Alright then, so you have decided your path. You want to become a web developer this year.
Welcome to the vast ecosystem of the web! Great choice, but how will you become an awesome dev who loves taking challenges, can implement what needed by the client, or just knows how to debug and solve web-related problems?
The following content which you're about to read will tell you all you need to know to get things done, professionally. Here's how you can become a kickass web dev this year:
What is web development?
Before we jump some nitty-gritty of the languages and frameworks, it is really important to know what exactly your work will be. What you will be doing as a web dev. Without knowledge of the web, you can't become a good developer.
In one sentence, web development is a domain where the work is involved in developing (or building) a website (ora web app) for the internet.
Usually, it is not concerned with the design of a website. It’s all about the coding and programming to enable some functionality on a website.
What a web developer does? When you work as a web developer, you write the code responsible to tell a website how it should function. A web developer can wear multiple hats. For example, a web developer not simply just 'codes' the website, rather they build the website in a certain way so that the end-user or website visitor should have the minimum difficulty while navigating or using the website. Hence you, as a web developer can bring an idea or a design to life by using your coding skills.
Okay then, now you know what this domain is all about, sounds exciting? Here we go with some awesome tips:
General tips for web developers
These are some of the tips all web devs should have whether you're a full-stack or a front-end dev.
1. Always stay updated: The path you've chosen as a web developer is something that changes frequently. As we're progressing with newer technologies, the web, in itself is changing day-by-day. To keep up with these changes, you can:
- Read articles/blogs written by web enthusiasts: Smashing Magazine, Freecodecamp, Scotch.io, A List Apart and Site Point Blog, etc.
2. Take inspiration: This is your medicine for your concern, "I don't know what to code!" Taking inspiration from others is not something you should be afraid of, we all need that one idea to convert it into code. Hence, you can visit the following websites:
3. Learn general programming principles: These include code review, collaboration with other developers and maintainers, refactoring and commenting your code, using Clean Code practices, problem-solving and debugging, and of course, testing your code.
4. Document your learning: If you want to progress, then this is the thing you need to do consistently. Whatever you're working on whether it's a project or just learning a new library, document it. This can be in multiple forms like using social media to showcase or simply writing an article. Write what were your achievements or failures while learning a specific topic, create tutorials, etc.
5. Create content: If you're confident enough to know certain topics then don't shy from being creative! You can start your YouTube channel, a newsletter, a course, or even write an e-book. Go further by making some side income while you learn! This is all about helping the developer community.
6. Mentor others: Whether it's your colleague, a junior in college, or even someone who's coming from a different industry, you have an edge of teaching or mentoring them. People are always looking up for mentors while they begin their coding journey, you can be their help!
7. Attend or speak at an event: If you love meeting people and networking then it's highly recommended to attend events, webinars, or conferences worldwide. You can either be a speaker or just be an attendee. This gives you crucial knowledge and lots of information from different minds around the world.
8. Pair program: Here, you and your nerdy friend can work on the same project together. This becomes highly effective when you also need code reviews alongside with ideas for the actual project. You both share knowledge to create a better version of a program.
9. Never give up: When you have such a huge list of information to grasp to write code for the web, it can be overwhelming sometimes. But you should know your goal and never give up. Breaks are important to take. No need to undervalue or undersell yourself.
10. Keep getting feedback: Even if you have tonnes of experience in web development, you will still need to know where you can improve. Whether it's a code-related task or simply about a project idea, you should always get feedback to iterate.
Tips for frontend developers
1. Have a gist of design: As a front-end dev, you will be working closely with product designers who make the interface or the UI design of a website. Having a bit of knowledge about this doesn't hurt as you will know some of the best practices needed to make a beautiful web interface.
3. Don't underestimate CSS! Most people say CSS isn't much powerful, but there is so much to know about CSS! After going through the basics, you can dive into CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, Tailwind, or Bulma. You can even supercharge your styling workflow by adding pre-processors like SASS and LESS.
4. Pick a framework that suits your needs: No need to hop into the trendiest framework out there. Select one which your project, company, or workflow demands. Start with the official documentation first whether it's React, Vue, or Angular.
5. Responsive first: More than half of the websites are opened using mobile devices, as a frontend developer you need to code with the responsive first approach so that it doesn't look terrible on multiple devices.
Tips for backend developers
A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology that powers the elements and components which, together, enable the user-facing side of the website to even exist in the first place.
1. Learn a backend language with data structures in mind: Over the backend, you will be dealing with a lot of data. Languages like PHP, Python, or Go can be practiced.
2. Get to know about databases: You need to have at least some of the required knowledge of how databases work, how to work on them etc.
4. Client-side knowledge: A little bit is harmless as it will be used to integrate your backend logic to the frontend code. You will know how the data is populating into the interface.
5. Learn what sits in the 'middle': It includes topics like middleware, APIs, data security and protection, hosting to the cloud, working on the CI/CD environment, etc.
Now, are you excited to dive into web development? We strongly recommend keeping a tab on these tips to become an all-round web developer. Keep learning and happy coding!