How to become a web developer in 2024
Web development has been a booming industry. With the rapid adoption of mobile devices and increased accessibility to the internet world-wide, there has been an increase in the demand for web developers. This is especially true for modern companies who want to remain competitive in the digital landscape.
Usually the first point of interaction for many companies is their website, it is thus crucial for companies to develop a reputable and well-organised online presence.
According to Statista (2022) global access to the internet currently amounts to 5 billion world-wide – this accounts for roughly 63% of the world population in 2022. This implies that there are many online users and companies would love to access this user base, one of the most cost effective ways to maximise an organisations reach is usually through the use of social media and/or a well-developed website.
So what is required to become a good web developer by today’s standards?
We find out by exploring:
The role of web developers
Before we explore what it takes to become a web developer, it is important to understand what the roles and responsibilities of a web developer are. Web developers are often responsible for developing software that is accessible over the internet, via a client or web browser – much like a mobile application.
The difference is that mobile applications are usually downloaded from portals such as the Play Store and are natively developed for mobile devices, while websites are more accessible given that they are served through a browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
One could argue that web developers are responsible for creating hybrid accessible content via the internet. Web developers have to perform an array of tasks in the development process, this includes; writing code across the front-end to ensure websites are composed with modern User Experience (UX) or User Interface (UI) design standards, developing the back-end such as the server-side technology and testing and debugging.
Usually these tasks can be divided between different types of web developers, front-end developers who manage the UX/UI – the client facing side of the website and back-end developers who are responsible for creating a database management system. Web developers who manage both the front and back-end side of the development process are called full-stack web developers.
One of the easiest ways to get started when learning to become a web developer is by enrolling in an online course. Fortunately, web development is a profession that has been around for a couple of decades and as a result has developed a massive amount of knowledge repositories that can easily be found online.
If you find yourself in a situation where paid courses may be outside of the range of your budget, there are plenty of free resources as well and they are very well documented and kept up to date. A great example of one such resource is W3Schools. The platform also provides you with interactive examples so that you are able to make changes to your code and view the updates in real-time.
Many online resources will have you follow a logical flow in terms of which concepts and programming languages you should learn to make the most of the learning process. We’ll cover some of the core mark-up and programming languages you should probably learn in the following section.
Programming languages you should learn
Most web developers who have no programming experience will first attempt to learn the foundation languages required – that is HTML and CSS.
HTML is best described as the skeleton or framework of your website, it is the first layer that often conveys information such as text, images and even hyperlinks. HTML is a mark-up language that is responsible for creating the initial structure of a website.
CSS on the other hand is a styling language and is used to “beautify” your website. If HTML is the skeleton, you can think of CSS as the skin and clothing which is used to make your website visually appealing through various mechanisms. With CSS web developers are able to create very interesting content such as animations, parallax designs, coherent themes, sliders and so much more. CSS is thus extremely important when one takes into consideration the UX/UI of a website, without it websites lack engagement and users are less likely to interact with a website that lacks CSS.
Build a portfolio
As you progress through your career as a web developer, even as a beginner, it is extremely helpful to create a portfolio of evidence.
Whether you work on small or large projects, creating a portfolio of work is an excellent way to showcase your skills and knowledge. This is particularly useful when you decide to apply for jobs – employers will often request a portfolio of evidence to assess if your skills are in line with the role you are applying for.
A portfolio is also a very good way to supplement certifications if you prefer not to break the bank for obtaining a certificate from an online course, in fact, it is arguably more important than most certificates since it signals how skilled you may be as a web developer across various competencies.
If you want to learn web development check out our Web Development Course.