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Has anyone ever told you you’re never too young or old to learn? Well, they were right. In fact, they were so right you should send them a fruit basket. Once you’ve completed that task, it’s time to embrace that sage advice as it applies to your web design career. Take a moment and consider your first web design class. Was it two years ago? Five? Ten? Even if it was last week, it’s a safe bet there has been a whole slew of new developments in web design.

As with most things online, you can’t put that genie back in the bottle. Instead, you need to do all you can to stay ahead of the curve. Translation: If you want to be competitive, then you’ve got to know what is happening out there before you next client does. Fortunately, there is a vast array of resources to tap into online and a lot of them are free. Imaging getting an education without ii costing a dime. Here’s how:

  1. Codecademy

Codecademy is a great resource for newbie web designers. Even the experienced pros can exercise some of their development muscles here. The name of the game is self-guided tutorials. You get all the 411 on front-end code and back-end languages, including Ruby on Rails and Python. Never heard of those? You better head over to Codecademy.

  1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy has a vast database of tutorials with experts chiming in on audio or video posts. It also features an on-screen window that allows you to follow along with the code creation as it happens. Nothing shady about that.

  1. Unsplash

Web design equals graphics equals amazing artwork. Yes, you can spend your time browsing through Flickr or Pinterest in search of the perfect image, or you can go to Unsplash for some truly amazing creative common photo collections. These are images that are meant to be seen and shared with the world. Quality is key here, and that is just the kind of A game you should be bringing to your design space.

  1. Pixlr

Stand by for a contradiction. You know all those amazing photos you’re going to snag off of Unsplash? Well, they might need some enhancement. If they don’t, then you’re sure to come across some images that do. The question then becomes: Will you have the right photoshop tools? You will if you spend time getting to know Pixlr. It says on the landing page, “Make every moment beautiful with our family of photo editing apps.” What more could you want?

  1. Mozilla Developer Network

It’s always good to learn from the best, as in someone who has an amazing web presence up and running. The gang behind the Firefox web browser has decided to share everything they know, which is quite a lot. The Mozilla Developer Network is a hub for web designers of all levels. After working your way through the tutorials here, you’re sure to expand your skillset. Perfect for boosting up the old resume.

Aside from all the help and knowledge you’re going to gain from these resources, there is something else you need to keep in mind. Pay it forward. These folks have put a lot of heart and soul into their apps, courses and tutorials. The day may come when someone will ask you for some help. Don’t let karma bite you. Give what you can. The universe will thank you. Namaste.

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