Lesson Plan

The hardest thing about learning to code for a newbie like me is where to start.

I’ve read plenty of articles and blog posts about people who have taught themselves how to code and are now web developers at cool companies.

I read one article recently where the author noted why learning to code was important to him as a co-founder of a tech company.  He went on to write that he started with Codecademy (which I’m currently using) and then he enrolled in an intensive web development bootcamp.

For many of us older workers (I’m 41) taking off 2-6 months is not possible or practical.  Not with children, mortgages and family responsibilities.

So my goal here will be to layout the learning plan I am using to try to get a front-end developer job.  I’ll include the resources, including free online schools like Codecademy, paid online schools like Treehouse and all the tutorials, articles, websites, blogs and podcasts that I am using to immerse myself in this amazing world.

I hope it helps anyone coming after me to take this exciting plunge.


  1. HTML & CSS track – This was my introduction to coding and was simple enough and easy enough to keep me going.
  2. JavaScript track – I’ve stopped and started this track a couple of times now.  I may begin again and work on it concurrently with the Treehouse Front-end Web Development track that I began on 6/12/14.
  1. HTML/CSS/JavaScript track – This was a fun, quick course that reinforced many concepts from the Codecademy track and also showed me some concepts that started opening up my eyes to the power of good design and code.


  1. Web Design track – I finished this on Thursday 6/12/14.  I’m not going to lie, I’m proud of myself.  And the funny thing was, once I finished I couldn’t wait to start the Front-end Web Development track.
  2. Front-end Web Development track – began Thursday 6/12/14
  3. WordPress Development – TBD
  4. PHP Development – TBD
  5. Rails Development – TBD


  1. Course 101 – Learn to Code HTML & CSS – Finished on 3/26/14.  10 quick articles on HTML & CSS basics that you can read on your lunch hour, which is exactly what I did.  I held off starting Course 201 so I could focus on Treehouse.
  2. Course 201 – Learn to Code Advanced HTML & CSS – TBD
  1. Beginner JavaScript tutorials




BOOKS (read)

  • Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug
  • The Passionate Programmer – Chad Fowler
  • How to Speak Tech – Vinay Trivedi
  • HTML & CSS – Jon Duckett
  • 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know – Edited by Kevlin Henney
  • Things a Little Bird Told Me – Biz Stone
  • The Phoenix Project – Gene Kim, et al
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
  • Without Their Permission – Alexis Ohanian
  • No Exit – Gideon Lewis-Kraus
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People – Susan Weinschenk

BOOKS (reading)

  • Learning Web Design – Jennifer Niederst
  • The Second Machine Age – Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew Mcafee
  • The Launch Pad – Randall Stross

BOOKS (to be read)

  • The Design of Everyday Things – Don Norman
  • Code – Charles Petzold
  • Javascript for Beginners – Mark Lassoff
  • Learn to Program – Chris Pine


  • Objectified

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