Teaching Web Development To New Comers

Teaching Web Development To New Comers

Teaching is easy when you know what you are doing

Right? Well, I’m not so sure. The back story to this is not happy. About 20 people I used to work with (over 5 years ago) just got laid off from their Graphic Design jobs. Not good. They got a good severance though, so they have some time to find new positions. Anyway, a bunch of them have asked me to teach them how to build a website, and get some web skills so that they have more things open to them.

I have taught people at my current position during an all day training thing, and that is what led me to start this blog. I really enjoyed showing people how to do things, and watching them use that knowledge. Now I get to teach people who seem to be really excited about learning web development and I am really looking forward to it. One problem though…they now absolutely nothing about HTML or CSS, so where do I start?

From the beginning

Well that is obvious, but I’m thinking all the basic HTML tags we use everyday, excluding tables. Mainly the heading tags, p, a, div, the common stuff. And NO Dreamweaver! If I am going to teach someone how to do what I do, I am going to get them on the right foot. No design view at all. That got me into trouble plenty of times, and is one of the main things I wish I could have avoided.

After that though, what do I show about CSS?

What would you do?

Remember, I have limited time, and a lot to cram in. This is not some community college course that teaches you some crap. I want them to be able to code a basic web page at the end of three hours. Doesn’t sound so tough until you actually think about it. The CSS is the hardest part because there is so much to know.

Do I skip the shorthand stuff for now? Or only that? This seems to be my biggest issue. Will this confuse the crap out of them, or make things easier? I figure if I do the first hour on HTML and how to code a simple page, I have two hours for CSS.

I am thinking how to style basic elemnts, using font and background styles, and hopefully div positioning. I obviously need about a 1/2 hour to go over browsers and probably Firebug basics. Can this be done? I don’t know, but I look forward to trying.

Give me your thoughts

If you had to teach someone to build a web page, the RIGHT way, and only had 3 hours, what would you teach, and what would you leave out? What are key points that you think they absolutely have to learn?

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