Wanting to become an expert in web development? If so, it’s important that you learn the basics of web programming. The prospect of doing so might at first seem overwhelming. It’s helpful to break the process down into several actionable steps. Here are several main areas to focus on to streamline your learning.

1. Have a Goal

Take some time to grab a notebook and jot down all of the items you’re interested in learning, and things you want to get better at. It might be a personal website, a prototype of an idea, or something else. Jumping right into tutorials will be paralyzing unless you do. Also, if you have a clearly defined learning goal, you’ll be more motivated and persistent, and will be able to measure your learning progress.

2. Select Your Language and Resources

There are many programming languages used in web development. For your purposes, whittle it down to a few. Ruby, JavaScript, and Python are three that are suitable for beginners and have a lot of free online learning resources. Lifehacker, Free Code Camp, and The Odin Project are particularly high quality. Keep in mind that you won’t find one site that will teach you all you want to know.

3. Use Evidence-Based Techniques

Learning research has yielded a vast array of effective techniques that are easy to grasp and implement. They’ll help you comprehend difficult concepts, retain new material and get ahead of procrastination. Use of spaced repetition, memorizing a vocabulary of keywords, and use of recall rather than re-reading are excellent evidence-based strategies. To help avoid procrastination and improve your efficiency, it’s helpful to set regular SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals, and give the Pomodoro technique a try.

4. Learn From Others and By Doing

Putting yourself into some kind of an online apprenticeship situation (even if it’s one-way) is a great way to boost your inspiration and motivation. Google “programming tips” and “programming advice.” You’ll find a host of ideas with a human touch. Also, remember that learning web development programming is never passive. Solving multiple-choice tests and watching videos isn’t enough. It’s a hands-on process. Search for “coding challenges” and try some of the resources on GitHub to give yourself real challenges to tackle.

Learning to code is challenging. It requires time, energy, and perseverance. Your persistence and discipline will be the most important factors in your success.