I finished a graphic and web design certificate in 2009 at the local Tech College and left being familiar with Adobe Premium and little else. I definitely did not have the polished skills to get be a graphic design nor the relevant skills to work a real job in web development. I think that is the point of certificate programs - to give you enough of an introduction so you are not completely lost in your independent study. Initially, I buried myself in textbooks that quickly became outdated. Eventually, I moved on to online learning which may have been a better, more affordable place to start.

My Favorite Educational Resources

OSTraining for Open Source Software

OStraining LogoYou may wonder why Lynda.com is absent from this list. I actually love Love Lynda.com, but for my money, OSTraining is a better value and has a more comprehensive overview of Joomla, Wordpress, and Drupal than Lynda does. Lynda covers a lot of topics whereas OSTraining pretty much just covers Open Source tools for your design and development projects. Their website is built in Joomla. The e-learning platform is an extension they built themselves and sell on their companion website, Joomlashack. They also cover Podcasting, graphic design and digital marketing tools such as Gimp and Mautic. They have new tutorials out every month and are quick to answer any questions you may have regarding their video tutorials. And If you are just starting, they also have basic courses on HTML, CSS, and Javascript. OSTraining might be the best place to get started.

Inkscape Courses on Udemy taught by István Szép

Udemy LogoUdemy courses are very hit-and-miss. Anyone can create one. One of the best instructors I've come across in Udemy is Inkscape instructor, István Szép. Inkscape is the Open Source alternative to Adobe's vector drawing program, Illustrator. If you want to create a logo with free software, Inkscape is the software you want to download and start to play with. István courses contain a tonne of good instruction that will help you design a logo, game art, and even your website mobile interface. He also has a youtube channel with plenty of free tutorials. Course Topics include:

  • Learn Inkscape now - create vector graphics for free!
  • Design video game logos with Inkscape from zero!
  • Creative logo design with Inkscape for free!
  • Create your graphics for a responsive website with Inkscape!
  • Create original vector game art with Inkscape for free! 

Great alternative to István Szép's Udemy courses: Logos By Nick Youtube Channel

Python for Everybody (Coursera)

Coursera LogoWhen I took Graphic Design for Web and Print at the local tech school, one of the required prerequisites was an Introduction to Programming. In my case, this was a $250 correspondence course that wasn't very good. I had to draw out all of my flowcharts on paper and then send them to my instructor by email. Pretty pathetic considering how far technology has come. Several years later, I was looking at taking Web Programming as a full-time program and stumbled upon the Coursera course Python for Everybody. This was one of the most fun courses I have ever taken online. It was also free! The course is an introduction to Python which, unfortunately, will not be applicable to building your first website. It will, however, give you some of the fundamentals necessary that you can later apply to web programming with PHP or another programming language. There is also a 5-course certificate program if you want to develop your programming skills further. I would highly recommend this if you are considering computer programming.  

Grav CMS (Tuts Plus)

Textpattern Solutions (Book)

Drawing Books by Harry Hamernik (Books)

ICT4D (TechChange)


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