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How to Become a Web Developer: A Beginner’s Guide

Last updated on January 26th, 2024 at 08:48 am

If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, this guide has everything you need to know. We’ll cover skills needed, career paths available, and how to get started. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at the steps below!

What is web development?

A web developer is a person who specializes in developing software and applications for the internet. 

They are responsible for coding, testing, debugging, and implementing as well as creating websites. 

The term “web development” can be used to describe everything from back-end programming languages such as Python or PHP to front-end languages like HTML. 

Some examples of what they might do include: 

  • Create new pages on an existing website 
  • Update the functionality of an application 
  • Help create and modify templates 
  • Design custom layouts 
  • Maintain server infrastructure 
  • Make changes across multiple projects at once And more! 

Web developers don’t only work with computers; you will usually need some type of industry certification (or equivalent experience) before getting hired by most businesses. 

For example;

If you are interested in becoming a web developer, this guide has everything you need to know. 

We will cover skills needed, career paths available, and how to get started. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Let’s take a look at the steps below!

Skills required

The most important skills to have as a web developer are a proficiency in coding and computer programming. 

In order to become a successful candidate, it is recommended that you start with at least one out of the three major programming languages: 

  • C++
  • Python, or 
  • PHP. 

Beyond actual knowledge of these languages, employers will also look for other qualities such as: 

  • An understanding of Internet technologies 
  • Creativity and problem-solving abilities
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • Detail orientated And more! 

Don’t worry if you don’t know any of those yet; we will cover everything below so keep on reading! 

Are there different types of web developers?

Career paths available

There is no “typical” path into becoming a web developer they can work in many roles and some may even start out in a completely different field and then learn web development on the job! 

However, there are two main paths you can take: 

a). Front-end web developers

Front-end developers work with designing user interfaces (UIs) for websites. 

This includes everything from how it looks to what features or functions exist behind the scenes. 

Some of their tasks might include: 

  • Creating wireframes 
  • Maintaining code formatting 
  • Implementing new designs 
  • Testing functionality And more!

b). Back-end developers

Back-end developers focus on developing apps that run through a server that most users never see directly. 

They are responsible for writing languages like C++, Python, or PHP that control all of these apps’ inner workings such as making sure data is secure and organized before being passed onto end users. 

Their daily tasks might include: 

  • Writing code debugging 
  • Making updates across multiple projects at once 
  • Adding new features to existing programs And more!

How do I get started?

If you have made it this far and are still thinking, “I want to become a web developer!” then we’re glad you’re committed. 

Getting your foot in the door is simple enough; all most employers will need is proof of experience (or some type of certification). 

If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry about it just yet because there is an easier way. 

There are tons of free online courses that can teach everything from HTML & CSS basics to advanced JavaScript concepts. 

You will be surprised how quickly you learn with one on Udacity, Coursera, or edX

That being said, there is no need to dive in right away. 

Before you start learning any coding languages or working on a project, it might be helpful for you to know what types of specialties are available and where they can lead: 

  • Front-end developers could work with improving web applications Designing websites Working alongside graphic designers And more!
  • Back-End Developers will have the chance to become experts at writing code Optimizing servers Managing databases Developing APIs And more! 

As mentioned earlier, most employers looking for front-end devs will also want some experience so if that sounds like something you’d enjoy don’t worry because we’ll cover all of this below too! 

How much does it pay?

What kind of salary should I expect as a professional Web Developer? 

This will vary depending on the type of company you work for, your location, and what projects or products you are currently working on. 

However, it is safe to say that an entry-level web developer can expect anywhere from $50k to $70k per year. 

We will go into more specifics later but feel free to skip ahead if this sounds good 😉

Web Developer Salary Breakdown

According to Payscale, here is a breakdown of where most web developers are employed along with their median salary ranges (as of 2017): 

  • Small companies (< 50 employees) – Median Salary : $61,000 
  • Large Companies (>1000 employees) – Median Salary : $75,000 
  • Internet / Computer Software Company – Median Salary : 66,021 
  • Web Design Firm/ Agency – Median Salary : $52,000 
  • Freelance – Median Salary : $70,000

Education Requirements: What degree should I get? 

For a career in front-end design or back-end development, you will need to have some type of formal education. 

However, there are plenty of ways you can gain the skills needed to excel at web development without an official degree. 

Here is a list of common education requirements for each specialty along with three online courses that teach everything from HTML & CSS concepts all the way up to building databases and APIs! 

Job Growth: How many jobs are available? 

According to the United States Department of Labor, employment for web developers as a whole is expected to grow by 13% from 2016-2026

This growth rate is much faster than average and can be attributed primarily to businesses needing help with their online presence. 

In fact, 62% of all job listings on Indeed right now mention “online” in some way which means there will always be opportunities.

The median salary for web developers was $66k per year (or $32/hour) as of May 2017 according to Glassdoor. 

Let’s go over one more thing…

Are you thinking about teaching yourself or learning from a Bootcamp? 

Can you teach yourself web development? 

Yes! There are tons of free online resources that can help you learn everything from HTML & CSS to Javascript. 

It is never too early (or late) to start learning and best of all it won’t cost you a thing!

 Here are three great options for beginners:

  • Codecademy –  Learn the basics with over 40 courses 
  • Treehouse – They offer both beginner and advanced tracks 
  • Lynda – Tons of tutorials on just about anything 🙂

Wrapping up 

In conclusion, becoming a web developer might seem intimidating at first but with the right training and support, it can lead to an exciting new career where you will always be challenged. 

In addition, this is one of those careers that is in high demand across many different types of organizations making it a great choice for anyone who wants to work from home or overseas!