I – Start with videos
When learning a new technology I think it is a good idea to start with some videos. I did so when studying HTML basic with Evato tuts. This put me on the right track and kickstarted my education. This full course is free on youtube. Videos will guide step-by-step and are easier to follow than books. I think that with video you will also need less energy to learn, this will motivate you to study more.
II – Active learning
It is worth noting that, FCC (Free Code Camp) is my main point of reference to measure my progress. In fact, FCC offers not only simple exercises but more importantly projects that are quite hard and need extensive learning outside FCC site. These projects are equal to real developers work. This is where the philosophy of FCC comes handy read-search-ask.
When I had to do the second FCC project “the Portfolio site”, I had to study in details bootstrap and CSS. I was able to pinpoint my mistakes and correct them using professional developers’ resources. It is not like simple exercises that by rereading the lesson you will figure out the solution. In FCC projects you will have to be resourceful and possess good critical thinking and problem-solving skills, if not you will develop these skills with these projects.
FCC offers an effective learning experience as the learning retention is high. We can discuss our ideas in FCC forum, practice by doing complicated projects. And teach others in the FCC forum and FCC gitter chat room. The last three techniques ensure that the students are engaged in the learning process, thus more effective.
You can check this article that speaks about various level of retention.
75%: Practice Doing
90%: Teaching Others
The last three learning methods highlighted in red are what we should aim at when studying, and FCC offers them.
III – Stick with one course at a time and finish it
There are so many resources on the internet to learn HTML, CSS, and JS. We can easily get lost and be overwhelmed. What I did is to work on a few sites for a few days then select one resource and go through the whole course. I personally think it is a good idea to start over again with another resource (website or book) and finish it again. This is helping me acquire a strong foundation and limit the number of gaps.