Library Blog

Expanding Skills: Introducing Web Development

Learning how something works can serve many purposes: it can lead to understanding or a new career, it can help you better run your business, or find a new hobby. It has become increasingly more apparent the role of technology in our lives over the last few months. Whether advertising a product, offering online services, or starting a personal web site, understanding how to communicate using technology is easily becoming as necessary as learning how to maintain your own car was 100 years ago.

No matter why you find yourself interested in the topic, there are a lot of great resources available to help you gain skills in the fundamental building blocks of websites including Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Java, and more. Further, web development is considered a great first step if you are interested in computer programming, app development, etc. The following are some great resources available to you:


freeCodeCamp has been around for over five years and provides certificates of completion in areas including: Responsive Web Design, Javascript Algorithms and Data Structures, Front End Libraries, Data Visualization, APIs and Microservices, and Information Security and Quality Assurance.

I found the way that freeCodeCamp presents its material to be interesting…as well as challenging! Rather than downloading and learning new software to learn web development, freeCodeCamp has designed this cool interface that has you writing code directly into their web site. With the added benefit of seeing if your code works in real time!

Did I forget to mention that freeCodeCamp is free?

The Odin Project

The Odin Project is the center of a free, open source coding curriculum that started around eight years ago. Along with developing their own lessons, The Odin Project will also link out and utilize other free lessons that are run by other programs. For example, I was linked out to freeCodeCamp while working through a lesson in The Odin Project!

This site is focused purely on web development through their three learning tracks: Front End Development, Full Stack Javascript, and Full Stack Ruby on Rails. These programs are intense and in-depth. Along with learning about coding a web site, it will also teach you about Linux (the operating system preferred by many web developers), specialty coding text editors like Atom, and GitHub the go-to collaborative tool for programming teams.

The Odin Project is also free. Noticing a theme?


Lynda, now a division of LinkedIn, is a massive source of learning on topics ranging from business to audio engineering. It also provides a lot of lessons on web development. Learning on Lynda is free through your membership to the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County!

In an attempt to adjust to the rapidly changing business and job environment, the Business and Investment Center will focus more on technology; however, if there is any content at all that you would like to see covered or if you have any questions that I can help with please reach me at

Ed Koltonski

Edward Koltonski is the Business & Investment Center librarian. To schedule an appointment, call 330-744-8636 or email the Business & Investment Center librarian at