Every website and app you use daily is the work of one or more web developers. Anytime you go online to book a flight, view a bank balance, comment on a forum or lodge a complaint via live chat, you’re fulfilling the vision of a group of programmers.
A web developer identifies a problem or a need and creates a web-based solution for it. If you have a knack for making things, you are likely to enjoy using your creativity to build functional websites and practical web applications. Here are a number of tips that can help launch your career as a web developer.
Identify Your Niche
Web developer is a broad term for a plethora of programming skills. For example, are you interested in back end or front end development? Do you want to be a user interface engineer or a user experience designer? Whereas there are some advantages of being a jack of all trades, it is not possible for you to master all of them. The clearer your goals are, the easier it will be to specialize and quickly achieve competence.
Most job ads will require specific skill sets. If you are not sure what will work for you, research your areas of interest, read developer tips on sites such as Stackify, embark on trial and error, and sign up for skill assessment examinations. Understanding your own personality is also helpful; do you prefer designing interfaces or would you be more comfortable writing code all day?
Develop an Action Plan
Once you’ve identified the path you’d like to pursue, develop an action plan. The content of the plan would be determined by the current level of your programming skills, how much time you can spare per day, how soon you intend to put your new skills to use, and the amount you are willing to pay for a web development course.
Break down the plan into bite-sized modules. Ambiguity can cause procrastination. An unstructured or poorly defined program can be overwhelming; you may find it difficult to know where and how to start. A detailed plan with specific timelines makes the goal feel more achievable.
Nothing great comes without sacrifice and compromise. Becoming a successful developer means creating time where there seems to be none. If you think your average day is already too clogged up to accommodate anything else, identify activities that you can do without or cut down on.
One major life distraction that is so ubiquitous that we don’t even realize how much time it occupies, is television. You don’t need to watch TV every day. Even when you do, you can limit yourself to just an hour or less. This will free up more time to study. In any case, this will only be necessary for about two years at the most.
Participate in Open-source Projects
Attending programming classes and studying web development guides online is great. However, you can only become a competitive developer through practice. Participate in open-source projects such as Automattic, GitHub, Angular and freeCodeCamp. It’s a chance to gauge your passion for programming and sharpen your skills.
You’ll also learn to work as part of a team, a crucial competence given that as a developer, you’ll often be called upon to deliver a project in cooperation with others. Joining an open-source project also provides a forum for receiving real-world feedback on how well you are doing. If your work is good, you’ll be recognized by the community; this lifts your credibility and eventually opens employment doors.
Whether you are just starting out in life, looking for a career change or are keen on supplementing your current income, web development presents interesting opportunities. You don’t even need to attend a programming class. As a skill that revolves around the internet, there are numerous avenues for learning web programming on your own. Don’t wait; start working on it today.