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As a self-taught web developer who has spent years learning web development skills using online resources, I can say that there were a few courses that were instrumental in me being able to land a job as a web developer.
I started off learning the fundamentals with free resources such as Codecadamy and Freecodecamp. These are great resources to get the basics and an idea of what it is all about. When you are ready to get serious and commit to learning to code, you have to invest in yourself.
Luckily, that doesn’t have to break the bank with websites like Udemy.com. Once I discovered Udemy and bought my first comprehensive web development course is when I really started to advance my skill set and made huge strides in progress. (I think I paid $20 bucks for it at the time, now you can get them even cheaper than that.)
Since then I have taken over 15 Udemy courses, all web development-related. A few were web design/photoshop courses just to give me an extra edge to my skillset. There are around 45,000 courses on Udemy on almost any subject you can think of.
Disclosure: I am a proud Udemy affiliate, so if you happen to purchase one of the courses through my links, I will receive compensation(at no additional cost to you). With that said, I have taken and completed every course below, and would never recommend a product or course that I haven’t used or couldn’t vouch for.
I have compiled a list below of the 5 Udemy courses that taught me everything I needed to know to become an employed self-taught web developer.
I highly recommend each and every one of these courses for anyone who wants to become a web developer.
Instructor: Colt Steele – 470,680 students – 4.6/5 Stars from 139,531 ratings
This Is The One!
If I had to choose one course to suggest to anyone wanting to build a solid foundation of all of the essential skills to become a web developer, it would be; The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele, hands down.
I give this course the majority of the credit for teaching me all of the fundamentals I needed to level up my skills, and eventually landing my first job in the web development industry.
This course is one of the most popular bestsellers on the Udemy platform, and for good reason. Colt is a great teacher, and his personality, humor, and overall approach to guiding you through his course is second to none.
He covers every important aspect of web development and delivers the most comprehensive course you could ask for, especially for beginners. Even if you have been learning for a while, it is still worth buying this course for a refresher.
Colt Steele is a legit professional Bootcamp instructor, so it would explain his attention to detail and quality when he created this course.
The greatest thing about this course, in my opinion, is that everything is project-based, which further gives the student more clarity as they learn each skill. There are over 13 projects you create throughout the course, which really helps you understand the concepts along the way.
He also keeps this course updated and is constantly adding more relevant sections as technologies evolve. So the information is just as relevant than ever before.
So take it from my own personal experience, if you want a rock-solid foundation in full-stack web development, you need this course. It is definitely a one-stop-shop type of course.
Colt covers technologies used in both the front and back-end development. Here is just a few of the skills covered in this course:
- Bootstrap(Updated for a newer version released)
- Semantic UI
- Node JS using the ExpressJS framework
- R.E.S.T (Another important and essential section)
- Mongo DB (covers all aspects of database associations)
The main project that you build, called YelpCamp, reinforces everything you learned in the course. It’s a full-stack application that interacts with the database you created.
It’s set up with authentication so users can register and login, and post campsites to review them. So by the end of this course, you will have a full-stack application to claim and then you can make it your own, along with 13 other mini-projects that you can always use as a resource.
Do yourself a favor and buy this course, its worth the cost times 10. It is hands down the best course I have ever taken in my life! If you buy no other course, make sure you get this one.
Instructor: Jonas Schmedtmann – 69,343 students – 4.8/5 Stars from 15,805 ratings
Level Up Your CSS Skills
When learning CSS, it seems like you never quite know enough, mostly because it is so vast and constantly evolving. I decided that I wanted to master CSS to the best of my ability so I decided to try this course.
I honestly enjoyed this course just as much as I did taking The Web Developer Bootcamp. This is actually the perfect course to take immediately after finishing Colt Steele’s Bootcamp course. You need to know at least the fundamentals of basic CSS before you take this course.
Jonas has a unique teaching style and really goes out of his way to make sure you understand each concept and how to apply it in the context of each project you are working on.
Before taking this course I had limited experience with SASS, and Jonas really makes you understand how useful it is and how to implement it properly. SASS is amazing for productivity and helps you structure your CSS in a way that makes more sense.
The first part of the course covers how CSS works, and how it is rendered and parsed by specificity. He then covers CSS architecture and how to implement BEM, which is a method of naming and structuring your CSS that allows you to organize your code very efficiently. This section alone taught me very valuable information that I still use to this day.
Jonas then provides a whole section about SASS, from how to set it up, using the command line, and how to use variables, mixins, extends and functions. He then goes on to show you how to compile your sass files down to your CSS file which is rendered on the webpage.
This was another section that was very valuable to me, SASS is very important and anyone wanting to master CSS should understand it and how to use it.
This course teaches you the fundamentals of advanced CSS and SASS by building three separate projects. All three projects are very high quality designed webpages. He also has a section for each project that shows you how to make them responsive using media queries and also using SASS.
Natours Project – Advanced CSS and SASS
This project uses the skills you learned about CSS and SASS from the previous section to build a webpage for a fictional company called Natours, which is about nature tours. This landing page you build has a very modern look in its design.
Jonas walks you step by step and teaches you how to code each section of the page. This includes making CSS animations, utilizing video backgrounds, contact forms, the responsive navigation menu and more. I learned an enormous amount of skills from this project alone.
Trillo Project – Learn Flexbox
The Trillo project introduces you to using the flexbox grid system to build your layout. It is a fictional company named Trillo, where the concept is an all in one booking app where the user can book a hotel, a flight, a car, and a tour all in one place.
The design on this page is also very modern but also unique. He starts off with a few sections that introduce you to the Flexbox grid system and how to use it, and then you start implementing this system as you code each section of the webpage.
This project also includes techniques using advanced CSS by teaching you different animations, SVG icons, and of course media queries to make the pages responsive.
