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How to Become a Web Developer

Gabriela Crothers  /  August 24, 2021  /  
How to Become a Web Developer

If you’re wondering whether you can possibly cut it as a web developer, we have news for you- it’s possible! The basics and essentials you need to become a good web developer don’t need to stump you- we have covered it all here. Talking to the experts in web development, we have compiled a thorough list of all you need to know on the road to becoming a web developer.

Familiarize Yourself With the Basics

  1. Become an Expert at HTML

“The first step to becoming a web developer is to familiarize yourself with the basics. Get a clear understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript because these are the three languages you'll use for websites if you learn web development. You might want to start by following this video series on Hacking with Code Teaching Kids Web Development (which also includes excellent coverage in Python). (Joydeep Ghosh)

“It's helpful if you become comfortable editing it by hand as well as through your favorite text editor so that you can debug easily when things go wrong or play around creatively when they go right. But don't worry too much about things going wrong! The more you play around with HTML, the stronger your knowledge will be.” (Joydeep Ghosh)

  1. Learn CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

“It is one of the most important aspects of web development. It's what organizes a website's layout and ultimately decides its style. CSS is used to define how website components are positioned on the screen and look with one another and the page content. It dictates everything from where paragraphs rest on the screen, whether your site uses a fixed or liquid layout, font size preferences, text spacing, default colors for links, etc. 

“Whenever somebody visits your site, this code determines how it will be displayed for them – so if you want your homepage color scheme or fonts to match your brand personality, try playing around with some simple CSS rules!” (Joydeep Ghosh)

  1. Learn JavaScript

“It has been a core part of the web for the past few years, so it's essential to learn at least a little JavaScript if you're interested in being a professional Web developer or designer. If you want to work as an HTML and CSS developer, your knowledge of JavaScript is necessary because JavaScript runs inside the browser implementing the programming logic needed to function correctly for any web application. 

“This means that if your website contains anything like Facebook Connect, you need to know the script and dynamic content like live chats and interactive buttons that some sites use often require JS.” (Joydeep Ghosh)

  1. Select Your Specialization

“These 3 are the main fundamental languages you need to learn to become a web developer.” says Joydeep Ghosh, “Once you learn all those things now, all you need to do is select your specialization. There are three specializations available;

  • Front-End Developer

“A Front-End Developer generally works on the client-side of web development, meaning any portion of the site or app users interact. This can include a site's layout, design, and the way users interact with it.” 

  • Backend Developer 

“Next is the Back End Developer. The Backend developers work on the server-side of web development. They mainly take care of how the site functions; their job includes databases, servers, networks and hosting, and more.” 

  • Full-Stack Developer. 

“A Full-Stack Developer is familiar with both front-and back-end development and works with both sides of a website.”

Joydeep Ghosh, Co-Founder and Overseer at MediaScrolls.com

  1. Learn Programming

“Always have a project you're working on. Don't learn to program, learn programming as a tool To Build Something.” (Greg Gasperi)

  1. If You Work Well Under Pressure, Create Some For Yourself

“Freelance and build something for someone else, as early as possible. Make sure they pay you, even if initially it's less than they would pay someone more experienced.” (Greg Gasperi)

  1. Pick One Stack And Stick With It

“It does not matter which tools you use, but how well you know them. There are new languages and frameworks coming out all the time- you will not be left behind if you pick something that is not the flavor of the month.” (Greg Gasperi)

  1. Don't Go Your Way Alone

“It's doable, but so much harder. Join a bootcamp, or a free online curriculum such as The Odin Project or freeCodeCamp. Go to local meetups for your programming language of choice. When you meet someone you look up to, ask them to mentor you.” (Greg Gasperi)

  1. Don't Gloss Over The Fundamentals 

“CSS and HTML might seem simple or boring, but understanding how they work in depth will often speed you up considerably, save you from reinventing the wheel, and let you focus on the more fun programming tasks.”

Greg Gasperi is the founder and CTO of clarafinds.com

  1. Learn Web Design Theory

It's critical to master core principles initially while learning a new discipline. Well-designed websites adhere to stringent UX design principles, resulting in excellent usability and aesthetic appeal. A good UX design will keep users on your site longer, whereas a terrible one will send them elsewhere. 

“You must first study the rules of website organization before attempting to develop something. Anyone interested in becoming a web designer should learn how to build clear and solid information architecture.”

Good Reads for Web Development

“Begin by reading the following books to gain this knowledge: 

  • Steve Krug's book Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.
  • Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things
  • Peter Morville's Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites

It's critical to understand colour theory and the fundamentals of visual hierarchy to build a visually appealing web design. The Daily UI Challenge is an amazing design activity that promises to make you a better designer in 100 days. Give it a shot. Because web design is a constantly changing subject, you can expect to learn something new regularly.”

Anthony Mixides, Managing Director bondmedia.co.uk

  1. Learn How to Code

“Working in the web design profession without knowing any programming languages will be difficult. Of course, website builders such as Wix or Squarespace can be used to design a website. When you simply deal with site builders, though, you will struggle to understand the web's capabilities. 

“Knowing how to code will provide you with numerous advantages. You'll be able to get a much better notion of if your design is technically possible, for example. 

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are required (Cascading Style Sheets). The structure and content of a page are defined by HTML, while the style options are defined by CSS. W3schools has two tutorials that I recommend: an HTML tutorial and a CSS tutorial. 

Learning JavaScript is also recommended because it is one of the most in-demand programming languages. Using JavaScript, making advancements in websites will be much easier. JavaScript courses are available for free on most major learning platforms. Check out Codecademy and Udacity's introduction to JavaScript courses. Learning to code will make your job as a web designer a lot easier.”

Daniel Foley, Founder of Daniel Foley SEO

Get the Right Tools

“In any industry, mastering the necessary tools is the first step toward success. Without familiarity with industry-standard tools, you can't expect to be a great web designer.” says Daniel F. Carter, “However, because web design is such a vast topic, web designers must be knowledgeable with a variety of design elements, including: 

  1. Designing Graphics

“Even though web design and graphic design are two distinct areas, web designers frequently need to dip into graphic design to solve a design problem. As a result, knowing how to use a graphics editor like Adobe Photoshop is critical. Image editing — scaling or cropping photos to fit within particular places or compressing images to make them more suitable for web viewing- is the most typical task web designers perform in graphics editors.” (Daniel F. Carter)

  1. Prototyping 

“Web design relies heavily on prototyping. Web designers with strong prototype abilities don't have to wait for the finished web design to confirm their assumptions; instead, they may do so in minutes. Check out Mockplus, a great prototyping tool. It is possible to develop a fully interactive prototype in minutes with Mockplus.

Coding: As I have stated, site designers should be able to code. Invest in an excellent coding editor like Sublime or Atom.” (Daniel F. Carter)

  1. CMS

“Web designers should also learn about CMS (Content Management System), which is software that is used to develop and manage digital web content. CMS makes the process of content management considerably more pleasant for site owners. While there are dozens of CMS options available today, the three most popular are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. It is critical to have hands-on expertise with one (or all) of the systems. 

“You can begin with simple tasks like making modest changes to the site's design and progress to more sophisticated tasks like designing a website template or developing a plugin.”

Daniel F. Carter, SEO Expert at LoveStruck

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