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Where and how to become a self-taught designer/developer✍(and many other areas)

helleworld_ profile image Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Updated on ・9 min read

Hello, users! 👋

Today I want to share with all of you a list of platforms and courses that helped me become a self-taught designer/developer, and where you can find many other areas that may be of your interest.

Maybe you want to learn new techs, new delicious recipes, how to take care of your garden... But where can you learn online and at your pace?

Let me show you where I started learning.

❗️ATTENTION❗️

You should NEVER replace formal and official education for online platforms and courses, even though both are complementary. I never had enough money to pay official education and I had to rely on this kind of self-taught methods to get a job and keep growing until I could pay my formal education. If you can afford it, think about it. Else, you must put so much effort on your self-taught education. Consider that.

Who's this post for?

Everyone. Are you working? Are you studying? Are you a human? Then every resource mentioned in this article may be useful for you.
Not all of these resources are focused in techpeople, give them a try.

𝓛et's go:

SoloLearn
Udemy
Doméstika
Crehana
HumbleBundle
Khan Academy
Coursera
Duolingo
Platzi
Dev.to
Final notes

❝SoloLearn❞

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I was in high school when I discovered this amazing web and their app.

SoloLearn's method is simple. If you want to learn programming languages in an easy and fast way, this should be definitely your first option.

The areas we must highlight about their webpage are, of course, the 'Courses' section:

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They have a lot of courses.

And their 'Code Playground' section, where you'll find a lot of samples and creations of other users where you can, well, play around.

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You will also receive a certificate if you finish a course. Their amazing App will let you keep learning in your way to school, home, work, etc.

I recommend this option if you want your first contact with a new programming language to be easy and fast, or if you want to prove your knowledge about a programming language.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Udemy❞

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Here it comes. Either if you are or you're planning to be a techcolleague or you want to learn pilates, Udemy presents many options for you.

For example: I'm learning C, Design, UX&UI and German in this platform.

As you can see, they have a lot of categories with infinite courses by different amazing instructors from all over the world:

Udemy's Categories

You have plenty of filters to match your interests, preferences...

Some courses

BUT WOAH, hold on, haven't you seen those prices!? It's okay, worry not. They have incredible sales almost every week, where a 199€ course will cost 11€ or lower. Not kiddin. (I'm doing the reference in € because I'm in Spain, but I assure you, price is not a problem).

You will also find totally free courses. Both, payment and free courses, have a completion certificate that you can show off everywhere.

Let me recommend you some great courses that you may check now or in the future:

Sketching for UX Designers
HTML and CSS from scratch
The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course
JavaScript for begginers
React vs Angular vs Vue
App Design, UX&UI and Design Thinking
Complete SASS/SCSS course

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Doméstika❞

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Doméstika is a very interesting site. You will find courses, a very helpful forum, even job offers.

Why do I strongly recommend Doméstika? Because 1) every course will give you deep knowledge and will help you build a big project for your portfolio with amazing professionals of every area you can imagine and 2) a lot of professionals show their techniques and mechanics.

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This is the perfect site for those willing to improve their drawing and video editing skills, but you can find other incredibly awesome courses like:

Digital illustration techniques and conceptualization, by the amazing Raúl Urias
Digital Art Direction
Pixel Art techniques

Please note, all audios are in Spanish, though you will find English subtitles in the courses.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Crehana❞

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This is the only platform I've never used, however, I met a lot of individuals that were studying there and they would totally recommend it.

An important note would be that this is for Spanish speakers only, without translations or subtitles to other languages. They offer their courses based on membership of 30/100/70€ depending on your choice.

I wanted to mention this page in honor to those who recommended it to me in the past.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Humble Bundle❞

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Humble Bundle is a well-known website in the video gaming area.

They became famous because of their amazing games bundle.

They have, however, another incredible feature: they have book bundles of every kind, from game development, design, comics, AI, recipes and more, including videos, tutorials and even free memberships to payment software sometimes.

If you really want to learn by yourself, keep an eye on these bundles and go for it, pay what you want. You'll find the offers in the '10 bundles' tab in the navigation bar.

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You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Khan Academy❞

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I just love this site.

Have you ever felt that your teachers weren't clear enough?
Do you feel you need some extra classes?

Khan Academy is available in English, Spanish, and many other languages. It's an awesome site to learn basic maths, advanced maths, biology, science, computer engineering, literally almost everything you can think of.

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You can check their App too. It's totally free, however, you can donate them for their awesome work.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Coursera❞

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Now. Imagine if Khan Academy could collaborate with official universities from all over the world, offering official certificates, masters, degrees, courses, bachelors... Well, then you'd have Coursera.

Would you like to do a Computer Science Master at the University in Arizona for 15,000$? You can do it from Coursera.

Would you like to do a course certified by professionals and totally free and post your certificate in LinkedIn? You can do it from Coursera.

Now, I must do a warning. You will find courses in Spanish, but also plenty of grades, careers, masters, and courses in English.

If you're interested in this option, explore and check all the information in their website.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Duolingo❞

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Our beloved Duolingo...

Since the beginning of times, English has been a must for the IT area. In Duolingo you will be able to learn lots of languages, from their site or their app, and earn points and prizes with your progress.