Responsive design is how you make your website look great on any size device it is viewed on. These are essential concepts that every web developer should learn, and be very skilled at.
Nexter Project– Learn CSS Grid
In your final project, you will learn about CSS grid layouts, which is a layout system built right into CSS itself, instead of using some external system like bootstrap. There are lots of people who prefer to use Flexbox over CSS Grids, and vice versa, but either way it is good to know about both of these layout systems as a web developer.
Nexter is a fictional real estate company, which sells luxury homes across the world. This webpage also has a very clean, modern design. The layout of this website is very simple, nothing too complicated. It was designed this way just to focus on teaching the student how to use CSS grids in an actual project.
After I finished this course I had so many new tools and CSS tricks to experiment with. More than anything I felt I had leveled up and understood CSS on a much deeper level.
I recommend this course to anyone who knows the basics of CSS but wants to really understand it on a deeper level. This course will bridge that gap for you.
There are concepts from this course that I still use today. Whether I’m doing some custom CSS to a WordPress theme at my job or building a new layout for one of my freelance client’s websites, this course has paid for itself many times over. Make sure you grab this course even if you have to save it for later.
Instructor: Anthony Alicea – 131,951 students – 4.7/5 Stars from 33,858 ratings
As I worked my way through this beast of a course, I couldn’t believe how many “A-Ha” moments I was having in every section. I was actually starting to get into the meat of this programming language and could finally see the power that it held, and what it is capable of.
- Advanced Concepts: Closures, prototypal inheritance, IIFEs
- Execution Contexts and Lexical Environments
- Function Constructors
- Click here to learn more…
Instructor: Rob Percival – 14,442 students – 4.3/5 Stars from 1,555 ratings
A Great Intro Into MySQL And Databases
I was told by someone I looked up to that I needed to know how to work with databases if I wanted to become a web developer in the industry. While I know now that there are front-end developers that never interact with databases, it’s still very a very important skill to learn and I am glad I took this course by Rob Percival.
This course introduced me to the world of databases and how they can be used in the context of a web developer. MySQL is still one of the most used database management systems in the industry. Learning how to interact with a MySQL database is an important skill to learn and definitely important to have on your resume.
This course will teach you everything you need to know to be able to apply for a Junior MySQL developer position.
From the syntax used to making queries, tables, and all the normal operating procedures to push and pull data from and to a database. This course is thorough and structured with a great flow. If you are anything like me, once you get through the first few videos you will be hooked.
Projects: CRUD App and MyAdmin Site Project
After you learn this foundation of MySQL and databases, It will walk you through the steps to build a basic CRUD app with a little introduction to PHP as well.
Then after the CRUD practice project, you use everything you have learned to create the main project, which is a WebAdmin website/app. You will use HTML, CSS, PHP, and of course, MySQL as your database layer.
This project was really helpful for making sense of many of the concepts I had learned earlier in the course. Building this MyAdmin Project helped connect a lot of dots for me.
After you have successfully completed your project, Rob goes on to show you how to deploy it into production, which means you can actually upload it to the internet. This is another important skill to understand. As a web developer, you need to know how to deploy your apps and websites to show them to the world.
For anyone who wants a comprehensive course about MySQL and databases, I would highly recommend starting with this course.
The average entry-level/Junior level salary for a beginner MySQL developer is anywhere from 50-60k/yr. This could be a great way to get your foot into the door of the industry as a self-taught developer. Make sure to grab this course for when you are ready to learn about the world of databases using MySQL.
Instructor: Brad Schiff – 27,965 students – 4.7/5 Stars from 7,044 ratings
My Most Recent Course
So this course was one I decided to buy a couple of months ago. Since my job consists of managing many WordPress websites for our clients every day, I decided why not dive in deep and learn everything I can about the platform to leverage my situation.
This course is great, and before taking it I had no clue how little I really knew about WordPress, especially when it came to the backend and built-in functions. This course is 27 hours long and full of very useful information.
You should at least have basic experience dealing with the WordPress platform (how to create a blog post, etc..), and some basic HTML/CSS knowledge will also give you an edge, but not required. If you don’t know what HTML is yet, then go back up and take Colt Steele’s Web Developer Bootcamp course.
Dive Deep Into WordPress
Even if you are unfamiliar with the PHP programming language, don’t worry, Brad teaches PHP concepts seamlessly while showing you other concepts that you need to learn.
This is the technical side of WordPress that most users never see. If you want to become a WordPress Developer, or if you have ever wanted to code your own themes and plugins, then this is the course for you. You will get to see the back end code of WordPress and how it all works together.
Brad takes you step by step, and shows you how to do almost anything you can think of in the WordPress platform. He takes you into the heart of the code, shows you the main functions, and the “famous” WordPress loop, and a lot more. This course will give you a full, comprehensive understanding of the most technical aspects of this platform.
- Basic PHP
- WordPress Specific PHP
- Every kind of Post type
- WP REST API (AJAX)
- Customizing the REST API
- User-Generated Content
- How to turn any HTML template into a theme
- How to create your own theme step by step
This is just a few of the multitude of topics he covers in this course.
Like I stated above, If you want to become a professional WordPress Developer, or at minimum, you want to develop your own WordPress themes and/or plugins, then this course is the perfect place to start.
While many developers don’t think of WordPress Development as a legit career in the tech industry, I disagree with that school of thought.
Over 30% of all websites on the web are powered by WordPress. For a career in web development, the key to a nice, high paying career, is specialization.
Becoming a WordPress developer is a specialization that is in high demand and you can find a job easily once you have the skills.
If you want to be a WordPress Professional, or even if you just want to use these skills to sell your own themes and plugins, this course is the perfect starting point for either route.