If you’re considering becoming a Web Developer, then you’ve made an excellent choice; the field of web development has seen significant growth in the past few years and only continues to expand. Web development is also a very lucrative field, which makes it an even more attractive career option.

But how exactly do you become a Web Developer in 2021? In this quick guide, you’ll learn the six essential steps you need to take to start a career in web development.

1. Research the Field

The first step you need to take is to learn more about the field of web development—you don’t want to jump into a new career without researching it first, right? The amount of research you do is up to you, but the better informed and prepared you are before embarking on your new career, the higher your chances of success.

To help you along in your research, here’s some of the fundamental information you need to know about web development:

What is Web Development?

Web development is all the work that goes into building and maintaining a website. Web Developers use a wide variety of programming languages and tools to create websites that are attractive to the eye, user-friendly, and error-free. These websites can be used for practically any purpose and range in size from a simple, one-page website to a multi-faceted social networking or ecommerce site.

What’s the Difference Between Front End, Back End, and Full Stack Development?

Web development is typically separated into three different types: front end, back end, and full stack development. The primary difference between the three types is what part of the website is being worked on. Front end web development focuses on the client-side of the website—everything that the user can see and interact with. Back end development deals with everything that goes on behind the scenes that supports the front end such as servers, databases, and applications. Full stack development is a combination of both front end and back end development, incorporating elements of each one.

Essential Web Development Skills

In some ways, the skills you’ll need depend upon whether you choose to focus your career on front end, back end, or full stack development. But there are some basic skills that apply to all potential Web Developers, including:

  • Computer literacy
  • Teamwork
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving

When you look at the different specialties within web development, the skills required do vary a bit. Those interested in working as Front End Web Developers should have (or learn) the following skills:

  • A solid grasp of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • An understanding of user experience (UX) principles
  • An interest in creating websites that are beautiful and functional
  • The ability to test code, find bugs, resolve issues, and track changes to the code
  • Familiarity with front end tools such as libraries, frameworks, and content management systems (CMS)

Anyone who’s considering a career as a Back End Web Developer should have or acquire these necessary skills:

  • A capacity for writing high-quality code using Python, Java, and PHP
  • The ability to create and manage web applications
  • Knowledge of database, hosting environment, and server management
  • The ability to analyze problems, find solutions, and make corrections to the code
  • An understanding of accessibility and security compliance

Web Development Job Outlook

The job outlook for web development is excellent. Though many people feared that the Covid-19 pandemic would slow the advancement of the web development industry, it seemed to have the opposite effect, spurring on its growth; web development jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 13% between now and 2030. That equals roughly 25,500 open positions every year over the next decade. That means now is a great time to become a Web Developer!

2. Choose a Specialty

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to choose which specialty you’d like to pursue: front end, back end, or full stack development. You might think that coding is just coding, but there are a few key differences between the three varieties of web development; to be successful, it’s important to choose the one that best aligns with your personality and interests.

For example, the best specialization for those who tend to be creative, visual type of people is probably front end web development. If you’re more analytical and love digging into complex problems to produce workable solutions, then you should probably lean toward back end web development. A Full Stack Web Developer will work on both the front and back end of a website, making this an excellent option for someone who’s a jack-of-all-trades.

Of course, these are generalized descriptions of the three concentrations; you should conduct further research to find out which is the best fit for you. You might even try talking to professionals currently working in web development or taking a couple of online classes to see which one aligns with your talents, interests, and career goals.

3. Learn the Fundamentals

After you decide which track to follow, the next step is to choose a learning pathway. Do you want to take classes in person or online? If you choose to learn online, do you have the discipline to follow through on a self-guided course or would you prefer to enroll in a class led by a live instructor so you can ask questions and get immediate feedback?

You should also consider how much time, money, and effort you’re willing to invest in learning web development. Do you want to learn as quickly as possible through an intensive bootcamp or would you prefer taking individual classes on a part-time basis? Do you need a school that offers flexible financing options or do you have money saved up to invest in coding classes?

Don’t forget to also check about mentorship and job placement assistance; many schools can help you find employment after you complete your web development education plus match you with an industry expert to guide your learning. Investigate the various learning options before settling on one that best suits your needs.

4. Develop Your Skills

While you’ll get plenty of opportunities to develop your skills during a class, it’s important to continue applying your newly acquired skills after learning the essential principles and languages of web development. Take on small projects to continue developing your skills. There’s no need to dive into the deep end and try a complex project just yet if you don’t feel ready. Start with the skills you have then continue building them through practice. Eventually, you’ll be ready for bigger and more complicated projects.

5. Create a Portfolio

A strong portfolio is the best tool you can possibly have as you search for a web development job. Once you’ve learned the basics and had a chance to develop your skills, pull together all your best work into a portfolio. Make sure that the portfolio showcases a diverse range of the work you’ve done. You might also consider highlighting the process you use by presenting each portfolio piece as a case study; that will give potential employers an even better understanding of how your skills can benefit their company.

6. Search for Jobs

Once you have a strong portfolio ready to show off to potential employers, it’s time to start your job search and become a professional Web Developer. There are countless places to start looking for a new job, but the best option is to check with the school where you learned web development—they’re likely to have some excellent leads.

Beyond that, you can also search for web development jobs on sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to talk to your friends, family members, former co-workers, and acquaintances to see if they have any good job leads. With the high demand for web development skills, it won’t be long before you find your first paid position.

Start Your Web Development Learning Journey

Are you ready to start exploring your options for learning web development? Noble Desktop offers web development classes live online and at their on-site location in New York City. Taking web development courses live online provides you with the same structure, content, hands-on training, and immediate feedback as in-person classes but with the flexibility of learning from home. You can even take a complete web development bootcamp that will get you ready for your new career in just a few short months, without having to leave your living room.