Find a website that you like? Steal it.
If you've been following this blog, you already know that as a web developer, one of the best things that you can do is to contribute to open source. It's where you learn how real-world projects are done and where you have direct access to other people online.
However, that's not the only thing that you can do. What is it? I mean, it's already in the title so there's no need for any suspense. It's stealing.
Ok, obviously I'm not saying that you should literally steal shit.
I mean more along the lines of Steal Like an Artist. If you haven't read it yet, it basically talks about how artists should "steal" ideas (really, learn) from other artists in order to grow.
Image from the book "Steal Like an Artist".
Sounds simple, right?
You can steal too
The same applies to you, fellow web friend. Getting exposed to different things can shape your tastes in programming and design. Reading a lot of code and seeing a lot of designs can really impact the way you work. This is true for any skill, so take time to absorb what's out there. It's not only true for programmers and designers, but for writers as well:
Make stealing a habit
Here are some things that you can do to make stealing a habit:
If you open up a website and you like the design, take a screenshot. Try to see what about it you like about it or how it makes you feel, even. Here are a few websites that I like myself:
If you have some extra time, open up DevTools to see how it's literally built. How are things structured and how are they styled. This one little widget that you've never seen before—how is it built? Think like a detective.
The Internet is absolutely filled with demos. If you run into a demo from Codepen or JSBin, bookmark it for later. The wonderful thing about this is that code is isolated. Think of it like a lab of sorts. It's easier to understand something when you can tweak, add, and remove things.
Now go ahead and steal some shit!