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Are you ready to start a new career as a Web Developer? Maybe you want to learn web development to start a new hobby or grow your small business? No matter your goals, this comprehensive web development guide will walk you through everything you need to know before getting started.
Web development is the art of creating a website and ensuring it’s consistently usable. Web Developers use various coding languages to achieve this goal, and it’s common for coding teams to have a person—or multiple people—entirely dedicated to web development. It’s commonly broken down into three types: front end, back end, and full stack development. Each type has a unique role that contributes to the website’s operations.
Front end web development works with the website's client-side, referred to as the “front end.” This part of the website contains the sections people can see, such as sliders, banners, text, and other visual information. On the opposite side, back end web development works on the website's server-side, or “back end.” This part of web development controls the website's functionality and is where all its data resides.
Full stack web development is a fusion of the two and takes on their best qualities. A Full Stack Developer will have skills in each category and can seamlessly maneuver between the front and back end. Teams will often have at least one Front End Developer, Back End Developer, and Full Stack Developer readily working on the website regularly.
Read more about what web development is and why you should learn it.
Web development can bolster your career, highlight your hobby, and possibly evolve into a small business of its own. Every industry, from medicine to finance to education, has adapted to the world’s changes and is relying on the internet to complete its work. This list only scratches the surface—nearly every business has shifted online because they value the easy access the internet brings them and their clients.
You’ll increase your professional value by having web development skills and helping build your company’s website. You can also shift career tracks by using web development as a bridge. Are you in medicine but want to switch to art? First, you can start web development for hospitals and then pivot to creating websites for artists. The internet’s importance to all industries means you can easily change companies as you progress.
While you can showcase your passions on social media, having a website increases your credibility, helps you connect with others without vying for their attention, and creates a centralized location for your work. Most importantly, it allows you to operate on your own terms without worrying about sudden changes to a social media platform’s algorithms or policies. And, if you want to build a network on social media, why not have both?
Because the internet is becoming increasingly relevant, Web Developers have a place in nearly every industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web development professions are expected to increase by 13% between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than most other fields. That’s a significant number of openings, and it’s reassuring for those who are seeking job security in a high-paying field.
Saying that every industry can use web development might sound extreme, but think about it—there are websites for sodas like Coca-Cola, ketchup like Heinz, and clothing stores like Macy’s. Your local hospital, school, library, and pizzeria likely have websites to help them connect to the public. As more effective ways to connect through the internet develop, these industries will need more Web Developers to ensure that people can use them consistently.
Web development is unlike most coding disciplines because it has many uses beyond computer science. The world has become increasingly digital over the last decade, and since 2020, more and more businesses are looking for people to build their websites.
As the world becomes more reliant on the internet, the demand for web development skills will continue to increase. Plenty of programming languages used in web development also apply to other fields, allowing you additional opportunities to branch out in your career. For example, Back End Web Developers frequently use Python in their daily tasks, which is also used in other in-demand fields like data science and machine learning. That leaves plenty of room for income raises in positions that already earn six-figure salaries.
Read more about why you should learn web development.
Learning web development can seem complicated, but many resources are available to simplify the process. Many people benefit from in-person and live online web development courses because of their interactions with classmates and instructions. Each course is taught in real-time, so you’ll learn from the same experts whether you’re in a classroom or halfway across the world.
You may want to try a class, but obligations keep getting in your way. Life happens, and it’s perfectly understandable if you want to reshape your schedule but need to wait a while first. During that time, you can try an on-demand web development class to build some foundational knowledge while you’re getting everything situated. Plenty of on-demand courses are accessible through Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare.
If your budget is tight, you might want to avoid spending money immediately. Luckily, Noble Desktop has created a playlist of free web development video tutorials on YouTube and a collection of web development reference guides that will help you through each step of the process. These resources will be invaluable as you start your journey from beginner to professional Web Developer.
Did you know that there are free web development classes too? These courses are ideal for future developers who want to learn some basics before investing in a web development course. Look over this playlist of free web development tutorials from Noble Desktop to help you decide which classes are best for you.
Once you’ve found the topics that match your interests, you can start searching for web development classes. Plenty of free courses are offered directly through Noble Desktop, General Assembly, Udemy, and Coursera to help guide your search. These training facilities have quality overviews of HTML, CSS, and other web development fundamentals.
