How to Become a Web Developer in 2021

Choosing to become a web developer can be a life-changing decision you take in 2021 keeping in mind the demand and career growth. Given how technology is engulfing every sector of our personal and professional lives, the demand for developers who can maintain and build websites, web applications will only skyrocket with time.

However, the road towards becoming a web developer can be bumpy. You may feel lost with the availability of so many tools, languages, frameworks etc. This is where we are aiming to help you with this article. In this article, we will outline the basic roadmap of how to become a web developer.

Types of Web Developer

Before we dive into the details of which skills are needed to become a web developer, let’s discuss the types of web developers. Based on the area of specialization, web developers are divided into three groups: 

  • Front-end Developer: Front-end developers are also known as client-side developers as they work on the things clients see and interact with on the website. Front-end developers are the ones that design your websites, build layouts, menus, drop-down lists etc. In summary, they are the ones responsible for your user experience with a website.
  • Back-end Developer: Backend developers are the ones that handle the work related to the server-side of the website. They deal with stuff like databases, applications, servers and so on. In one word, they handle the transfer of data from the web server to the web browser and vice versa.
  • Full-stack Developer: Full-stack developers are the jacks of all trades and also masters of all too. They are proficient as both front-end developers and back-end developers.

Necessary Software and Tools for a Web Developer

There are some tools and software that web developers must have a good command of to become successful in their endeavours. Let’s get to know about these tools and software:

  • IDEs or Text-editors: IDEs or text editors are needed to write the codes for your website. So, having good knowledge of a few IDEs will help you greatly in becoming a web developer. For example, VSCode is an IDE that is ideal for most languages. VisualStudio, Netbeans, Eclipse are some other good IDES depending upon the language you are coding in. Additionally, there are also great text-editors such as Atom, Vim, Sublime Text etc. 
  • Web Browsers: Modern web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Chrome are essential in web development. They run the JavaScript engine and offer plenty of built-in development and debugging tools for a web developer.
  • Terminal: As a web developer, you will need to work with Command-Line Interface (CLI) a lot. You can either use the default terminal or a third-party CLI tool for web development. 
  • Version Control Tools: Having sound knowledge of a version control tool, especially Git and GitHub are a must for a web developer. You need these tools when working in a group, to showcase your works to employers and others, etc.
  • UI/UX Concepts: It’s good for a web developer to have some understanding of user experience design. Although it’s not mandatory for a web developer, it’s handy to have the skills of designing with software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Learn the Necessary Programming Languages

After you are done with familiarizing yourself with necessary web development tools and software, it’s time to finally start coding. In this section, we will talk about the necessary markup languages and programming languages that you might want to learn if you want to be a web developer.

HTML & CSS

HTML is a markup language, on the other hand, CSS is a style sheet language. While these two are not technically programming languages, they are the building blocks of web development. They are the building block for the front end of all websites.

The basic skeleton or structure of a website is provided by HTML and CSS is used in styling the structure. All in all, the two are the backbone of all websites and a web developer must know these two like the palms of their hands. 

JavaScript

Among the approximately 1.87 billion websites that are online at this moment, a staggering 97.4% use JavaScript. So, you can imagine a fact for sure that, there’s no escaping this dynamic high-level programming language for a web developer. 

JavaScript is indispensable in adding interactivity and dynamism to your front-end built with HTML and CSS. You also get state-of-the-art JavaScript libraries and frameworks such as React, Vue.js, Angular JS etc in helping you design advanced user interfaces, UI elements for the front-end. In short, even if you are a back-end developer, you will need a very good working knowledge of JavaScript to make sure your server-side scripts are working.

And that’s not all! You can also code for your website’s backend with Node.js – a JavaScript cross-platform runtime environment. This means if you know JavaScript as a front-end developer (which you pretty much have to!), you can easily transition yourself into a backend developer too by learning Node.js.

All in all, JavaScript is one programming language that is a must for all kinds of web developers. Learning it will also open many doors of opportunities in terms of transitioning to another specialization as a web developer.

Other Frameworks, Libraries and Programming Languages for Web Developer

So far, we have talked about the necessary tools and software for web developments. We have also touched upon HTML, CSS, JavaScript and its various libraries, frameworks and its runtime environment Node.js. Now, if you have already mastered all these things, you are already a more than capable full-stack web developer.

However, these are just the tip of the iceberg. While you will definitely need to master HTML, CSS and front-end JavaScript regardless of whichever language you use; there are so many other options for web development. Below I am gonna list some other languages and their frameworks, libraries etc that you can explore as a web developer after you are done with HTML, CSS and front-end JavaScript. You can build exciting websites and web applications with these tools.

For Front-end Development:

  • TyepScript
  • BootStrap (A CSS Framework)

For Back-end Development: 

  • Python
  • Django (A framework of Python)
  • MySQL
  • Java
  • PHP 
  • Laravel(A framework of PHP)
  • C# 

Final Step: What Now?

Now that you have acquired enough skills to develop a fully functioning and responsive website, it’s time to build some projects to showcase your skills. You should definitely create a portfolio and showcase your skills with those projects to the world. Additionally, be sure to use freelance job sites such as Fiverr, Upwork to land yourself projects. Finally, use job listing sites and your personal networking to search for jobs.  

Learn in Details About the Best Programming Languages for Web Development

This article doesn’t dig deep into all the best programming languages out there for web development. But, you can definitely check out our blog post where we discuss the best programming languages for web development.

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Tanvir Wazy Ullah Patwary

Tanvir Wazy Ullah Patwary

A Computer Science graduate who loves to put his thoughts into words and code!

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