Hello everyone, welcome to our step-by-step guide on how to become a Web Developer.
We want to take a deep dive into what it takes to launch a career in Web Development.
After reading this article, you’ll be conversant with what you need to do to become a Web Developer.
Here is what we’ll talk about:
Keep reading to learn more.
A career in Web Development requires soft skills and technical skills.
You need to have a strong educational foundation, although it doesn’t necessarily need to be formal education.
The entry points in the programming career field are diverse.
The path you choose solely depends on the knowledge you already have.
However, for our discussion today, we want to assume you are green about Web Development.
Hence, we’ll outline a step-by-step process of getting into a Web Development career from a novice’s knowledge level.
Steps to Becoming a Web Developer
Step 1: Familiarize with the Fundamentals of Web Development
The first step to how to become a Web Developer is to have an idea of what Web Development is about.
The nuts and bolts of Web Development are the coding languages.
Your first task is to scout the web for information on these technical skills.
You want to learn as much as possible.
The many resources online can help you grasp the basics of Web Development.
Resources like videos from platforms like YouTube, free online courses from freeCodeCamp, and e-books are the best way to learn the basics of Web Development tools, techniques, and programming languages.
You can further get into the basics of Python, SQL, and Java.
Moreover, a rough idea in PHP, scripting, and database management tools like MySQL can help you better understand web development.
The purpose of doing a little digging into the fundamentals of Web Development is to find out whether this is the career you want to pursue.
This career path requires 100% commitment in the learning process and throughout your career.
In fact, you’ll be learning throughout your career life.
Further, Web Development requires you to be adaptable to change, be a creative thinker, and be patient.
Learning the basics of Web Development will help you better understand the tech industry.
It will further help you figure out if this is the career path you want to follow.
If it’s not, you can change your mind early on.
Suppose you’ve done your research and still feel that your dream lies in web development.
It’s time to move to the next step on how to become a Web Developer.
Step 2: Choose Your Educational Path
There are several pathways to becoming a Web Developer.
The path you take depends on your knowledge level, the resources you have, and your goals.
Whichever path you take, the bottom line is that you must have the skills and knowledge for a programming job.
That said, here are the three paths you can take to become a Programmer.
Self-directed learning involves leveraging online resources, both free and paid.
You can find Web Development Courses on platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, Skillshare, LinkedIn, and Codecademy, among others.
The curriculum may involve recorded lessons, tutorial videos, projects, live classes, and assignments.
Some platforms provide interaction, where you can give feedback on your progress and guidance on coding skills.
Other platforms like freeCodeCamp allow students to practice their newly acquired programming skills by volunteering for NGOs.
Most online programs are self-directed, meaning you’ll need to plan your schedule and pace yourself accordingly to complete the program.
These programs often take a few months to more than a year to complete since most learners study part-time.
The paid courses can cost up to $200.
Coding boot camps are intense learning programs that prepare learners for coding jobs.
Boot camps give you the flexibility of online learning with the structure of formal education.
They consist of scheduled classes, individualized and group lessons, and hands-on projects.
The curricula are well structured, and the Instructors are quite supportive.
Boot camps majorly focus on job success rather than the theoretical aspect of Web Development.
These programs are intensive, running for 3-12 months, depending on the boot camp option you’ve settled for.
You can opt for Web Development skills boot camps or settle for front-end development, back-end development, or full-stack coding boot camps.
Boot camps allow you to schedule your learning around your lifestyle.
That means you can attend a web dev boot camp even if you have a job or family obligations.
By the end of the program, you come out well equipped for the professional world.
Most Web Development boot camp graduates complete their program with a portfolio of individual and group web application projects they can use when seeking employment.
Coding boot camps are the perfect learning option for individuals who want to change a career.
It allows one to gain practical coding skills, making it easy to hit the ground running in the tech world.
A college education is the most popular path for learning to code.
Depending on your knowledge level, you can pursue an Associate Degree, Bachelor’s degree, or masters in computer science or related fields.
A Bachelor’s degree in computer science is the most common degree program that most Web Developers go for.
Some opt for related fields like software development or web design.
