Hey guys! Recently, I have been getting a lot of queries on how to become a good web developer or which road leads to web development. First of all, I couldn’t be any happier that you are interested in Web Development and I’m sure there is a pretty nice reason for you to be a web developer. I think this article is going to be an interesting one for all the budding web developers. Let’s begin the journey…
What makes you a Web Developer ?
Have you ever asked this question to yourself… What is it that motivates you to become a web developer. Is it due to some necessity or a driving passion. Is it that you have some goal to achieve which requires web development skills? I’m sure there could be thousands of reason behind your motive. But one thing that is the most important of all is your passion for at least one of the countless aspects of Web Development in its entirety. If you genuinely have that passion, then you are already one step closer to your Goal.
There are lots of problems that will come in your way and the only way you can overcome it is your passion. No developer in this world has a smooth career. There are bigger challenges than you can ever imagine, but to come out from that situation, requires more than your skills and knowledge. That’s where your passion comes in to rescue you. So, if you are not passionate for it, then you should probably step back.
Know Your Motive…
It is a prerequisite. You must know your motive behind learning to code. One of the most scariest thing I have seen happen to people who are just starting to code is that they are told it is easy. To be very clear- “Programming is NOT EASY”. I have experienced it and still experiencing it every day. Here’s an exceptionally hilarious Kate Ray’s post on techcrunch that depicts your inability to code :p
I have seen people stuck on a problem for days and then finally when they get the solution, they are not in the state to explain it. Because they don’t know how and why they did what they did.
This is the situation of an experienced programmer. For someone who is learning to code, there is no need of a discussion. They are dumb as a duck (Quack Quack). There is no one to solve their problems because there problems doesn’t qualify as a problem. They often end up asking dumb questions. And I salute those teachers who take the responsibility to teach people how to code.
To become a Web Developer, you must train your brain in such a way that it is ready to learn new stuff constantly, face any failure and don’t give up. For this purpose, you must be very clear with your motives that guides you. At the end of the day, this is the ultimate source of energy that will help you move forward.
How to Learn?
To answer this question, you must ask another question – “What to Learn?”. Once you know what to learn, you can ask the question how to learn it. So, What to Learn?
There are tons of things that you need to learn to become a Web Developer. But don’t worry, you do not have to learn all at once. It is a process that starts from step one and consequently increases with your knowledge. There are five things that you must learn before stepping into something bigger.
- HTML + HTML 5 (Hyper-text Markup Language)
This is the very first requirement in order to create web pages. Without HTML you cannot move ahead. HTML 5 is fairly new and it comes with lots of API’s (Application Programming Interface) that helps you quickly develop lots of stuff which use to take up lots of time in coding. Some of the API’s in HTML 5 are –
- Drag and Drop
- Local Storage
- Application Cache
- Web Workers
HTML pages without CSS is like Actresses without makeup. You need CSS in order give style to your page and make it user friendly for the eyes. With CSS 3 you can also develop responsive website which will work flawlessly on all screen sizes. By the way CSS stands for Cascadding Style Sheets.
- Server Side Language
It is a must requirement if you wish to create a dynamic website and which is going to interact correspondingly to the user’s action. A good knowledge of any one of the server side language is mandatory from the vast pool of languages. I recommend you to learn Php or Python if you want quick results.
The learning curve with these languages is not very steep and will come naturally to you once you start with it. Other language that is used as a server side programming languages include:
- Scala, etc
If you are going to create a dynamic web application that will have registration or login or which will store some kind of data to then you are definitely going to need a database for this purpose. For this you must learn SQL (Structured Query Language) to talk to any database. There are tons open source database present out there. One of the most popular database is MySql. Php and MySql are like boyfriend-girlfriend, they are made for each other. I would suggest you to start with MySql as it is free and very easy to setup. For this you must train yourself in SQL.
This was the list of things that you need to learn in order to move in the direction of becoming a Web Developer. Now, let’s come to the most important part, which is, how to learn these things?
Well, as I said there is no easy way to learn anything. You will have to give your time and energy to acquire these skills. Let’s assume you have adequate amount of time and energy to do it… In that case, you must start digging the web for knowledge. Everything is there on the net which will help you to begin your journey. There are tons of tutorials present on the web which will all promise to make you the master of web in a week. Maybe their promises are fake but you will definitely learn something from those tutorials. Here are a few tips which you should keep in mind to gain the maximum benefits from tutorial –
- Find a new tutorial of your niche.
- Go through each and every part of the tutorial even though it is boring.
- Follow the tutorial as it is. Do not try to manipulate it in your own ways. Try to understand what it says and complete the steps as mentioned in the tutorial. It would be best if you write the code given in the tutorials by yourself (I know you will do ctrl + c & v).
- Once you are done with the tutorial, try to re do it. This time try to make minor changes to it and manipulate the functioning of that application. Make sure you be in the limits of what you are being taught 😀
- Repeat step 1-5.
Buy lots of books…
This is by far the most trusted way to teach yourself how to code. Make friends with books. There is immense amount of knowledge in the books. You also get to learn from the experience of a developer who has been there in your situation and understands you better. You will get to relate better and learn from the mistakes of a writer. Books are one of the ultimate way to train yourself in something. It is the same for programming too. Here are some of the books that you will find useful…
These are the books that will cover each and every aspect of Web Development. Once you have gone through these books you will be able to create complex applications on your own.
Find a Mentor
Tutorials are a great way to learn and develop your skills. This will help you in the beginning stages when you are learning the basics of it. Once you are in a place where you have to cope up with some real world problems then tutorials ain’t gonna help you. You need to find a mentor who has been there and did the same. Who can enlighten you with his or her knowledge or share his experience. You cannot do everything on your own (talking from the personal experience). That’s why there are books but the problem with books is that you have to read it and it takes time :p. A mentor on the other hand can make solve your query faster.
Finding mentor is not a hard thing to do in this fast paced world of internet. You just need to interact as much as you can with the people of same genre. Become an active member of matching community. Make friends, share your problems often with everyone who seems to understand. I know these advices do look like philosophical talks but after-all it is all same. Once you are have acquired the right set of skills and knowledge and people around you. The path to ultimate goal will become clear.
To summarise all in a few lines, Web development is quite easy only if you have acquired the skills and knowledge. You must give your time and energy in mastering the different pieces of technology and combine them to create something magnificent. If you have any queries, feel free to contact me or comment below…
And as always,
Be My Aficionado 🙂