It is easy, fun and a competitive way to learn any language. You want to speak Catalan, German, Klingon or High Valyrian? This is your place.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Platzi❞

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Now, this is only for those who speak native or very fluent Spanish, and can understand it without subtitles.

Platzi started as an online Academy for Latin America. They are not that old but their quality shines, that's why their success is a study-case for every startup, created by Freddy Vega.

They cover many areas, from Marketing, UX design to Visual communication, but their big offer stays in the IT area.

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You can buy a course for 30-40€ or pay 275€/year and get access to their conference all over the world and to every course they offer in their platform, without any kind of restriction and with a certification that can be posted in LinkedIn and in your wall since they will send it to you.

Platzi is like a real university, they have careers with a lot of courses depending on what you decide to study. Check, for example, the Front-end Architecture career:

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They are creating and publishing new courses monthly, personally I like that they keep their courses and careers up to date, including trendy and modern technologies.

I have my own Platzi subscription, so I would totally recommend this to you.

You can check the site here.

To go back to the top list click here.

❝Dev.to❞

How could we forget about our most important member on the list?

Here in Dev.to you will be able to find lots of resources, tutorials, ask for #help, #discuss your doubts or thoughts, and even ask with the #explainlikeimfive tag or show your amazing progress in #showdev.

We have one of the most helpful, welcoming, willing-to-share communities of all time. How could we skip that?

If you need anything, search by keywords or create a post with the appropriate tag, many heroes will come to the rescue!

To go back to the top list click here.

Final notes

📌 Don't overwork yourself. Take your time. Progress will come but you must be patient with yourself.
📌 Don't replace the formal education with only online courses and platforms.
📌 Learning is important, but it is more important to take care of yourself.
📌 Drink a lot of water.
📌 Share. Don't forget you were lost once, too.

This is all, dear users.

Do you know any other platforms? Would you recommend other courses?

I hope you found this post useful. Let's keep coding 💻!

Discussion

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stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

I'll just say this about formal education:

Mine was all but worthless, and the included screenshot of my LinkedIn edu/certs sections will cover that further. As I'm also sick of employers obsessing over it when other factors are so much more important, it's my way of doing my part to push for change:

LinkedIn Education and Certifications sections

Furthermore, from a hiring perspective, I've found that self-teaching is SO much more important in the devs I hire than their (formal) educational background (or lack thereof). I've also found that boot camp graduates often outperform grads from even some of the best CS degree programs.

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stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

Oh, one more thing: It's CRIMINAL that so many college core required classes have higher workloads than major classes.

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anortef profile image
Adrián Norte

You should NEVER replace formal and official education for online platforms and courses, even though both are complementary. I never had enough money to pay official education and I had to rely on this kind of self-taught methods to get a job and keep growing until I could pay my formal education.

I have to disagree with that statement. Formal and/or official education is one way to get knowledge but self-taught is equally valid for tech.

I have been working for more than 10 years with people from very different backgrounds and as far as I can tell the only thing that made a difference was the passion for tech, neither having a degree, nor being self-taught or having gone to a Bootcamp.

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nineismine profile image
nineismine

I think for max success a mix of both is probably best! Sure you can make it in tech without any sort of degree, but there is probably a ceiling for how you can go in a large company without a degree of any sort.

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Hi Adrián, thank you so much for your response.

I don't know how your way into tech was or if you have formal education yourself, however, as discussed here, and as for my experience, most companies will shut their doors if they don't see higher education in your CV.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have any higher education myself more than high school and I've been developing for Smart Cities, but if you aim higher, they won't care only about your passion.

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anortef profile image
Adrián Norte

I do not have any formal education in the tech field. What I did to enter was just go to a desperate enough startup.

Maybe is something of Barcelona but most companies seem to not care about that.

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

That's exactly what I'm mentioning, I'm not saying that formal education will make you smarter but definitely will give you a work in a big company to start with, and probably with a decent salary.

As for my experience in Barcelona, not having a higher education made companies shut their doors to me even though I've been developing in the AI field/Smart City area/Designing smart solutions from scratch.

Maybe you were just lucky and the companies trusted you, but honestly, that isn't happening often and it's a mistake to say that being self-taught is enough, you'll need a lot more or... Just luck!

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rosepac profile image
Pablo Álvarez Corredera

Sin formación reglada, ni padrinos. La entrada que te queda en España son los denominados BootCamp, que básicamente pagas por hacer enlaces con empresas, tras una especie de masterclass durante equis semanas.

Aunque hace poco. Leí, un chico que para vender estos BootCamps y como vía de defensa de ellos; citaba. Que el mismo había entrada como profesor auxiliar tras haber realizado el mismo.. Lo que te puede dejar entrever, el nivel que pueden existir en esos Bootcamps..

Desde luego lo que citaba este chico, no es para una demostración de calidad del personal.Más bien, el hecho real de que dentro del mundo de la tecnología actual, sobre todo entre las StartUps se entra y asciente más por tus dotes sociales y ganas de trabajar; que por tus conocimientos; ya cada uno puede tener su propia opinión sobre si eso, es positivo o no.

