How to Become a Web Developer in 5 Steps

1. Gain the Latest Web Development Skills

The first step to becoming a successful web developer is to learn in-demand, relevant skills. A boot camp is a great way to develop these skills, ensuring you learn the most up-to-date material. With an online coding boot camp education, you are exposed to the latest technologies from leading industry professionals. A good coding boot camp can teach you the fundamentals such as:

  • HTML 5 Web Development: Defines the structure and layout of a webpage.
  • CSS3: Defines the style of a webpage and how it is presented to the user.
  • Bootstrap: The most popular framework for creating high-quality layouts.
  • JavaScript: The programming language that brings your page to life.
  • jQuery: A JavaScript library which simplifies JavaScript programming.

With the help of a coding boot camp, you can learn these essential languages and more, allowing you to enter the market and meet the growing demand for coding professionals.

2. Learn from Someone With Experience

Any developer will tell you—coding can be very challenging, especially for those with no previous experience or exposure. Having someone experienced to ask for advice and feedback can be incredibly helpful. An experienced coder can provide an endless supply of encouragement — from assisting with web development courses to helping guide your career in the tech industry. 

If your goal is to develop your career as a web developer, collaborating directly with an experienced coder is among the best ways to learn. Working closely with someone who is familiar with the inner workings of the industry is a great way to develop the determination required for a career in coding. Not only can an experienced coder help you learn the business, but they can also act as a source of encouragement when you find yourself unmotivated.

3. Start Your Very First Project

The best way to begin learning web development is to simply start coding! You may try taking on a complex web development project to start, however, you may find yourself abandoning it out of frustration or difficulty. When you gain experience developing projects from inception to completion, you will establish a strong work ethic that will benefit you throughout your career. You can start building your own portfolio on sites like GitHub. You may also choose to host your own website to show off your past projects. Here are five easy web development projects for beginners:

  • Build a multi-page responsive website
  • Design a small JavaScript quiz-based game
  • Redesign an existing website template
  • Design a small UI piece such as a “contact us” button
  • Make your own chess game

Taking on these small projects will help you think like a developer while building an impressive portfolio. Many of today’s online boot camps typically involve a similar task, in the form of an agile team project that mimics a real-world environment. The advantage of a boot camp is that you won’t be designing your first project alone. Learners are typically assigned a full team project and then finalize the project together with the assistance of an industry professional.

4. Build Your Personal Brand

As a professional web developer, your most important marketing piece is your portfolio. If you have a proven track record of developing projects from end-to-end, your potential employers will value this experience when considering you for a role. You can start by contributing to sites like GitHub in order to build a robust portfolio in a short amount of time. You can also host those projects and more on a personal website to showcase your experience.

Building a brand for yourself also allows you to engage with your clients while establishing a good reputation. As you complete quality work for clients, they may provide useful referrals and strong word-of-mouth within their respective industries. With that reputation comes recognition. When a client is happy with your work, they will ask for more. Over time, you can form strong relationships with these clients, which in exchange turns your clients into long-term customers.

The other important way to build your brand is to make meaningful connections with those who are working in the web development field. Employers and clients not only hire based on skill set, but they are also looking for people that are collaborative and effective in working across dynamic teams. Each time you connect with someone new or complete a successful project for a client, you improve your potential opportunities for the future.

Potential clients and employers are also likely to look at your social media presence. Generally, you should ensure these social profiles are complete and professional in nature. One aspect of social media that is often overlooked is the significance of the network you’re in. It helps to be a member of associations or LinkedIn groups that are relevant to the roles and companies you are interested in.

5. Continue to Improve

Becoming a web developer has become more accessible than ever before, allowing you to learn on your own, or with the help of an innovative online coding boot camp. But, as we’ve mentioned, becoming a web developer on your own can be very challenging. It is critical for potential coders to learn the most relevant and current technologies. Web developer courses via an online coding boot camp are a great way to help ensure that you learn the most up-to-date material while helping you build an impressive portfolio of work.

The path to becoming a web developer is one that takes dedication and commitment. The process is not only about learning the various front-end frameworks and programming languages. It’s also about interaction and collaboration. You may be working closely with Quality Assurance (QA) teams, clients, UX experts as well as other developers. That is why, besides learning the basics of HTML, jQuery and CSS3, you also need a strong ability to collaborate with others.

Ready to become a web developer?

Explore Vanderbilt University’s Online Coding Boot Camp designed to equip you with the skills to tap into this booming industry.

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