Even You Can Be a Web Developer

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Written by Chris Wright

December 1, 2016

Even You Can Be a Web Developer

Taking your first steps in web development can be a little daunting. Especially with the vast array of data and technologies out there to choose from. You may be asking “where do I start” or “should I even try?” The answer is yes, always yes. While it may seem confusing at first and you feel like you are spinning your wheels, there is hope and you will get better. Here are some tips that may help you along the way.

Web development requires someone who is self-sufficient. This can be a given-trait or a learned-trait. If you are not this way, you can become this way. What this means is that you can teach yourself or need little to no help along the way. This is necessary because there are so many technologies out there and they are changing every day, so you must be able to learn how to figure things out on your own.

While you may not be self-sufficient right now, you can become self-sufficient relatively easily. When in doubt, Google is your best friend. If you don’t know something, Google it. Chances are, the answer is out there and you don’t need to ask your buddy how to do it. That will save him time and also make you better at being self-sufficient. Another reason that becoming self-sufficient is simple is because most of the technologies you need to learn are open-source. This means that they have been created for people to change and use, free of charge and their documentation is nine times out of ten online and accessible by anyone on the internet. *Posted at the bottom is a list of common resources used for learning and training.

While “book knowledge” is great, you need real-world application to understand and grow as a web developer. Codecademy is great for this because they have tutorials that actually walk you through the process as well as teach you “book-knowledge”. Besides that, you can search online for simple web fundamental courses that walk you through and have you build a web page on your own. Doing things like this will teach you the code but also force you to write the code you just learned as opposed to only reading about code.

The biggest thing to make sure you do when learning new things in web development is repetition. Repeat, repeat and repeat. There was a study done once that said you won’t remember something or understand it until you have read it seven times. Also, forming a habit takes approximately 18 days to two months. With that being said, if you want to become a great web developer, you need to repeat and you need to code everyday until it becomes a habit. In code, there are different languages and with every language you learn, you must be consistent with your learning.

Lastly, you may be thinking that this sounds too hard or later on you may think this is too hard and you think to yourself about compromising. Don’t do it. With every skill, there is a learning curve. For some, certain skills come faster than others, but from experience I know that if you push past the opposition and keep at it, you can do this. I wanted to give up several times in my first year as a web developer and thought about compromising by taking a job that pays less or is “easier”. But as Zig Ziglar said, “We need to stop giving up what we want most for what we want right now.” Things may look hard, but if you push through and persevere, it will be worth it in the long-haul.

Documentation:

w3schools.com - HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, SQL, XML

Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) - HTML, CSS, Javascript, Web APIs

CSS-Tricks - CSS (Sort of the web-standard for CSS)

devdocs.io - Has most of everything

php.net - Great resource for learning PHP

Tutorials:

codecademy - HTML, JS, CSS, PHP, Python, Angular, etc

udemy - Has a little bit of everything