Interested in becoming a web developer but not sure where to start? You’ve landed in the right place.

Before you begin, it’s important to have an awareness of the field, the different types of web development, the skills required, and how to get started. This article provides a snapshot of web development for beginners and offers some guidance on how to begin—and eventually excel—in the field of web development.

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What Is Web Development?

Web development means creating web pages, web applications, and websites using coding languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As a web designer, diagnosing and fixing problems with websites are also part of the job. Your day-to-day tasks range from developing simple web pages containing plain text to complex web applications, social networking services, and business platforms.

Types of Web Developers

The role of a web developer depends upon their focus area. There are generally three types of web developers:

  1. Front-end developers As the name suggests, front-end developers deal with the client-facing side of a website. They’re responsible for the parts that users interact with, like navigation, font, colors, menus, and other visual elements that we see on websites. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the three main languages typically used in front-end development.
  2. Back-end developers Back-end developers are responsible for the website components that users don’t see. They create the backbone of the web application. Back-end developers create the code to handle the user’s input. Back-end development makes the front end possible. Server, application, and databases are included in the back end.
  3. Full-stack developers This role is a combination of front-end and back-end development. Full-stack developers handle databases and also work with clients, especially in the planning phase. Many companies these days want to hire web developers who can deal with all aspects of a website.

Skills Required to Become a Web Developer

Below is a guide to the key skills and tools to master if you want to become a successful web developer.

Once you acquire the skills above, you can continue to improve your abilities by practicing code and working on your interpersonal skills.

Learning Web Development

Resources and technologies available today have made the process of learning web development and pursuing it as a profession much more accessible. Many courses and platforms are available online for beginners—below is a selection of the current options.

How to Become a Web Developer

Becoming a web developer might sound daunting but, like all things, it comes down to hard work and putting your efforts in the right direction. Below are some steps to help you on your path to becoming a web developer.

  1. Read up By now you probably have a general idea about the web development field, but it’s also important to learn about different aspects and sub-fields too. There are plenty of resources online to help you get started.
  2. Pick a specialty Once you’ve brushed up on the different areas of web development—like front-end, back-end, and full-stack development—you may want to choose an area to specialize in.
  3. Work on your skills After zeroing in on your areas of interest, you can begin to work on the skills required for those roles. A good place to start is by learning the required programming languages.
  4. Start with small projects Aside from practice and reading, real world experience is essential to learning web development. You can start by beginning small projects and moving on to bigger ones. Create an online portfolio to showcase your work and experience. This will assist you in landing freelance work, or help to boost your resume if you’re looking for a salaried role.
  5. Work on testing and debugging Don’t forget to practise finding and fixing errors in addition to your coding skills. You don’t want to repeat mistakes, so it’s important to keep testing your work and learning how to debug bad code.
  6. Learn from others There’s a whole world of beautiful websites out there, and there will always be new ways to make your site appealing or more functional. Take inspiration from others and you can always incorporate their innovations into your own work.
  7. Don’t stop learning A good web developer is one with eagerness to learn and the courage to try new things. Instead of simply repeating what you know, keep on learning, practising, and improving.
  8. NetworkConnecting with other web developers is a great way to share ideas and build your confidence. You can meet other web developers at job fairs, conferences and networking events, or try joining some online forums for web developers.

Determination, hard work, and passion will help you to make a place for yourself in the world of web development. If you’re interested in reading more about the field, check out Thinkful’s software engineering blog. If this article has sparked your interest, you can also take a look at our complete guide to careers in web development.

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