How to Become a Web Developer  

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How to Become a Web Developer  

Web development is a rapidly expanding industry with a variety of job options. This guide will let you know what’s needed to become a web developer, whether you’re a total novice or have some experience.

Web development is the building and management of websites and online applications. Web developers cover a range of activities that can include creating a website’s code, design, and often a site’s content.

What a web developer should know

Web development offers a wide variety of job possibilities, each requiring a particular set of knowledge and abilities. Front-end development, which concentrates on the user-facing aspect of a website, is a speciality area for some web developers. Others focus on back-end development, which is concerned with a website’s server side. Others, referred to as full-stack developers, are adept at both front-end and back-end web development.

Any web developer must possess a few talents, regardless of their selected job route. These include a thorough knowledge of web development best practices and concepts and knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

While some people teach themselves web development, most find it easier to enrol in a coding course or bootcamp. In addition, plenty of internet resources can assist you in learning the skills required to excel in this industry, including tutorials, videos, and documents.

Front-End Development

Front-end development, also known as client-side development, focuses on the user-facing side of web development. 

This includes the design and layout of a website, as well as the user experience and interactivity. In addition, Front-end developers are responsible for creating the visual elements of a website, such as a layout, typography, and colours, as well as making sure the website is functional and easy to use.

The leading technologies used in front-end development are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

HTML

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is used to create the structure and content of a website. It defines the different elements on a web page, such as headings, paragraphs, and images.

CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) governs a website’s visual presentation. It enables developers to specify a website’s typeface, colour, and layout and construct responsive designs that adjust to different screen sizes.

JavaScript

JavaScript is used to create interactive and dynamic websites. It enables developers to construct user-interactive elements such as dropdown menus, pop-ups, and forms. It’s also commonly utilised in modern web development trends like creating Single Page Applications (SPA).

Front-End Tools & Frameworks

Front-end developers frequently utilise various tools and frameworks in addition to these critical technologies to make their work more accessible and efficient. Many front-end developers, for example, use CSS preprocessors like SASS or Less to make writing and maintaining CSS code easier. 

They also use JavaScript tools and frameworks such as jQuery and React to make developing interactive features easier.

Front-end developers must be well-versed in web development best practices and concepts, including accessibility, performance, and browser compatibility. They must also be able to collaborate closely with designers and back-end engineers to build a unified and seamless user experience.

In light of how web development is developing, it’s vital to highlight that the distinction between front-end and back-end development is fuzzing increasingly, and front-end developers are increasingly in charge of the logic and functioning of online applications.

Back-End Development

Back-end development, commonly referred to as server-side development, concentrates on a website’s fundamental functioning and the server-side logic that regulates how the data is shown to the user and includes the databases and servers that store and process the data displayed on a website.

The “brain” of a website, which consists of all of the server-side logic and functionality that enables a website to operate as intended, is created by back-end developers. This covers establishing database connections, managing user authentication, handling form submissions, and producing dynamic content.

Back End Languages

Back-end development primarily uses programming languages like Python, Ruby, Java, C#, and PHP. These languages create the server-side code that executes the necessary operations to generate the output sent to the client. 

Databases, which store the information displayed on a website, are another tool back-end developers use. MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL are popular databases used in web development. Back-end programmers query and manipulate the data kept in these databases using languages like SQL.

Back-end developers also use a variety of frameworks and libraries to facilitate the speedy creation and deployment of server-side applications. 

Ruby on Rails, ExpressJS, Laravel, and Django are a few examples that are frequently used. These frameworks offer pre-built functionality and libraries that simplify everyday back-end tasks.

A thorough understanding of online security is also necessary for back-end development, which safeguards the sensitive information that is frequently kept on a website. Back-end developers are in charge of guaranteeing secure data transmission and storage, as well as the defence of the website against common security risks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS) assaults.

Similar to front-end development, as the field of web development develops, the distinction between front-end and back-end development is becoming increasingly cluttered, and back-end developers are taking on increasing amounts of responsibility for the scalability and performance of the web application.

What Skills Does A Web Developer Need?

The particular abilities required will vary depending on the type of web development you’re interested in pursuing. Web development demands a wide range of skills. However, regardless of the kind of development they specialise in, all web developers must possess a few standard talents.  

