How to get started as a Web Developer
27th July 2019

Web development is a relatively new skill, and even newer profession. Both of these things mean that there are a lack of people with these skills, yet there is a higher demand for people with these skills in the quickly developing digital world. This means that web development is one of the most sought-after skills in our lifetime. Thankfully lots of people are interested in becoming a web developer but with a lack of up to date education on coding still dominating our educational institutions, some people find it difficult to know where to start. Lots of people think an IT course will be a stepping stone into web development. Sometimes it can be, and its a great way to learn the foundations, but an IT course wouldn’t necessarily hep you learn to code.

Learning the basics

Initially, it’s a good idea to focus on what kind of development you want to get into. Would you like to do front-end or back-end? Front-end is what the end-user sees. It’s the layout and design that users interact with. If you are also creative and design-focused, then this may be the option for you. Back-end development is all about functionality and how the website works. The part that stores data and code. Back-end developers tend to be algorithmic thinkers and logical. Whichever you choose, it’s beneficial to learn both CSS and HTML regardless. Another tip is don’t waste your time on using outdated systems. If you are debating where best to invest your money initially, then it’s on the most up to date equipment you can afford, you will thank yourself in the long run! All you really need is something to write code on and a browser.

Is there anywhere I can learn?

Thankfully in recent years, there are a few places that you can learn to code. As there is a demand for web developers now, some places even offer courses for free. Treehouse offer courses, Mitch came to Dreamr as our Junior iOS developer straight after finishing his Treehouse Tech degree. There’s also Codenation based in Manchester and Free Code Camp which run sessions in the evening during the week in different destinations across the UK. With the lack of coders in the UK, and an even further lack of female coders in the industry, lots of places offer the chance for girls to learn to code for free. Such as Code First: Girls.

How can I land my first job as a web developer?

Getting a paid job as a web developer will be your biggest step at first. You can start your journey by doing any freelance projects you can come across. Building your own website and offering to build websites for others will all contribute to content for your portfolio to show potential companies.

Your portfolio site will be one of the most important things that will play a part in you getting more freelance work or gaining the interest of companies. Lots of developers prefer freelancing forever, rather than being employed by a company, but others prefer employment due to the security it offers.

Attend industry events

Whether you choose the freelancing life or not, it’s never too late to get involved with any industry events you come across. In most cities, there are numerous tech meetups held to help you get to know others in the industry. Not only can you make friends but meetups also help in gaining contacts that could help you secure opportunities in the future!

Don’t give up!

With some much to learn in the beginning, you may feel like learning web development is a mammoth task that you will never reach the end of. But it’s important to keep learning and keep going. There are tonnes of video tutorials out there that will help you get to grip with things. Set aside time in your day to learn coding and you will get there eventually and your web development dream will fall into place.  

Don’t give up, you will get there eventually!