Learning HTML and CSS quickly

Thanks Pixabay for being my favourite source of CC-0 pictures

I feel like the title sounds more like an advert pitch, but in all honesty as we are still before my morning tea, I went with the first title I could think of.

As part of my new role at Heriot-Watt University, I have been asked to provide support on Blackboard courses which have HTML and CSS embedded in them. Having never used either before, I have had to figure out the basics in a few weeks (It has to be said I volunteered very quickly to take on learning this).

Maybe there are other people out there who could benefit from hearing about the resources I have used to at least get comfortable enough to do a bit. I know lots of people are interested in coding, but it can be a bit daunting to figure out how to start.

I started out with these really helpful videos from Jake Wright on both HTML and CSS;

These two videos provided the perfect understanding of the structure for each language. It also gave enough basics that I could write small, simple snippets of code. I would recommend signposting people to these videos before attempting anything else. They are a real gem.

Next up, I needed to build on my understanding by adding more complex pieces of code. As I am (at first) planning to use these skills in our virtual learning environment, I did not want to use resources intended for people to develop whole websites, as that is not relevant for what I will be doing.

Having sat next to the person who championed the use of Lynda.com, I was really happy to discover HWU also subscribes to LinkedIn Learning. They are essentially the same service, as the content originates from Lynda. I think there are many members of staff who do not realise how many courses you can access. As much as the internet can teach you everything for free, I like the structured nature of following courses.

My two initial courses were HTML for Educators and CSS Essential Training 1. (LinkedIn learning does not allow you to easily share content outside, so my apologies for the weird embeds)

Welcome from HTML for Educators by Chris Mattia

Welcome from CSS Essential Training 1 by Christina Truong

I hope you find at least some of these videos useful. Next step is to actually put what I have learned into proper practice. I have enjoyed dappling in programming languages again, so I am currently thinking of further personal projects where I can really put it to good use and learn more advanced techniques. Please let me know if you have any tips or tricks, other valuable resources, or any ideas on how I can learn more. Next big step would be to understand the basics of JavaScript.

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