HTML and CSS 

Firstly it is important to learn HTML and CSS. A webpage’s structure and content are created using HTML, which is the backbone of every website. However, a website’s visual presentation can be managed using CSS. To become a professional web developer, you should be well-versed in HTML and CSS and know how to combine the two to produce efficient, attractive websites.

JavaScript

The next step is learning JavaScript, a programming language to create interactive and dynamic websites. For example, developers can create dropdown menus, forms that respond to user input, and other interactive elements. It’s also widely used in recent web development trends, such as creating Single Page Applications.

Browser Developer Tools

Browser developer tools are another essential factor that will impact your web development journey; it is good to learn them. These tools help developers to examine and debug a webpage, which allows them to simplify problem-solving and is also valuable for debugging.

Responsive Design Concept 

Websites must be designed to look and work well on various screen sizes and resolutions due to the increased use of mobile devices to access the internet. Therefore, a competent web developer should be well-versed in the principles and practices of responsive design. 

Version Control Tools

Because they frequently work in groups, web developers must be able to communicate and share code. Git and other version control tools let programmers collaborate and track changes to their code.

Web Development Frameworks

Various web development frameworks, including React, Angular, and Vue.js, are available. A competent web developer should be knowledgeable about at least one of these frameworks and should be able to use them effectively to create web applications. Web development calls for many problem-solving abilities, from fixing a database performance issue to troubleshooting a plain javascript error. The ability to think critically and develop original solutions is a requirement for web developers.

Fundamental Online Security Concepts

It is also critical to understand online security to protect sensitive data routinely held on websites created for various reasons. A solid understanding of fundamental security concerns and how to handle them, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and cross-site request forgery attacks, can help you become a skilled web developer. 

Database Management and Server Administration Concepts 

In addition, a web developer should be knowledgeable in database management and server administration concepts. Although optional, understanding the fundamentals of database or server management will assist a developer in better understanding and troubleshooting web applications. 

These are essential talents for becoming a web developer, although many more depend on the stack and the firm you work for. Some businesses, for example, may require a web developer to be familiar with serverless computing or search engine optimisation.

Web Developer Career Paths 

Web developers have a variety of career paths they can pursue depending on their interests and skills. 

Front End Developer   

One of the career paths is to be a Front End developer. A front-end developer focus on the user-facing side of web development. 

Front-end developers use technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the visual elements of a website and make it functional and easy to use. 

Back-End Developer     

Back-end development is another career path that web developers can pursue. These developers concentrate on a website’s core functionality. They write the code that runs on the server and carry out the necessary operations to generate the result that is sent to the client using languages like Python, Ruby, Java, C#, PHP, etc. 

Full-Stack Developer    

Full-stack development is another career path aspiring web developers can take. A full-stack developer has a good understanding of both the front-end and back-end of web development. 

Full-stack developers can handle any task that comes their way and are at ease working with both client-side and server-side technologies. 

Specialised Developer   

A budding web developer may also choose to become a Specialised Developer. For example, one may choose to concentrate on creating web applications using the MEAN stack (MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS), the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP), the MERN stack (MongoDB, ExpressJS, ReactJS, and NodeJS), and so forth. 

Web Designer

A web developer may also experiment with web design and become an expert to pursue a career as a web designer. A designer is a professional who focuses on the visual design and layout of a website or web application. They concentrate on the aesthetics and structure of a website or web application. They produce wireframes and mockups with tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Figma and then collaborate with web developers to turn those designs into functional websites and web applications. 

Web designers frequently possess a deep understanding of design principles like typography, colour theory, layout, and user experience (UX) design, which entails making choices about a website’s or application’s appearance and feel based on how users will interact with it. 

Web Designer and Developer

Another career option for a web developer is to work as a Web Designer/Developer. Web developers/designers frequently work on both the front-end and back-end of web development projects. They can use their design and development knowledge to make informed decisions about a website’s or web application’s functionality and aesthetics. 

Web developers/designers can work full-time for a company or as a freelancer, working independently and on projects for various clients. Web Developer Project Manager is a career option for a web developer with project management experience. 

As the web development industry expands and projects get more complicated, some web developers transition into project management positions. They oversee the development team, deal directly with stakeholders, and ensure a project is completed on schedule and within budget. 

Web Developers are increasingly becoming Web Developer Entrepreneurs and pursuing this as a career path. Many web developers become entrepreneurs as starting a business online is becoming more accessible. They launch their businesses using their expertise in web development, either by producing their web products or providing web development services to other companies.

