I’ve been working with a student intern lately, sort of showing him the ropes while at the same time picking his brain about what’s covered in his curriculum. It’s interesting (and somewhat disheartening) to see the disconnect between what I consider essential and what’s actually being taught; although to be fair, I think that his is not strictly speaking a web development curriculum. More on this later.

At one point early on, we had a long chat in which I tried to convey my strong conviction that any web developer or designer worth their salt should be more than passingly familiar with basic web standards like XHTML and CSS, and of course accessibility.

Considering how often I’ve been having this conversation lately, I started putting together a list of resources I consider essential, to serve as both introductory material and a handy reference. Working on the list has been a valuable experience: it’s really driven home how important it is to have a solid foundation in these basic, core competencies, and how often I mistakenly assume that everyone shares this common base. (It’s also helped me clean out my bookmarks.)

No sooner had I begun work than Mark Newhouse started writing about these very things in his blog, then combined the separate posts into a tidy little article on Real World Style: A Three-Legged Stool.

So there it is. Couldn’t have said it better myself.