The internet has really opened up opportunities for self-teaching. Many great web developers have never so much as set foot into a college IT course (myself included) but instead, out of interest or necessity, learned to sling HTML, PHP, or whatever else, on their own.
Big thick tech books used to be my first step when learning a new technology, but where do you go once you understand the basics and you need a little help? Usually it’s Google searches that lead to discussion forums that require lot’s of weeding through bad answers and long threads. But recently some new resources have become available for developers who need a little help.
It’s always nice to have a forum you can go to when you run into a tough spot while developing software. Well, now that Stack Overflow launched (a few months back), developers can submit questions to a huge group of fellow coders. The suggestions are rated and the best answer rises to the top so you don’t have to dig through a ton of wrong answers to find the right one. It’s a great way to get answers and help others who are in need by sharing your expertise.
Refactor My Code
Have you ever wished you had a second set of eyes to look over some questionable code you cobbled together? Refactor My Code allows developers to submit code samples to other developers to have them critiqued and optimized. This is a great resource when you’re new to a language or platform and you just need a few pointers in highly specific situations.