Web development is among the few skills with growing demand and guaranteed job opportunities for decades to come. However, to most people, becoming a web developer seems impossible, confusing, and somehow inaccessible. Contrary to what most people believe, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in IT or computer science to create functional websites. However, you will have to learn several aspects of web development. Outlined below is a guide on how you can become a web developer in a few steps.
Simply put, web development involves creating websites and web applications that can be accessed over the internet. This encompasses every activity, including coding, undertaken to ensure that a website is functional. For a better understanding, web development is categorized as follows;
- Client-side – also called front-end development, this includes everything done to improve end-user experience. These are items that can be seen by a website visitor, such as color, layout, menu, contact forms, and font.
- Back-end or server-side development – without back-end development, your website won’t function. Back-end development deals with applications, servers, and databases.
- Database technology – websites rely on database technology. A website database contains content and files that power the website and store them in a way that can be retrieved, edited, organized, and saved easily. Website databases run on servers, and most websites use relational database management systems.
That said, the front-end, back-end, and database work hand in hand to ensure that the website functions properly.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 13% increase in web development jobs by 2028. This means that anyone with web development skills will have an easy time finding employment opportunities. That aside, below are the main benefits of becoming a web developer.
- Freedom to work remotely
- Use your skills to build your websites
- Ability to work independently
- Start a career in the tech industry
Become a web developer with the following four steps;
Learn the Basics of Web Development
Like any other profession, the first and most important step of any aspiring web developer is to learn the basics. Fortunately, you can leverage many channels and resources to master these basics. Currently, most enthusiasts prefer enrolling in coding Bootcamps, which shortens the learning period while speeding the process.
Coding Bootcamps are a great option since you can shift from a novice to a job-ready developer in three months. However, unlike online resources and other learning avenues, coding Bootcamps are quite pricey, with some web development Bootcamps costing between $4000 and $20,000 for three months.
Fortunately, you can use a scholarship or apply for Federal aid to fund your studies. For instance, veterans and service members are lucky, as they can benefit from GI Bill Benefits.
Choose Your Specialization
As you grow your web development skills, you should choose one area of specialization. As mentioned above, there are three web development categories. You can specialize in front-end development, back-end development, or full-stack/database development.
Learn Important Programming Languages
To better your web development skills, you should learn how to write codes. Programming languages are at the core of web development, and all website solutions should be coded using a programming language. Regardless of your chosen area of specialization, you should learn how to use various web-development programming languages.
If you haven’t coded before, learning the basics is easy. Besides, there are great online coding resources for beginners. That said, below are common programming languages for web development.
- HTML & CSS – these are important markup tools used to design interfaces and web pages. HTML is the backbone of web development, especially for those interested in front-end development.
- Other important languages include jQuery, Java, React.js, Bootstrap, PHP, MySQL, Ruby, and Node.js.
Work on Simple Projects and Build a Portfolio
With an understanding of the fundamentals of core web development skills, it is time to put them to work. Start by messing around with simple projects and advance to more challenging projects as you master these skills.
Build your portfolio as you complete these simple projects, as a portfolio is important when applying for web development jobs. As a pro tip, ensure that you build a diverse portfolio that highlights your best skills and shows versatility.
Find a Mentor
Having someone to guide your web development journey is prudent. Therefore, scout through the wide web development community and identify someone who can help you realize your goals.
This might be a family member, relative, or stranger from online web development communities. A mentor can guide or note errors in your work and keep you informed about recent updates.
The ever-increasing demand for websites makes web development a good career. The above tips can guide you as you make the first steps in web development. As you master your skills, don’t forget to practice often, as web development skills get better with repetition.