The main courses in these degree programs include data management, systems design, and essential programming language.
According to Robert Half Technology, Web Developers with a Bachelor’s degree are more likely to get more employment opportunities and advance in their careers than those without.
This is because a degree program equips learners with in-depth practical skills and theoretical principles.
The coursework also involves portfolio projects.
Apart from degree programs, you can opt for an Associate Degree or even a certificate program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that the minimum requirement for most Web Developer jobs is an Associate Degree.
College education can take 2-4 years when studying full time.
The fee ranges from $10,000 to $36,000 per year.
Step 3: Choose a Specialization Area
There are three specialization areas in Web Development.
And so, you need to know your interest early on to choose the right area to become a Developer.
Think about your passion and ensure your chosen specialization that aligns with your passion.
Here are the three Web Developer career paths.
Front-end is also referred to as the client-side.
Front-End Web Developers focus on the user experience.
They build responsive designs that are appealing to clients.
That means the visual elements must be user-friendly, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
The visual elements include animations, navigations, buttons, and menus.
In a nutshell, they manage how a website looks, feels, and functions.
Front-End Web Developers may pursue web design or user experience degree programs.
Fron-End Developers must also be proficient in frameworks such as jQuery and React.js.
The back-end is the server-side of the website.
The server-side is the core of a website.
It’s crucial for the proper functionality and performance of a website.
Back-End Web Developers work on the servers, databases, and applications.
These Developers must be proficient in Ruby, Python, PHP, Node.js, C++, and Java to create, maintain and improve technologies that power website applications.
Back-End Developers must also know back-end frameworks such as Spring, Laravel, and Express.
Generally, Back-End Web Developers focus on writing codes, database management, and using frameworks to ensure the front-end functions are efficient.
Full-stack Web Development focuses on both the front-end and back-end.
Put another way, Full-Stack Developers can build a website solo.
That means they can fix any issues both in the back-end and front-end.
Full-Stack Web Developers are proficient in integrating the back-end functionality with the front-end to ensure a responsive website.
They are vast with the frameworks on both sides and the overall Web Development process.
Most Full-Stack Web Developers start with either back- or front-end before eventually going full-stack.
At the same time, they can choose to enhance their expertise in a specific language or back-end or front-end development.
Step 4: Build a Web Development Portfolio
A portfolio is your opportunity to showcase your skills, creativity, and expertise to potential employers and clients.
It allows you to put the theoretical concepts you’ve learned into practice.
A portfolio speaks of your mastery of technologies, frameworks, and programming languages involved in developing and maintaining a website.
It’s the proof that employers need to confirm that you can deliver what you’ve written in your resume.
Since it’s proof of your capabilities, include the best projects you’ve completed.
These projects should reflect the job you are applying for.
They can be personal or professional projects as long as they depict your expertise.
To get started in building your portfolio, volunteer for a charity organization in your area.
You can build a simple web page for the charity organization.
Additionally, past internship projects can be a great addition to your portfolio.
You can showcase your web design skills by creating a website using WordPress.
In addition, you can take up small Web Development projects on freelance websites.
To have a head start, charge a competitive rate and deliver exceptional work.
The bottom line is that you need the best samples of your previous Web Development projects to create a portfolio website online where clients can see the quality and depth of your knowledge.
The portfolio is majorly for applying for jobs, but you can also share the link on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
You never know who may reach out for Web Development opportunities or related jobs, such as digital marketing, graphic design, or SEO.
Step 5: Apply for Web Development Jobs
Now that you’ve already wrapped your experience, achievements, and competence in a portfolio, it’s time to step out and seek employment.
First off, Web Developers are in high demand, and at the same time, the Web Development Career is highly competitive.
Therefore, you must put your best foot forward to get a job.
As a beginner, there are several strategies you can implement to find and secure a Web Development job.
First, you can try job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor.
Find job opportunities you qualify for and apply.
Freelance sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour can also be a great starting point.
There are also job boards specifically for web development jobs.
Sites like jobs.wordpresss.net, TopTal.com, or Codeable.io will connect you to clients specifically looking for Web Developers.
Again, you can go straight to a company’s website and find out whether they have employment opportunities.