Read about more free web development videos and online tutorials.
Web development’s difficulty will depend on how much you try to learn at once. You might get overwhelmed by taking multiple classes to learn web development quickly. Most people have an easy time learning web development, and it’s common for new coders to try it before branching into other programming languages.
While there are no specific prerequisites to learning web development, it’s a good idea to look into learning search engine optimization (SEO), web design, user interface (UI), and user experience (UX) design as well. These topics don’t necessarily require web development knowledge; you can start learning about them before or after your web development training.
The programming languages needed for web development are open-source, meaning they’re free to use and modify as you please. The only costs associated with learning web development are the ones you’ll spend on your computer and any courses you choose to take.
If you want to prepare for a web development career in a short amount of time, an immersive bootcamp is the best path to take. For those who are only trying to learn the basics, try a shorter, low-commitment web development class first and see if it’s right for you. Once you have the fundamentals down, you’ll find that the workload of web development classes is much easier to manage.
Read about how difficult it is to learn web development.
Web development is commonly confused with web design, but the two play different parts in building a website. Web design covers the appearance and form of the website, including its banners, and it typically involves user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design concepts.
On the other hand, web development covers the coding aspects and structure of the website. They oversee the functionality and technical features that allow the visual elements to work correctly. In simpler terms, web design, UI design, and UX design professionals usually have graphic design backgrounds, while web development professionals have coding backgrounds.
Web development is the perfect career to start if you’re unsure if you want to enter a coding or graphic design field. You can quickly pivot into any of these subjects and still find uses for your web development skills because they’ll always be relevant.
The best learning method for you will mostly depend on your learning style, preferences, and prior web development experience. Those brand new to web development will benefit from watching free web development video tutorials. Use them to see if web development topics match your interests and career goals, and take notes on which topics you want to pursue first.
Once you have a working knowledge of web development, you can start taking bootcamps that align with your career goals. Web development bootcamps are in-person or live online, and most of them are designed with beginners in mind; you can start with no experience and end with everything you need to apply to web development jobs. That includes resources, professional support, and one-on-one career coaching.
If you’re planning to switch careers and enter a web development role, certificate programs are where you may want to start. These programs generally contain a bundle of classes taught by web development experts who will help you land a web development job, and they’re cheaper than taking all of the classes individually. The biggest perk is the certificate you earn after completing them—it’s a permanent reminder to your employers that you’ve mastered the necessary skills.
Noble Desktop offers high-quality web development classes and bootcamps that are flexible to your learning needs. These courses, taught by experts in web development, are available in-person at their training center in Manhattan and live online internationally. Noble ensures that you will work in small groups with your instructors to help you receive individualized attention, support, and career mentorship. All Noble courses are also available for a free retake up to one year after completion.
Beginners might be interested in the Front End Web Development certificate program because it gives them the practical knowledge needed to become Web Developers. This program has two tracks depending on how quickly you want to learn: the full-time option takes four weeks to complete, while part-time students will complete the course in four months.
For those that are interested in learning more about web development as a whole, the Full Stack Web Development Certificate will show you all of the significant concepts associated with client-side and server-side web development. This course is another excellent option for beginners since you can take it with no prior experience. Noble’s courses come with certificates that you can proudly display on LinkedIn or send to employers alongside your resume.
When you merge two branches (or merge a local and remote branch) you can sometimes get a conflict. Luckily Git has a way to handle conflicts, so you can see both sets of changes and decide which you want to keep.
Pull requests are a way to discuss changes with another developer before merging your individual changes into your codebase. This helps streamline collaboration and prevents confusion.
Sometimes you make a mistake and want to go back to a previous version. Here's how to rollback changes.
If you don't want to merge an entire branch, you can choose to merge specific commits... a process called cherry-picking.
The Git Stash as a place to temporarily store that's not ready to be permanently stored in a commit. Learn about the benefits of Git Stash!
As a handy reference, here are a few common git workflows you'll use.
There are desktop apps (or code editors with Git integration) that provided a graphical user interface (GUI) so you don't have to use the command line.
Storing a copy of your Git repo with an online host such as GitHub or Bitbucket gives you a centrally located place where you can upload your changes and download changes from others, letting you collaborate with other developers.
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