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Where to Find Learning Help as a Developer

May 01, 2015  |  Pluralsight
Where to Find Learning Help as a Developer
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Hitting a snag when you’re learning to code can be tough. Especially if you’re learning on your own without help, getting stuck can be extremely frustrating and make even small problems feel pretty unsurmountable.

However, one of the greatest things about coding is the sense of community. More often than not, there’s a resource to consult or someone out there who’s willing to help you get to the bottom of your problem. Today, I want to offer up some solutions and resources I’ve used when I hit a snag in my learning.

Reference Sites

The first step is to try and solve the problem yourself. Hit the books, start Googling, or turn to a resource website to look for a solution.

W3Schools is a great place to start — they have complete references for languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. They also have a full range of tutorials and examples, so you can see the code in action.

You can also try Mozilla Developer Network, which features tutorials for developers of all levels, reference documents, and the Mozilla’s Demo Studio, where you can watch demonstrations of different web technologies and inspect the code to see how they work.

Forums and Answer Sites

Still drawing a blank? Turn to one of the many programming forums to get the help of those with a little more experience.

Code School’s community forum is a great first port of call with any coding queries, whether you’re looking for advice on a specific course, or are just after a bit of general advice. Some other great forums worth trying are Coding Forumsand CodeGuru, both of which offer a great community willing to help.

Stack Overflow is perhaps one of the best known programming resources on the web. Ask a question here and you’ll receive help from coders all over the world, with the best answers voted to the top of the list.

With all of these sites, remember to search thoroughly before submitting a question to ensure your topic hasn’t already been dealt with in the past. Also, making sure your question is descriptive yet succinct will give you the best chance of finding a great answer to that nagging problem.

Social Media

Even though it’s not necessarily a resource you would think of first, Facebook can be a great place to find support. Not only do many resource websites such as WPBeginner and CSS-Tricks have pages stuffed full of handy hints and tips, but you can also join communities relevant to your interests. Whether you’re into PHP, CSS, or WordPress, you’re bound to find a group that suits your needs.

In Real Life

Don’t forget, it’s not just the Internet that you can turn to for help. Most towns and cities are home to groups of coders of varying skill levels that get together and provide each other with useful information, support, and advice. To find a local group, Meetup.com is a great place to start.

Paid Assistance

A final option you can turn to is a premium service where you pay a small amount for a vetted, experienced developer to tutor you through whatever you’re having. HackHands provides on-demand mentorship (for a fee) from experts including O’Reilly authors and the creator of Sass.

Similarly, Codementor provides instant help and support across more than 100 web development categories. They also have a range of free tutorials and free Office Hours, where a top developer answers questions, live codes, and debates the latest tech topics with a small group of attendees.

While learning to code has its challenges, there’s an abundance of resources available. The key is knowing where to look, and hopefully this post has given you some great starting points for the next time you hit a roadblock. Have some great resources of your own that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

Learn something new. Take control of your career.
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