How to get started with Web Development

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Web Development still is one of the fastest-growing industries and there’s a huge demand for people able to code. Jobs in Web Development or Software Development in general usually pay a good salary and the best thing about it is: It’s not that hard to get started. 

Go ahead and also watch this tutorial on youtube:

In this article, we want to give you a rough outline on what you need to learn to get started as a web developer and where you can learn all the necessary skills for free. 

We are aware of the fact, that there are many videos out there addressing the same problem, but most of them seem to miss some of the most important aspects for beginners. Like where to start learning for free and how to actually learn all of the required technologies as fast as possible. 

Where to start – The basics

Let’s start with the basics. In order to become a Web Developer, you have to familiarize yourself with all the fundamentals first. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a frontend, backend, or full-stack developer, you have to learn the core basics before jumping into advanced topics. 

Those fundamentals include a good understanding of the way websites work and operate. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to start with learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript. 

Onlinecourses for learning HTML/CSS

To get started with HTML and CSS, we recommend you take the responsive web design certification course on freeCodeCamp.org. It’s completely free and teaches you all the important information through great interactive lessons. Some lessons can be completed in just a few minutes whilst others may take a bit longer, but you can always fit a few lessons in your day. 

It’s important to note that you definitely don’t have to be an expert in those languages to get started. You don’t even need to know all the advanced HTML tags or CSS animations and so on. The key to learning web development is to build projects. When you know all the basic stuff of HTML and CSS, you can already build cool looking websites for yourself or maybe even a friend or some small companies in your town. 

You see, you could potentially start earning money as a freelance web developer without even touching the more complex parts of JavaScript or Server-side languages. 

To put it in a nutshell, start with the basics of HTML and CSS. When you know some basic stuff in these languages, go ahead and build some projects. After you feel confident enough, start learning the fundamentals of JavaScript. 

Learning JavaScript online

This might be one of the most difficult things you have to learn, especially if you never used another programming language before. Again, we recommend you use freeCodeCamp.org to learn the basics of JavaScript. We recommend the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification to get started. Please don’t be afraid of completing the whole certificate, but for the start, it’s enough to just complete the JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification module. This module has over 100 lessons and teaches you all the fundamentals you need to know. 

The whole process of learning the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript might be the most difficult thing when learning Web Development. Depending on your learning speed and the amount of time you can put in every day, this should take you somewhere from a few weeks to a few months, but trust me, it’s definitely worth the struggle. 

Where to go next?

By now, you should be able to develop small applications and cool websites. You have a few options on where to go next. 

At this point, you’ll need to make a decision. Do you want to become a frontend, backend, or full-stack developer? Although it doesn’t mean that you should avoid learning anything from the other side of the technology stack, you should primarily focus on the path you chose for the beginning. 

Frontend development

Choosing frontend development means, that you will focus on the client-side of web projects, which means that you’ll primarily work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You’ll also have to learn the core fundamentals of concepts like HTTP Requests or AJAX. Furthermore, you want to get familiar with frontend libraries and frameworks, such as Bootstrap or materialize.css for styling and react, angular, or vue.js for creating single-page applications.  

There are many more things to learn, but this should be a good starting point to become a frontend developer. 

If you choose to learn bootstrap and react, freeCodeCamp.org has your back again. The Frontend Libraries Certification course teaches you exactly what you need to learn for the beginning. If you rather want to learn something else, just go online and search for it, there will be plenty of free resources out there. 

One thing to remember is, that Google and especially YouTube is your friend when coding. Even experienced senior developers have to use Google every day at work, so please don’t hesitate to look things up when you don’t know how to solve something yourself. 

If you learned the fundamentals I described before congratulations. With all the knowledge and skills you have by now, you can start applying for jobs as a junior developer. Again, it depends on the time you spend every single day on learning and coding but getting to this point can take you anywhere from a few months up to a year. 

Backend development

Backend development means focusing on the server-side aspects of web projects. Much like frontend web development, you’ll have to learn the fundamentals first when becoming a backend developer. Those fundamentals may include things like working with Databases or building APIs.  

In backend development, there are many ways to achieve the same goal. To not get overwhelmed by the massive amount of available technologies, choose one type of Database, for example, MySQL or MongoDB and one main language, like node if you like JavaScript or a different language like PHP

To get started with node and MongoDB, we recommend freeCodeCamp again. Their APIs and Microservices Certification course is a great starting point, but again, YouTube is always there for you when you want to learn something else. 

Many people nowadays say that you shouldn’t learn PHP, because it’s old and not as sexy as more modern technologies. I don’t think that this is true. There are many companies out there looking for PHP developers, so this might be a good thing to learn if your goal is to get a job as fast as possible. 

One important thing to note is, that it could be really beneficial for you to get familiar with a framework on the backend as well if you want to become a more desirable candidate on the job market. Some of these may include Laravel or Symfony for PHP or Express for building APIs with nodeJS. 

Fullstack development

Becoming a full-stack developer means being able to create a whole application on your own, which includes front and back end development. As a beginner, you should focus on one side of web development first. If you’re confident with your skills you can start thinking about learning full-stack development, but for now, this should be enough about that. 

General tips

Now you know everything you need to start working on becoming a web developer, but we also want to give you some general tips on learning any kind of programming, which you can apply immediately after watching this video. 

Code every day. This might be the most important piece of advice I can give to anyone. Consistency is key when you want to achieve anything, so stick to it and do it every day. 

Another great tip is to make Google your friend. Like I mentioned earlier, every developer frequently uses google and websites like Stackoverflow or Stackexchange when writing code, so don’t be afraid of using it yourself. 

If you want more tips on how to learn to program fast, make sure to check out our video on this topic, where we give you the 3 pieces of advice that helped us the most when learning to program ourselves. 

Thank you for reading

That’s all for today. We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new. If you did, we’d really appreciate it if you’d leave a comment down below, if you have any questions or critique whatsoever. Also, check out our other article regarding programming here.

With all of that being said, we’re excited to see you again next week and until then, stay healthy and keep on learning. 

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