How project-based learning helps me learn web development

Profile picture of Witah Georjane HackerNoon

With Georjane

CodeNew | Front End Developer | Girls in STEM Advocate

Learning a new skill can be difficult. But as humans, we are always striving to find better ways to be more efficient and productive.
Coding involves using a programming language to make the computer behave the way it wants. For a tech geek this seems easy or doable, but for a code newbie like me I can hardly see how this can be possible.

Everyone starts as a beginner before becoming an expert. These are the words my coding partner said to me when we started working together on our first project.

It’s been 4 months since I wrote my first line of code on Github. In the last 6 weeks of learning how to use HTML and CSS, I can build websites from scratch and integrate basic functionality into them. Project-based learning not only made this possible, but also much more efficient and easier for me.

I’ll share my experience with project-based learning and why you should go for it 100%. Before we begin, let’s get familiar with project-based learning.

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What is project-based learning

According to Robert Schuetz,

Project-based learning is an educational approach designed to enable students to develop knowledge and skills through engaging projects around challenges and issues they may face in the real world.

Keywords taken from the definition: “projects around the challenges and problems they may face in the real world”.

After each new topic I learned, I worked on a real project that demonstrated this concept. For example, one of the very first topics I worked on was learning how to embed images and videos on a web page. I created the YouTube Video homepage to illustrate my understanding of the subject.

During my 6 weeks of using project-based learning to learn to code, I was able to work on many interesting projects. Some of them included creating a replica of The Newsweek homepage, New York Times article, Apple homepage and many other amazing websites. (You can view these projects on my Github account).

It was more than just projects, it was learning by doing. I learned that it is a series of projects that mark the career of those who are masters in their field rather than years of service in a specific organization.

Benefits of project-based learning

  1. In addition to learning to code, I was developing a mastery of 21st century skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with others. These soft skills are what set each of us apart.
  2. Project-based learning increased my motivation to learn. I always looked forward to the next project I had to work on. This has sometimes caused me to get ahead of the game by working on a project before I have studied the actual target material, which is very bad practice. A lesson I learned the hard way.
  3. Compared to short-term memorization strategies, which I had practiced earlier in my studies for the past 5 years, project-based learning provided me with the opportunity to engage deeply with the content. target, in this case, HTML and CSS, emphasizing long-term retention. I slept at night and dreamed of what I could have done differently on my project before submitting it. But it only made me understand the concepts better and kept me engaged.

Challenges of project-based learning

I could only think of one challenge during my project-based learning experience. The ability to learn to accept uncertainty and discovery during the learning process. Just when I thought I had mastered a subject, I came across a section of the project where I had no idea what to do next.
take. I felt frustrated during those times, but at the end of the day, I had to
learn to feel comfortable being uncomfortable.

Microverse, a good starting point

My coding journey started with this awesome online platform called Microverse. Microverse is a global school for remote software developers where students learn through remote pair programming using the project-based learning approach.

During the program, we learn using a very unique approach – pair programming and collaborating with other students in real time, just as we would with colleagues if we were part of a distributed team in a real company. . This innovative and unique approach not only provides us with a responsible partner and an extensive global support network, but also helps us learn remote workflows and acquire the collaboration and communication skills necessary to join a global company.

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Pair-Programming, which consists of learning to code with a partner, has also been a considerable asset in my effective learning of HTML and CSS. My experience with my coding partners and standing team members from countries all over the world including Nigeria, Turkey, Ethiopia and Pakistan to name a few
a few would be a subject for another article.

If you want to join a community where you can get intense training in software engineering, head over to Microverse.org. If you are new to coding, enroll in the pre-course where you will learn web development and software engineering (FREE). If you are an advanced learner (you are comfortable with JavaScript or any other programming language) I would recommend the Fast Track program (you only pay once you complete the program and find an engineering job remote software).

Summary

Project-based learning is a great and effective way to learn new skills. It has many advantages over other learning styles, such as developing soft skills, increasing our motivation to learn, and emphasizing long-term retention. A great way to start learning web development is through Microverse. It works for me or you can find what works for you through Career Karma.

Credits

Photo by Artsy Crafty of StockSnap

Photo by Freestocks.org from StockSnap

Photo by Kristin Hardwick from StockSnap

Key words

James S. Joseph