Quick Guide to Starting out in Web Development

Filed by team twago on November 27, 2014

Don’t just stand there – a career in tech is waiting for you!

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We are all becoming increasingly aware of the tech skills gap. Every industry now requires web developers; from the sciences to the arts, from retail to business. Not to mention the technology industry itself, which is expanding at lightning speed. Every industry is struggling to find people with the right programming skills to fill these roles, which are creative, flexible and impact-making. But if you have no experience in web development, how do you get started? When you’re not in the tech scene, it can seem almost impenetrable so it’s important to get plenty of experience, show enthusiasm, connect with relevant individuals in the field and learn as much as you can before you do any formal training. I’ve put together this quick guide of what you can do right now to get yourself on the right track to getting into tech, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Here is your quick guide to starting out as a web developer.

1. Have a goal

Decide what you want to create. Do you have an idea for the next big social network? Do you have an idea for a great app? A useful tool that you’ve always needed and not found anywhere? If you think there’s a need for it and it doesn’t already exist, you can be the one to create it. Your app might be something that your family / job / journey to work has inspired you to create. Whatever it is, having a fixed goal will keep you motivated and on track to achieving your dream of becoming a fully-fledged web developer.

2. Learn to code

Many startup founders first learn the basics of code using free online tutorials. This can be a great way to get your head around the fundamentals without spending any money. Websites like Codecademy, Coursera (for a host of free video tutorials), Bento (a guided tour through the best free web development tutorials on the web) and HTML5Rocks (a Google-founded collection of free online tutorials to help solve coding problems) are all free options for beginners who want to get a hang of the basics. While you are learning to code it’s crucial to have someone who you can ask direct questions about the small, fiddling things to do with programming. So network! Try to find someone who can mentor you through this process and guide you when you’re stuck on a problem. This will make all the difference when you hit a problem and feel like giving up.

3. Google for solutions

Although it’s great to have a good friend or colleague on hand when you get stuck as a beginner in code, never forget that Google is the best friend you will ever have. When you’re learning how to program one of the key skills you will learn is how to Google stuff like a pro. All of the answers you need to any question you might have you will find online, but knowing HOW and WHERE to find them is the tough part. You need to learn exactly which search terms are going to get you the answers you need, whether you find them on GitHub or StackOverFlow or on some obscure forum. When you understand how to Google for things you’ll find learning code will be much faster. It is part of the learning process to get from problem to solution in as little time as possible – and when you are under pressure in a real, working environment this skill will be invaluable.

I hope you found my quick guide to starting out as a Web Developer useful. What quick tips and tricks would you suggest to a beginner? Let’s get the discussion started in the comments below.

Our friends at Career Foundry can fast-track you on your way to becoming a Web Developer or UX Designer. 

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Rosie Allabarton

is a freelance writer. Her journalism specializes in technology, education, employment and women in technology. She works as a tech writer and content manager for CareerFoundry, an online educational platform that provides training in web development and UX design, providing career changers with the skills they need to launch themselves onto the tech scene.

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