Web Developer Salaries

The salary for web developers can vary widely depending on the country, location, and experience level. In general, web developers earn a competitive salary, average salaries for developers are incredibly attractive, no matter where in the world you are based. It is essential to understand that the pay can depend on the experience level – however, entry-level salaries are still very attractive. 

For example, junior web developers just starting their careers might anticipate making less money than web developers with more expertise. However, they can anticipate seeing a considerable increase in their pay as they acquire more knowledge and skills.

Aside from that, web developers with specialised knowledge in security or e-commerce can frequently fetch better pay than those with more general skill sets. It’s also crucial to remember that many web development jobs offer additional perks, such as flexible working arrangements, remote working possibilities, and chances for professional advancement. These perks can significantly influence how appealing a position is for a developer.

Because the web development market is continually changing, there might be wide variations in web developer compensation. Therefore, you must do your homework and keep up with current industry trends and rates to ensure you’re given a fair and competitive salary.

New Trends in Web Development

Web development is a constantly evolving field, with new technologies and trends emerging all the time. 

Progressive Web Applications

One of the most recent trends in web development is Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs are web applications that look and feel like native mobile apps. They offer offline functionality and push notifications and can be installed on a user’s home screen without going through the app store. 

PWAs are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a more convenient and engaging user experience than traditional web apps. 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are seamlessly integrated into modern websites to make them more user-adaptive. Combining AI and ML into web applications provides more personalised experiences for users. 

Applications of AI and ML, such as chatbots, natural language processing, and image recognition, are becoming more common in web development these days. 

JavaScript Frameworks

Many JavaScript frameworks, such as React, Angular, and Vue.js, are becoming increasingly popular among web developers. These frameworks provide a set of pre-built libraries and functionality that make it easier to create complex web applications and integrate more functionalities simultaneously. 

Static Site Generators

Another new trend in web development technologies is Static Site Generators (SSGs). They’re used to build fast and secure websites by pre-building the HTML and delivering it directly to the browser instead of having the server handle the request each time. 

Some examples of SSGs are Next.js, Gatsby, and Nuxt.js. Serverless Computing is another widely accepted trend while building modern websites and is becoming increasingly popular as more companies move towards a cloud-based infrastructure. 

It allows developers to build and run applications and services without having to provision and manage infrastructure.

JAMstack

JAMstack is a new architecture for building web applications. It stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup, and it involves using pre-built and pre-rendered markup that can be served directly to the client without needing any server-side logic. 

Web accessibility is also becoming more critical as web developers pay more attention to making their web pages and apps usable by people with disabilities. This includes text alternatives for images, keyboard navigation, and proper headings structure. 

Web Components are a set of technologies that allow developers to create custom elements for web pages with a well-defined API for manipulating and interacting with them. These components allow for more reusability and better code encapsulation, resulting in more maintainable and scalable web applications. Additionally, web designers now use more motion UI effects to give users more interactive and immersive experiences. 

With just a few lines of code, web developers can create complex animations using libraries and frameworks for animation, like animate.css and react-spring. Web Assembly (WASM) is a binary instruction format for a stack-based virtual machine. It allows developers to run code in languages other than JavaScript on the web. 

This enables developers to take advantage of existing libraries and frameworks in different languages and improves web applications’ performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, web development is a rapidly growing field with many career opportunities. Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your career to the next level, the key to success in web development is to have a strong understanding of the core technologies and best practices of the field, as well as a willingness to learn and adapt as the industry evolves. This article outlines how to become a web developer clearly and concisely.

There are numerous web development job pathways available, ranging from front-end development to back-end development, each with its own set of talents and needs. Therefore, it’s critical to discover your abilities and interests before pursuing a career route that matches them.

Overall, web development is an exciting and rewarding field with many career opportunities. With the right skills, you can land a great job and enjoy a lucrative career in this rapidly growing field.

Become a web developer – coding basics for free

If you have no software development experience, then try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. This challenge can offer you some insights into HTMLCSS & JavaScript. The best thing about the challenge, besides learning the basics, is that it’ll let you know if you have an aptitude for software development. After one hour a day, over five days, you’ll build your first webpage. Register for this weekly challenge through the form below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about our Full Stack Software Development programme, follow this link

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