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The road to web development in 2019

The internet is the path we take every day to interact with our world. The primary role of web developers is to get information to as many people as possible. Because there are various skills to learn to be a successful web developer, it can also be very difficult to understand exactly what to learn. But with proper training, and time spent learning necessary skills, nearly anyone can become a valuable web developer. This resource should help you understand what web development consists of in more detail. We will discover some different development languages, discuss how to decide where to invest your time, and go over tips for staying up to date on current trends and practices in web development.

The first skills you’ll want to start learning if you’re getting into web development will be HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are part of what’s called front-end web development, and they are the foundational file formats of the web.

You can think of building a website like building a house. You need some structure, foundation, walls, ceilings, windows, and so on. That structure would be considered our HTML. Structure isn’t enough to live in a modern house today, you need paint, some sort of interior design, furniture and other necessities in order to have a comfortable place. Those more “stylistic” items would be considered the CSS. And lastly, if your house doesn’t run on proper plumbing and electricity, then things don’t really function well. This is where JavaScript comes in. JavaScript is the de facto programming language for the web. It is the language the provides the interactivity between the layout, styles and of course the users. Without it, users would only be presented with information, but they wouldn’t have any way to interact with that information.

Mastering these skills together will give you enough to “break into” the industry as there are plenty of jobs centered around just these three languages. With these skills, you’ll understand how to display text, images and other objects in a web browser, and you’ll be better able to execute solid web development down the road.

Learn more about front-end web development.

The terms front-end and back-end are used quite a bit in the web industry. In a nutshell, front-end web development is everything that people can see and interact with. Individuals who work on front-end are often called web designers, web developers, front-end architects or front-end engineers. Typically a front-end developer works inside of a web browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Because browsers are constantly being updated, front-end web dev communities are constantly innovating.

Back-end web development refers to things the user can’t see in the browser, such as servers and databases. The back end often deals with things like structure, security, and content management. And while you can’t really interact with the code that back-end developers write, the reason that you’re able to even interact with the information presented by the front-end is because of systems and protocols set up and developed by back-end developers. People who work on back-end are usually called programmers or developers, architects or engineers. Click here to learn more about what front-end and back-end web development consist of.

Being a part of front-end web development is an awesome opportunity. Front-end developers get to contribute to amazing revolutions in user interface technology. And remember the name of the game is displaying information.  Because the landscape is constantly changing and technology is advancing so rapidly, we have to be constantly learning and adapting to industry practices. To that end we’ve gathered 10 essential learning resources for front-end web development that will help you keep up so you don’t get left behind. There are several online coding tools like JSFiddle and CodePen. Stack Overflow is one of the best places to learn and solve issues, especially in conjunction with another coding tool. However, the amount of information that exists on Stack Overflow and the ability to search for answers is daunting and takes time to properly master. Influencers like Addy Osmani and Paul Irish are also go-to resources. And then, of course, there’s Pluralsight, which offers curated, expert authored courses, assessments and other opportunities to skill up.  

For a full list of resources, check out this blog post.

In today’s demanding world, it’s all about speed. We need to get our information into the hands of users as fast as possible. For this task, web developers at large companies have built out what the industry calls “frameworks” or “libraries” that help devs work faster and in an organized manner.

If one were to simply use the foundational skills (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) to write a fully-functional web application, it might take a really long time to get all of that code into place. And what you’d be left with would likely be hard to maintain as a developer. Due to the demands of users, and the expectations they have of websites today, we need to be able to build more than just statically rendered content. Enter the world of web applications.

React is the go-to comprehensive library for front-end developers. It makes you better at development in that you can get your work done more rapidly and in a more organized fashion and it helps you polish web development skills that several organizations see as essential. To be an effective React developer you should know how you fare with HTML, CSS, JSX, JavaScript, and more.

Check out these essential skills for React web developers to see how you stack up.

Embarking on the path to web development is a wise choice indeed! But where do you begin? With so many programming languages available to web developers, it can be hard to decide which one to go with—or at least where to start.

Some of the top programming language certifications for web developers are as follows:

• Ruby on Rails

• JavaScript

• Python

• Java

• ASP.Net MVC

• Node-js

• Objective-C

One of the main difficulties that someone will face jumping into programming will be to understand enough about each language to recognize the different tradeoffs between them. It’s a good bet to simply pick one of the more popular languages and get good at it. When the time is right to learn a second or third language, you’ll have a firm foundation in one that will help you decide where to go next.

Check out this blog post for a more robust breakdown of each of the top languages.

Because of the fast pace of change in this industry, it’s important to keep up with web development news and trends. Web development podcasts are quite helpful and convenient, allowing you to absorb content from almost anywhere. Some favorites include Boagworld, Adventures in Angular, The Big Web Show and JavaScript Jabber.

For more, see this list of 10 web development podcasts you should subscribe to.

Web development skills will take you far in this ever-evolving era of technology. Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been in the industry for several years already, there will always be something more to learn or refine. For those just starting out, find a mentor who’s willing to spend time with you in the early days. There’s a lot to learn and you may feel frustrated at times by the sheer amount of information out there. For those who are simply looking to level up, keep exploring the resources available here—gaining a new skill might just spark the next innovation in technology.