How to Become a Web Developer

In the age of the Internet, web developers are a career choice that makes sense as it appears there will always be a need for technical assistance by the technologically savvy. Web developer may be too vague a term for many people to understand but if you are interested in the field, it pays to know what you need to learn to become a web developer.

Whether you plan to start with a company or venture into your own business, here is a brief overview of what a web developer is and how you might become one:

What Does a Web Developer Do?

It is first to understand the two basic types of web developers. These two groups include:

  • Client Developer- this type of web developer assists clients by writing code that is translated by the Internet browsers. This type of code includes HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Some developers may also need to know XML.
  • Server Developers – this type of web developer will write code that needs to be translated by the server. Within this group there are several other types of developers including ASP.NET developers, PHP developers, Java EE developers, and ColdFusion developers.

What Should Developers Learn?

If you are just starting out on the road to a web developer career, it is best to start at the beginning. Learning HTML will teach you the basics of designing web page basics like titles, paragraphs, headings, and lists. Typically it can take a few weeks to grasp the concepts in HTML that will allow you to move on to the more complex information. Learning HTML will also allow you to begin working on web site design while you learn other tools of the trade.

The next step in learning will involve CSS and JavaScript. CSS is the language used to control what is displayed and how information is formatted on a web page. JavaScript is the scripting language that is used to make individual pages of a website more interactive such as in drop down menus. CSS is generally simple to learn and the details will take a few weeks to grasp. JavaScript has been found to start off easy to learn but become more complicated as a person moves along. It can take a few weeks to learn enough JavaScript to start producing but it will take time and experience to continue learning.

If you are interested in developing for the server side of the equation, there are several things you should consider learning. Most people find that PHP and ColdFusion are easiest to learn but both concepts are not as common as other areas of web development. However, depending on your interests you may find the competition in different areas to be work developing your skills in these areas.

The harder programming like ASP.NET and Java EE require the learner to understand complex programming languages. These jobs are certainly higher paying than other areas of web development but there is also a lot of competition for work.

Where to Learn Web Development

There are a multitude of ways to learn web development theories and skills but it depends on your needs to find the ones that will suit you. If you are already technically savvy and are able to be self-taught, there are many books, online video tutorials, and blogs that teach the basics of web development. People who choose this route will need to already have technology skills and be able to learn on their own.

Others would do well in college courses or technical school training where a formal education on the fundamentals of web development as well as other aspects of computer science will be learned in order to earn a degree.

Whatever path you take, web development can be an exciting career that will grow rapidly as technology changes. There will likely always be something new to learn and multiple avenues to pursue for finding work.

Published by Mitch Fraser

Mitch Fraser is currently the director of two successful Australian companies that provide time and money saving solutions for their customers: Tomorrow Finance and Drawstring. At Tomorrow Finance, Mitch helps people find the cheapest home loan products to bring Tomorrow's dream into today; while at his web development company, Drawstring, Mitch focuses on the outcomes for his clients by taking the time to understand each client's business and unique situation while maximising their return on investment. Mitch obtained his Bachelor of Science in Computing Science and Diploma in Information Technology and Professional practice with first class honours, from The University of Technology, Sydney, in 2005.

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