The next strategy is to ask friends and families with businesses if they need your services.
Since they already know you, it may be easier to convince them to hire you.
As you try these strategies, join web development communities online.
These communities are excellent platforms for connecting with other professionals and seeking job opportunities.
The communities you can join include CoffeeCup, Digital Point, Designer Hangout, and Digital Point.
With a portfolio at hand, a dashing resume, and a well-written cover letter, it shouldn’t take you long to secure a job.
A parting shot, as your research Web Development jobs, ensure you find out about the average salary, company culture, working hours, career advancement opportunities, and the company’s stability.
This will help you apply for serious opportunities only.
Jobs that will ultimately boost your career growth.
Step 6: Get Certified
Certification is not mandatory, but it strongly indicates that a Web Developer is competent and committed to the profession.
And since most certifications come with continuing education requirements to remain certified, it’s the perfect opportunity to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving tech world.
Web Development certifications are categorized into two: non-vendor specific and vendor-specific.
Vendor-specific certifications are offered by computer technology companies.
These certifications are offered to Web Developers who’ve completed a company’s training on its products and proven competency in using them.
Some vendor-specific certificates include:
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Association (MCSD)
- Zend Certified PHP Engineer
- Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer
- Certified Professional in Python Programming 1
Non-vendor-specific certifications are administered by professional organizations.
Such certifications show that a Web Developer has excelled in a specific area.
Non-vendor-specific certifications you can pursue include:
- Certified Web Professional by International Web Association
- Certified Software Development Professional by IEEE Computer Society
Step 7: Keep Building Your Skills
You might think that being a Web Developer ends with getting a job or a certification, but it doesn’t.
Becoming a Developer is a lifelong journey.
Since there are always new developments in Web Development, you must be up-to-date with the emerging trends, languages, frameworks, and industry standards.
So, search for the many online coding programs you can leverage to enhance your skills.
You can also participate in the many Web Development conventions and forums.
These events can help you gain hands-on programming experience and network with senior Web Developers.
Another strategy to keep your skills up-to-date is contributing to open source web software platforms, such as WordPress or Drupal.
Learning Web Development is an ongoing process.
Part of the strategy to grow your career as a Web Developer is to stay current on the developments in the industry.
And so, continuously building your skills will set you up for a successful career.
The Benefits of Becoming a Web Developer
Now that we’ve given you a step-by-step process on how to become a Web Developer, let’s highlight some of the reasons why you may consider a Web Development career path.
According to the U. S Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Web Developer’s salary is around $77,200.
That’s around 37.12 per hour.
Given their average salary, Web Developers earn more than the average national income for most professionals.
Further, there’s room to earn more as they gain more experience in the industry, new skills, and advance in their specialization.
Flexible Work Environment
Web Development jobs are flexible.
Developers can work in the office or remotely as they only need a laptop and a stable internet connection.
Hence, Developers can work from home or choose specific working hours from wherever they are.
They are not confined to an office.
Plenty of Job Opportunities
The world is increasingly becoming digitalized.
More and more businesses are transitioning online, meaning the demand for Web Developers is always on the rise.
Further, freelance platforms like Freelancer or Upwork provide additional opportunities for beginner Web Developers seeking to gain experience.
BLS projects that the job opportunities for Web Developers will increase in the next decade by 13%.
The bureau estimates that this will lead to 17,900 job openings each year.
So, if you are an aspiring Web Developer, you can jumpstart your career in Web Development as the future is promising.
Web Development is among the fastest-growing industries.
Hence, to keep up, a Web Developer must stay abreast of all the developments in the industry.
Continuous self-improvement in programming languages and soft skills like problem-solving, communication skills, and so on help advance in the Web Development Career.
A Web Development Career allows you to stay up-to-date with the tech industry, which is crucial in today’s world.
To sum up, there are several paths to becoming a Web Developer.
Each path involves several steps.
The different education pathways depend on your level of knowledge, the resources you have, and your career goal.
Once you’ve become a Web Developer, the learning doesn’t stop there.
Since the tech industry is ever-evolving, you must continuously learn to keep up.
All in all, web development is an exciting career with loads of benefits.