Web developers face an always changing online environment. A web developer manages everything that happens behind the scenes to make websites and web programs function properly. To understand the dynamic position, there are necessary web developer courses available to learn the ropes. However, the changing environment means that web developers must constantly be learning and updating their skills.
A web developer’s work can be as simple as building a landing page to being as complex as creating a multi-layered ecommerce website or web application platform. Since the digital world continues to expand, web developers have high job growth prospects and often receive lucrative salaries to commensurate their work.
Before getting started as a web developer, there are many skills and courses to hone, as well as degrees to obtain. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about coding and web development from the necessary skills to the different coding languages you can learn.
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How to Become a Web Developer
First things first, becoming a web developer means obtaining an education with technical skills. Whether that is done at an institution, online university, or by taking online web developer courses, you will want to first choose the specialization that interests you.
Although there is no formal education directly surrounding web development, there are degrees that overlap to teach the skills, like Computer Science. As such, an associate’s degree is generally the basic requirement to land a position in the field, but it is not the only way to start coding.
More importantly, it’s imperative to practice coding by taking courses and developing your skills. From there, you can create a portfolio to showcase your work and present to prospective employers or clients, if you choose to work as a freelance web developer.
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There are many coding languages you can learn, and each serves a different purpose. Along with soft skills like good communication, attention to detail and organization, coders and web developers need to have a strong grasp on coding languages to make sites and applications come to life.
Some of the languages include:
Python is an “object-based” language that is clear and intuitive. It is extremely useful for back-end development and is at the forefront of machine learning and scientific computing programs.
Java is compatible across platforms and one of the most widely used programming languages as a result. A majority of Fortune 500 companies run their back-end programs using Java and it also powers Android’s operating system.
Initially designed to maintain personal home pages, PHP runs more than 80% of websites today. It is used to create dynamic websites and is free and easy to set up for new programmers.
Ruby is a flexible language that allows for you to build more with less lines of code. However, given this fact, it’s not the easiest to maintain, but it is gaining popularity with the Ruby on Rails framework.
For more on coding languages, you can check out this resource here.
Skills You’ll Need to Know
Beyond having a strong grasp on programming languages, you’ll need other skills to be a successful web developer. Here’s a look at some of the technical skills required to pursue a career in the field:
Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, are instructions that tell a website how it should look, ranging from fonts to colors.
These frameworks exist to help developers maintain industry best practices. An example of a CSS framework is Bootstrap.
Responsive Web Design:
Since so much web browsing occurs on mobile devices these days, developers must know how to create websites that function and render properly across various screen sizes. This is known as responsive web design, and it’s become an industry standard practice.
As developers create websites, they need to make sure they establish proper version control so they can easily backtrack if need be.
Every website should be tested for bugs before going live. Once live, websites require proper and continued maintenance and security protocols to ward off data breaches and hacks.
By studying web development and programming courses online or at your college, you’ll take many courses to prepare you to know the necessary coding languages and technical skills.
Some of the common core coursework includes:
- HTML 5
- The Structure of a Webpage
If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, here are some great resources to check out to get you on your way! And better yet, they are free.
- CodeAcademy: Learn to code for free
- Coursera: Offers free online classes from universities around the world
- Khan Academy: Choose from a variety of topics, including Computer Programming
Additionally, here are some downloadable resources that can help you along the way:
- Web Design and Beyond (e-book)
- HTML and CSS From the Beginning (paid course)
- CSS Grid (free video training)
Becoming a web developer requires discipline and hard work. Whether you choose to enroll in a degree program like Computer Science and learn the basics of programming and supplement with development courses, or choose to leverage specific courses like the aforementioned; you will enter a profession that requires adaptability and the constant desire to learn. Since websites are always evolving, you can rest assured knowing that no day will be the same.
If you do choose to study Computer Science, you can enroll in online universities that are tuition-free. For example, University of the People offers a dynamic program that can help lay the foundation you need to pursue a career in web development and coding. Courses include: Programming 1 and 2, Web Programming 1, Software Engineering, Databases and a whole lot more.
With or without a formal education, you can choose to work for an employer or have multiple clients as a freelancer. Regardless of where you work as a web developer, you will help to bring people’s vision to life and connect a global world through your digital creations!