Tactile Blog

Shaun’s ‘Teach HTML in 4 weeks’

With roughly 10 months of available time, and a bevy of subjects to teach, it's no surprise that HTML was only given 4 weeks of time, especially when compared with the weight of learning JavaScript and React (6 months total!).

Easy to learn, difficult to master

HTML, on the surface, appears to be a simple language to learn, and a potentially even easier language to master. I'm sure many developers start off with this mindset, and it shows in their afterthoughts towards HTML.

HTML started as my focus when I started making websites back in 1998, after spending some of my pocket money on Sam’s Teach Yourself HTML in 24 hours.

Sams Teach Yourself HTML in 24 hours

5 years later, CSS took up most of my time, but the knowledge of HTML always help laid good foundations.

But back to that perceived simplicity, it's simple to get something done, but the depth to HTML has proved it's difficult to master.
Even today, after working on the web for 22 years, I'm still learning things about HTML that are mindblowingly effective.

Take the humbling button for instance. Did you know you can associate it with a form, even if it is outside of that form?
You can also modify the form's method and action attributes. Or bypass HTML5 form validation. Think about how many JavaScript libraries there are available to do this very same thing. Here's looking at you Rails-UJS. *glares*

These attributes (form and formaction) have been around for decades.

Every day I'm reminded how little I know about HTML.

You've come a long way Kid

HTML has turned out to be a beautiful declarative solution to a complex reliability and performance problem that is the Web, especially after the Blue Beanie standardisation efforts.

4 weeks? Nay, a lifetime!

While we only had 4 weeks on paper, I'm using every opportunity to touch up on HTML knowledge and techniques as we go. CSS and JS by nature is dependent on HTML. To write good CSS you need good HTML. So our CSS exercises always include a little HTML too.

Regarding those 4 weeks of HTML, Onja had to make a call… if Onja wants to be successful, we need to cater to the market and that market is screaming for contract React Developers.

But I'm banking on the future working effectiveness of our students not as React developers, but as Web developers.