How to learn web development in 4 steps

According to Google, when the load time of a mobile web page reaches 10 seconds, the probability that your visitors will bounce (i.e. leave the site) increases by 123%. Turns out it’s usually not your WiFi connection’s fault.

That is the domain of a web developer. A good one can write code, develop and test new apps and websites, iterate features, monitor site traffic, make sure the website is not clogged with elements, and above all, solve problems that people don’t even know they have. . .


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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of web developers in the U.S. is expected to grow 16% by 2032, much faster than the national average of 3% across all professions. This indicates a high demand for qualified web developers in the coming years.

It sounds complex, right? Dean Dribble, CEO of Agoric, thinks it’s actually pretty clear: “At the end of the day, computers and websites are designed to be predictable. “They only do the things we tell them to do.”

For him, the most important part of becoming a web developer and making a lot of money ($73,000 to $119,000 a year on average, according to Glassdoor) is learning how to tell the computer what to do.

How to learn web development in 4 steps

This roadmap outlines each step to becoming a web developer, from knowing nothing to having projects you can show to future employers and clients.

1. Research which aspect of web development interests you most

A web developer’s curiosity is the fuel that keeps him motivated. Your initial spark should be to explore and research the websites you like to understand what motivates them.

Dribble recommends that you learn how the Internet, computers, data structures, and algorithms work together. Then, decide which part of the Internet interests you the most. There are three specializations in web development.

  • front end developer: This role involves positioning images, designing navigation, and determining the overall presentation of the site. The focus is on ensuring the site or app is easy to navigate, making it a good choice for those with a creative eye and passion for user experience.
  • back end developer: Responsible for building and maintaining the mechanisms that process data and perform actions on websites. The focus is on data storage, security, and server-side features, making it a good choice for people who love computers and problem solving.
  • Full-stack developer: Responsible for building the front-end and back-end of a website. This position is for people who love everything, including function and feng shui.

“It’s okay to start by learning just one aspect of web development,” says Vladimir Yurkevich, front-end and web practice leader at Coherent Solutions.

2. Learn the three main web development programming languages.

No matter which side of development you want to learn, you’ll typically need to know three languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are the fundamental languages ​​of web development.

Think of it as if you were building a house. HTML is the framework, CSS adds visual appeal, and JavaScript provides it functionality. But there are different frameworks for JavaScript, such as React, Angular, and Nodejs. Both experts agree that it is better to find resources that help you master the primary language rather than its derivatives.

On the other hand, in the same way that Latin languages ​​like Italian and Spanish sound similar to each other, once you’ve learned the big three programming languages, these others may be a little easier for you:

  • Piton: Offers various frameworks like Django, Flask and web2py to create web applications.
  • Typescript: Improves JavaScript with static typing, improving code reliability.
  • Ruby: Also known as Ruby on Rails, this language is an open source framework for web development.
  • Java: It is robust, reliable and portable, and is commonly used for web applications and APIs.
  • SQL: Essential for managing relational databases in web applications.
  • Go: It is a high-level programming language designed by Google and is similar to C.
  • Kotlin– This language is gaining popularity for Android app development and server-side apps.

Free web development resources

Before you spend your card on a course or bootcamp, the sites below teach the art of web development and programming at a basic expert level for free.

  • freeCodeCamp – This 501(c)(3) public charity offers free courses that teach complete web development and all the languages ​​needed to be successful.
  • The Internet is Hard – This is a set of web development tutorials for beginners.
  • CSS Cheat Sheet – This interactive site helps you learn CSS by doing: it has buttons, code generators, debuggers, and tutorials.
  • Roadmap – This site shows you the roadmap to becoming hireable and allows you to check off items as you learn them.

If you are interested in enrolling in something with more structure, certifications, and a set number of hours of study, Fortune Made a list of part-time and full-time bootcamps.

3. Start building small projects and then increase complexity.

Now that you have a solid foundational understanding of the programming skills necessary to grow as a developer, it’s time to start building real projects.

The learning curve in web development is not so much a one-time obstacle as a constant flow of lulls and ups and downs. Yurkevich refers to this as a “spiral” of learning, in which you review and deepen your understanding of concepts as you go, leading you on a continuous upward trajectory in your learning journey.

“Web development is oscillation and iteration. It’s about coming and going learning and doing,” she says. For example, a web developer spends most of his time coding his ideas into reality, going back, reading documentation, watching YouTube videos, or talking to an expert: “Then go back to your idea.”

But that’s not the end point, he advises: “After all, let’s try to increase the complexity of the problem. The joy of solving the problem will be forever etched in your brain.”

The web development process

These are the five main stages of how you should approach not only your first projects but all of them:

  1. Define your project and what you intend to achieve.
  2. Write the plan for your website or app.
  3. Design your website with user interface in mind using Figma.
  4. Develop, test and iterate your project.
  5. Maintain your project and make sure there are no errors.

Web development projects for beginners.

Remember, while these starting points may seem simple, as you spiral down, you can expand on them, adding usefulness and innovation as you learn more.

  • Clone a website you like.
  • Create a weather app.
  • Create a landing page.
  • Create a multiplayer game.
  • Create a URL shortening tool.
  • Organize your day by coding a to-do list app.
  • Create a test application.

4. Create a web development portfolio that shows off your skills

Your portfolio is a game of showing, not telling. As in most industries, hiring managers and potential clients prefer to have proof that you can do the job rather than a printed title.

That said, our experts encourage people to get certifications and go to school, but you can 100% build a professional portfolio without spending all that money. There are a few things to consider when putting together your portfolio.

  • Featured Reel: Be selective about how you treat your portfolio. Avoid including all your projects in it, from simple calculators to small building blocks.
  • Adapt it: Depending on your specialization, you’ll want your portfolio to showcase the right skills for the job you want.
  • Communication is key: One of the most important skills you can have as a web developer is the ability to communicate. Be sure to show your iteration process and build working examples.

Are you still undecided?

If you can’t imagine yourself as an early Bill Gates or a Mark Zuckerberg still at Harvard, don’t worry. The spiral is about taking small steps and having a learner mentality.

“The most important thing that the most successful people in this field have in common is that they built their careers doing something they love to do,” Yurkevich says.

If you don’t love web development and programming right now, that’s okay too. He advises: “Love for (this field) is not built instantly. You have to build projects repeatedly. As a web developer, you will get by with small successes here and there.”

If you’re still not sure where a career in web development can take you, Fortune He looked for the ten most in-demand jobs in the field.

Frequent questions

Is 3 months enough to learn web development?

Yes, you can become a qualified web developer in three months. Still, industry veterans say they learn new languages, solve new problems and keep up with new technologies even in the later stages of their careers.

Can I learn web development on my own?

Yes, you can learn web development on your own. This guide outlines the 4 steps you need to take to become a web developer.

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