Getting started with modern web development

Lately my focus has been on becoming more familiar with modern web development practices. To grow this skill set, I ended up using Colt Steele's The Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy. I would highly recommend this training for anyone wanting to know more about creating the front-end part of a website, which is presented to your visitor, and the back-end, the code supporting it.

I'm not paid to endorse this, I've just never encountered a training so thorough, and presented so well. I feel confident I could recommend this course to anyone with access to a computer and a little curiosity, regardless of familiarity, and have them come out successful.

Unlike a lot of other web training I've seen, this isn't covering some small topic in great depth, leaving you without an idea of how to get it fully working. And it isn't something that takes you through just the fun parts the tutorial author liked, it actually covers everything that you'd want for pushing version 1 to production. At the end of the course you've deployed a yelp-like site with security, logins, and a way to add new reviews and locations.

As I've mentioned, he is quite thorough, starting with the basics of just how the web actually works. And this thoroughness extends through the whole course, with references on where to learn more if he doesn't cover it in the videos. I'm no stranger to the basics of web development, but I found myself learning new things about common elements I thought I was familiar with. It does mean for the experienced developer it might be a bit slow. Whether your familiar with the content or just reviewing, there is a playback speed button that can be quite handy.

I started playing with web tech during high school, and took a few courses during college, but I never really got into it. What changed my mind was trying to put together a simple little interactive prototype, and finding that, wow, it's really easy to get started with Javascript. Now instead of spending time reading up a way to make various elements work together in a more formal language like C#, my iterations were about as fast as I could come up with the next approach to my prototype.

But I like to pursue a more comprehensive knowledge on a topic, and started looking at training opportunities. I looked at some bootcamps, and realized there's two strong appeals about these:

  1. If you need that classroom experience to help you learn. I really enjoy those experiences, and it's why I first looked at those, but given the sheer wealth of knowledge that others have taken the time to share, I'm not sure just enjoying that experience is enough to justify the rather large price tags by itself.

  2. It offers a certificate and can give a signal that I completed something. Online courses can provide that too, but based on what I've read it just doesn't go nearly as far as the piece of paper says that I physically went and did something. This is the biggest reason I would consider a bootcamp, at least for web development.

Looking at the cost of an on-site bootcamp, and the content they covered, it was hard for me to justify the price without actively seeking a career in it. Looking around online, Colt's class stood out to me as the content looked to be end to end, something I hadn't seen in most offerings. And with coupons out there that brought the price tag down to $9.99, it was a no-brainer for me.

There is a second course, The Advanced Web Developer Bootcamp, that I picked up as well, but this is taught by multiple people, including Colt, and we'll see if it's as good.

Learning all this may even promote becoming a better Power BI Developer, as Custom Visuals are developed using Node.js. And D3.js, a visualization library, is covered in the Advanced Bootcamp. Neither of these touch on Power BI directly, but may be a good bost as you're going through the documentation for creating a Power BI Visual.

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Hi, I'm Aaron Grossman, a Business Intelligence developer documenting what I've learned as I continue to grow my career. I can be reached at