Dicho esto, con un poco de suerte. Es bastante fácil de que a través de Linkedin te encuentra alguna "cárnica" del sector e incluso alguna StartUp, hasta a mi me han ofrecido algún puesto en su día; apenas sin conocer mis conocimientos.. Eso ya depende de si deseas muchas horas sin cobrar y en equipo majo, o si deseas trabajar de esclavo y cobrando bien.

Me extraña que si eres de Barcelona, no te salga ningún tipo de trabajo, aunque sea en prácticas; a poco que demuestres unos conocimientos básicos..

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Nadia Laasri

FreeCodeCamp is a good resource too, many challenges are there for developers and you can get a certificate at the end of the challenges :D

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rosepac profile image
Pablo Álvarez Corredera

Expressly for web development, freecodecamp is the best resource that can exist.. 100% 😻

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Definitely going to try it! Thank you for your recommendation!

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

egghead and pluralsight are also well-known quality resources

egghead.io/
pluralsight.com/

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Going to check it too, thank you again for all your contributions, Jean!

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Sebastian Vargr

Most of my skills/experience come from informal channels/projects/tutorials.

I find courses and school boring, and i cannot concentrate during lectures, or remember what was said after.

If courses work for you great, but for the people who have a hard time learning still, try focusing on projects instead, and then start simple. :)

On top of that, projects are free, and they teach you how to look up what you need.

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Hello Sebastian, thank you for your comment.

I think I don't really understand your point, I posted in this article literally a list of informal channels, projects, tutorials and so on that you can perfectly find online, as an extra.

Actually there are a lot of places, like Udemy and Doméstika, where courses are literally focused about only building a project for your portfolio. Courses are not all about learning the skill, though, but also about building something with it.

Also a lot of these resources I posted are totally free... I don't really know what you mean, but thank you for reading and commenting.

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Sebastian Vargr

Sorry, i might have compressed my comment too much.. -.-'

My intention was to add that courses/school is not the only way to do self tutoring.

I was using my self as an example.

I’ll rephrase:

In my experience interest based projects that do not follow a recipe usually gives better results.

The reasoning being you are forced to learn how to research problems and the memory is retained better, in my experience.

If it came off as a jab on the article, then I am sorry, it’s a great list, and the notes mighty useful! :)

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Thank you for your sincere words again, Sebastian!

In my experience I'm not able to create for example, any project by just reading the documentation (as a lot of documentation is poorly explained and lack in useful examples), so I often explore many courses and create my own projects after my doubts were clear and answered.

I agree that problem-searching by yourself will teach you a lot, but I've seen myself googling through responses that weren't useful or were outdated and I think that's a problem when trying to do something from scratch.

Although I found out that sometimes it is better to first understand, study, and then do, because the 'but it works!' doesn't mean always that it works correctly...

Thank you again for sharing your experience!

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sebbdk profile image
Sebastian Vargr

I concur, these are problems i have faced as well. :)

In regards to bad documentation, a good tip is to learn how to dive into the source for answers.

It seems daunting at first, but after a few dives it becomes more manageable, the quicker one learns this habit the better, as it lessons your reliance on explanations prepared. On top of that it teaches you how other people write code.

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rosepac profile image
Pablo Álvarez Corredera

Sometimes, the problem of documentation. It is cumbersome to find her. The solution is Zeal, DevDocs, Dash o Velocity.. You can even include this within your editor such as in Visual Studio Code 🙈

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Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

Additional recommendation:

If you want to learn iOS or Android, I highly recommend Ray Wenderlich

raywenderlich.com/

It's a reference in the iOS world. One friend who is lead developer iOS told me that it was the #3 website for learning iPhone, just behind Apple and Stack Overflow.

More recently they started to also cover Kotlin and Android. And unless you like the terrible documentation from the Android Framework team I would start here instead.

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Pablo Álvarez Corredera

Good job, it looks great. Paid, but great 😻😻😻

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Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

UDEMY: BUT WOAH, hold on, haven't you seen those prices!? It's okay, worry not. They have incredible sales almost every week, where a 199€ course will cost 11€ or lower.

If I may be cynical one moment:

Those are not incredible sales, those are the real prices.

The 199€ price tag is just there to help you believe that those courses are incredibly valuable.

This is a technique called "Price anchoring".

priceintelligently.com/blog/bid/18...

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Hello Jean, thank you for your comment.

I don't think I'm saying anywhere that either 11 or 199 are good/real/x prices, I just wanted to clarify that the prices go lower every week in their sales, so new users don't give up when they see those prices.

I'm not going into marketing politics here, I'm just sharing useful resources.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

Yes, it was not against you!
I wanted to add that I put more trust in companies that have a transparent pricing scheme.

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Ah that's of course.

I posted every platform and course where I literally put my money (except for Crehana, as said), but I understand trust issues are everyone's own bussiness.

Thank you again for your sincere opinion!

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nineismine

Hi there!
Great list! I have not heard of Solo Learn but im going to give it a try!

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helleworld_ profile image
Desiré 👩‍🎓👩‍🏫 Author

Hello there!

I hope you'll find it useful :)