How Long Does It Take To Learn HTML?

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CyberBotMachines Offers New Free PDF With Tips on Learning HTML

HTML and JavaScript code screenshot
Whatever you’re learning - you’ll need less time if there are fewer things to learn.

For anyone who is pondering on a question: how long does it take to learn HTML, here are some tips and tricks on learning HTML that can accelerate the process of getting from zero to the first published website.

Imagine knowing only 4 HTML tags that could do more than half of all the work related to building web pages. That wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to learn, right? Having to learn all 142 HTML tags would take some time. However, in 7+ years of development experience, something became clear: these 4 tags (div, a, span, img) are all that is needed on a day-to-day basis.

This PDF Guide contains practical code examples showing how to use these 4 HTML tags. And with that info, anyone can start making websites in no time.

One thing is for sure:

“Whatever you’re learning - you’ll need less time if there are fewer things to learn.”
-- Will Veic (Senior Software Developer)

ANSWER

So to give a direct answer: it would take weeks to learn all of HTML with the intention of going through the documentation and full-blown tutorials. Another way is to focus on practicing 4 essential HTML tags and learn them in a single afternoon.

BAD NEWS

The real tragedy happens after investing a lot of time, energy, and struggle into learning the entire HTML and ending up not using 95% of that exact HTML. But there is another issue when taking the traditional route and trying to learn everything. Problem is, HTML on its own is not enough to develop modern websites. CSS and JavaScript are also crucial parts of any website today. Think of it like a house: it has a foundation (HTML), the walls (CSS), and the roof (JavaScript). No part is more important than the other but if any one of them is missing then the house (website) cannot be completed.

In conclusion: going through tutorials and trying to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript would take a long long time. HTML would take weeks, CSS would take even more weeks and JavaScript would take months to learn.

LUCKILY - THERE'S GOOD NEWS

Focusing on the most important parts of HTML, CSS, and JS, a considerable amount of time can be saved while still preserving the ability to build a very wide range of websites. So now, instead of taking months, it is possible to learn the most important parts of HTML, CSS, and JS in a matter of days. To be more specific, there are (in total) only 17 essential concepts to learn. There are 4 HTML tags, 12 CSS properties, and just one short JavaScript code snippet that can be copied and pasted whenever and wherever necessary.

And that’s it.

And to be very clear, it is possible to do more than half of all the work regarding web development with these 17 tags/properties/keywords. After 7 years of programming career, it became apparent that those were the most used keywords.

HOW TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN HTML?

Only beginner programmers try to become experts. Experienced programmers focus on being proficient with the most important concepts. Truth be told, everyone has this same question when starting a programming career. Most people go through a lot of tutorials and learn probably about 70-80 HTML tags. And then after 7 years of coding, no one knows more than 30.

Why?

Because the other 50 are never really used and fall out of memory. Meaning a lot of time is wasted in the beginning when programmers start to learn HTML. So when presented with just 4 HTML tags to learn, it should not be immediately assumed that some very important info is missing. Because it’s not.

Focusing on important concepts will advance the career of an aspiring programmer much faster. And if something pops up that is unfamiliar, then googling is a perfectly reasonable approach. Experienced programmers refuse to memorize any single thing if it’s only used once or twice a month. So why would beginners try to do it differently?

HOW TO LEARN HTML FASTER?

There was a personal discovery made fairly early in the programming career and it totally transformed and accelerated the coding progress. The progress would be even faster if these 17 keywords mentioned in this article were available back then, but there's no use crying over spilled milk. The key insight was that unlike in school, where the goal is to try to remember everything, in programming this should not be done at all. In fact, actively trying to forget would be a much better strategy.

What is required is practice - i.e. learn by doing.

Realization struck when trying to learn HTML and CSS: it is best to do it by building small websites for practice. And, for example, if the same HTML tag or the same CSS property is used over and over again - then it is impossible not to remember it. And if something is used very rarely then it’s not a big deal to Google it once or twice a month.

That was really mind-blowing and at the same time, it felt like a huge relief. Because programming became fun and relaxing activity. There was no need anymore for continuous strain while trying to remember keywords, and at the same time, learning became faster. And that was totally unexpected.

Why wasn't this technique introduced earlier (especially in school)? There is probably no good answer to that question but at least now this learning hack is available to a lot more people. And this technique is not only applicable when trying to learn HTML but also in other fields. It would be interesting to see it applied in other areas as well.

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?

1) Well the first step would be to start practicing the 4 essential HTML tags (div, a, span, img). And maybe to learn practical examples from this PDF Guide on additional subjects like CSS, and JavaScript.

2) Second step would be to relax and stop trying to memorize everything.

3) Last step is to learn by doing. Just starting small. Building the first small personal website and seeing how quickly the knowledge can grow using techniques described in this article.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Many people quit programming because usually there are a lot of things to learn before any actual results can be visible. This is no longer the case because now with the 4 key HTML tags (17 in total including CSS and JavaScript) it is possible to build a fairly advanced website. And the results, in the form of a good-looking published website, can be visible within a day or two.

Will Veic
Senior Software Developer
https://www.cyberbotmachines.com

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Will Veic
@CyberBotMachine
since: 08/2021
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