UX Designer Seeking Coding Mentor with CSS/HTML/JNode/Angular/GitHub


I was just informed in my current day job that I will be asked to code (not my forte or up to speed on), ASAP. My past work has been design (Omnigraffle, Adobe PS, Illustrator, etc.) and on the creative end and not a ton of any coding, which is what I was initially hired to do, but I would like to keep my job.

I have had coding in the past, database experience, etc., and enough HTML/CSS to understand the premise to design, but I admit I’m a bit freaked with how to come up to speed quickly in a realm of all developers that speak a different language and assume if you design, you code.

I plan to use www.lynda.com, [URL=“http://www.w3schools.com”]www.w3schools.com, [URL=“http://www.codeschool.com”]www.codeschool.com, etc., but it’s the hands-on that is the real scenario of application.

Anyone else in an environment using GitHub, Angular, JNode, along for their CSS/HTML styling, etc.? I would be more than grateful.

Thanks so much in advance!


Hey there,
Welcome on board. :slight_smile:

I can help you out there. I manage another forum (SitePoint) specifically for people learning to code. You can find it here.

SitePoint has an affiliate company called Learnable which is an online learning site. Have a look at it, and if you’re interested I’m sure I can hook you up with a free month trial.


Thanks so much! Taking a look now.


The site looks like it has content listed for specific issues to dig through. I believe I’m looking for some insight and direction of personal experience and the best route take to for the next steps.


Ah, ok. I’m sure we can help out. Do you have specifics on what you’re expected to learn?


I’ve been given notice, as my contract is over on funding. I feel I need to come up to speed on all of the CSS/HTML, Bootstrap, etc. Probably good to see how AngularJS and GitHub are actively being used and I need to get back into design coding aspect of things so I can keep current and confident. Not feeling so much right now.



I’m not directly in this area, but have been teaching myself HTML/CSS as I wasn’t sure whether I would need it or not to get my next job. I did a few courses on Udemy, which was quite good, and have played around with bootstrap, looked at foundation and ionic. I think for me the most helpful thing was practicing, so my advice would be to either:

  • create a few web pages up in illustrator, and practice using the different frameworks to make them.
  • create a few sketches and practice using different frameworks to make them.

This way, you can practice starting from high fidelity mock ups, or low fi, and then making them responsive by working with the grid systems, or working with just HTML/CSS. I found this helped me more than just following along in lessons that tell you how to do everything. In terms of javascript, angular, and sass models, I’m not so certain where to start and would be interested in other people’s opinions too (as I’d like to start integrating them into the things I’ve learned)!

CoDrops and SmashingMagazine are great resources for how to do interactions and some coding things.


You’ll definitely find support in terms of direction on the coding side of things at SitePoint. Matt may have some insight as well, I’ll send him this way.


Thanks so much! Since I’ve posted, things have evolved:

I interviewed for a graphics biz development (GBD) position within a sister company (which I’m pretty confident with doing, wouldn’t need to change much, just move buildings, keep my laptop), most likely a 30-40% pay cut, while being offered other interviews with some good companies, but have about 48 hrs to figure out my plan.

I am finding talking to other companies looking for a UI/UX Designer are asking to do CSS/HTML and I feel very junior and inexperienced there, other than doing some training with it years ago. I will be taking action to learn as much as possible that I can with all of it. Thanks for the your extra input, Natalie! I’ve done a lot of Photoshop/Illustrator, etc., coming up with the design, doing research, etc., then someone else has previously been doing any/all of the coding.

My dilemma to decide in the next 24-48 hrs:

  1. Take the more-than-likely (and easy job to do…one more interview with that tomorrow) GBD position, continue to train as much as I can for a few months with CSS/HTML, Bootstrap, Angular, etc., to feel more comfortable, and possibly risk getting out of the my UI/UX career?

Whether it’s a go or not, the company is seeing if they would be able to accommodate getting a little closer to not cutting my salary as much (but not determined yet)

  1. Still interview with other companies for around my current salary and risk showing up that I am not up to remembering a lot of CSS, where to start again, if that is the expectation?

I’ve had one already send me a simple test and I know it would take me longer to figure out and send back, but would they also be expecting more coding? Wasn’t my original impression speaking with one of the designers, but it must be an expectation, have been sent a simple test.

  1. Continue interviewing with my current skill set, just letting them now I can do small tweaking with current CSS/HTML using Firebug, etc., but am more in the are with coming up with what something could look like for with wireframes, design mockup with Photoshop/Illustrator/Omnigraffle, etc., supporting research.

Thanks again for all of your input!


Wow, huge decision. I don’t feel qualified to tell you what to do, but my philosophy has always been to give everything a try with confidence and transparency.
I transitioned from an architect to a programmer to a community manager and I am self taught (not the architecture bit). I told my employers that I was keen to give it a go and they took a chance.
There were definitely times that I felt in over my head, but that’s where the transparency is important.

Don’t sell yourself short. :slight_smile:


Thank you, Hawk! Appreciate the input and honest response with personal experience. I admire your trying it out! Thanks for the pep talk and I will take that with me to my interviews tomorrow. :slight_smile: I am keen to always learning.


I’ll promise not to rant too much about companies who are polluting the UX title with stuff like this…but… I don’t know what the job market is like where you are, but the market here (in the Netherlands) is desperate for all sorts of UX types, it is also always a good place for developers - which is seemingly what you’re being asked to become!

If your company is wanting to change your position, and you are happy to do that, then they should be sending you on the training courses to ensure that you get up to speed too!

I can (and do) code, but I tend to now do it only on my own projects - at my workplace I find that I can get the point across really quickly and easily using Axure when it comes to the prototyping stages. If you have to produce code at the end, then tools like Macaw do not really push out clean usable code, so if you do have to produce code too, then I think hitting the text editor is perhaps the best way forward.

The specifics: GitHub looks intimidating, but it truly isn’t. Download either Github for Mac, or Github for Windows, and then do a search for a tutorial on how to use that app. I’ve found that I don’t actually do any commits directly at Github, but do everything in this app - it is super user friendly, and you’ll pick it up in no time!

I have no experience with Angular, but for SASS, I can totally recommend this book - http://sassandcompass.com/ - If you know CSS then you will be fine - there is also a book out on A Book Apart, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. You’ll find with SCSS that it will improve your code, then you’ll have a ‘aha’ moment, and you’ll realise better ways to do what you want to do. It actually makes CSS more fun.

Hope this helps, but like I alluded to, I hope that you go in the direction that you want to be going in. Good luck!


Thank you, Dean! Appreciate your perspective, understanding, and ideas. I was let go from my company Wednesday, given a severance package, and the written verbiage, “due to lack of work/funding”. The company is taking its last project forward with only developers, no designers.

I’m taking advantage to cram in as much learning, still, that I can while looking, as this has been an interesting situation and along with all of your comments to read and continue understanding, I’m not crazy for wondering about the misunderstanding of UX design.

I’ll be broadening my skill set and have already started yesterday, learning CSS and how its evolved.

I’ve interviewed this week with a few companies that actually do understand what UX Design is, and of course, plenty that want you to develop with the understanding, " Well, if you design, you code your design, too.". Been a rude awakening of expectations and good lessons learned.

I heard of Sass and will will be doing tutorials on all of these things you have all mentioned. Good to utilize a few more brain cells. :slight_smile:

Thanks, all!