into a difficult development project or whether there’s a simpler workaround.
- Learning jQuery – One of the languages that may baffle beginning developers, Learning jQuery has plenty of tutorials and resources from a variety of contributing authors, although the majority of posts are authored by Karl Swedberg. And—you can filter by beginner, intermediate and advanced topics to reduce topic-shock for newbies. (You know when you encounter one of those advanced articles that literally make you feel like you might have a heart attack at the prospect of having to understand it? Yeah, you can eliminate those from your search.)
- 24 Ways – Dubbed “The Advent Calendar for Web Geeks,” 24 Ways offers up a daily dose of web design and development resources. A great way to stay in-the-know of upcoming trends and the latest hacks.
- Digital Inspiration – More than just a coding resource, Digital Inspiration covers a variety of aspects that relate to the developer’s lifestyle, such as productivity hacks, social media tools and tidbits, and other aspects of the ins and outs of life as a developer—or any technology geek, really. Any budding developer will find this site a valuable read.
BONUS(es): Must-Have Beginner Tutorial Sites
In addition to blogs, there are a number of great resources for developers that take the form of a collection of tutorials. Here are five great sites to find step-by-step tutorials for your developer needs, in addition to the blogs listed above.
- Tizag – Tizag is a collection of tutorials covering everything from basic HTML and CSS to more complex scripting languages and backend databases.
- W3Schools – Pretty much the gold-standard in terms of complaint design, W3Schools is an exceptional resource for beginner tutorials.
- Tutorial Zine – A magazine devoted to tutorials for developers. Simple focus, straightforward and just what you need to find step-by-step instructions for all your development challenges.
Developers: Do you have a resourceful blog for newbies to the field? What blogs did you rely on in the early stages of your career to guide you through common coding challenges? Give yourself–or your favorite resources–some love in the comments section!