In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Programming languages” series, we’ll be answering questions you may have regarding what programming language to choose, how much money you’ll be making, what you can do as a web programmer, and where to start.

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.

Beginner’s Guide

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward becoming a web developer.  

You’ve just made a very wise decision that will drastically improve your life in many new and exciting ways. 

The skills you’ll learn in web development will not only open doors for you in your current career, but will help you to achieve the personal and financial goals that you once thought were unreachable. 

As you pursue this new profession, you’ll find yourself asking a lot of questions and seeking out information to guide you along the right path. 

That’s why we created this guide: to help you obtain the knowledge and experience you need to achieve your dreams of becoming a web developer, in the shortest amount of time possible. 

However, before you decide to completely dedicate yourself to learning this valuable craft, we think that you should know as much as you can about web development in order to determine if it’s truly a good fit for you. 

We’ll do our best to answer any additional questions you may have, as well. 

In this first article, we’ll begin by explaining the fundamentals of web development and what a web programmer’s day looks like. 

So, let’s get started.

What Is Web Development? (Front-End and Back-End)

Web development, or web programming, is a general term for the processes and skills required to create websites and web applications. 

Examples of web apps include games, messenger applications, email, online stores, and more. In simpler terms, everything that you encounter in a web browser and all background processes have been created by a web developer.

Depending on whether or not the content you create is visible or “invisible”, you will be classified as a front-end or back-end developer.

If your job requires you to know both front-end and back-end development at the same time, you are considered a full-stack developer.

Let’s take a look at the difference between these two fields. 

Comfortable and lovely working environment of a programmer

Comfortable and lovely working environment of a programmer

Front-End Development

Front-end development involves all of the things the user sees on the page when they interact with your site or web application.

A front-end developer takes images, text, design, animations, and colors chosen by the web designer and implements them into the website. They ensure that everything is in place and that data coming from the back-end is being displayed correctly on the user’s web browser.

They also determine if all client-side logic is working properly. Their primary tools include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Each of these languages controls one of the three vital elements of a web page: content, design, and functionality.

There are many more languages to learn, but these are the three core tools that a front-end developer must absolutely know.

These days, front-end developers are also expected to know a few frameworks, such as Angular.js, React, Vue.js, and Bootstrap.  

A site builder, on the other hand, is an entry-level position within front-end development that involves taking a design and turning it into reality with the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Site builders don’t deal with any of the back-end or server-side languages but focus more on converting artistic vision into computer code. Starting as a site builder requires minimal coding knowledge (compared to other positions) and is a great way to begin your career in web development.

Back-End Development 

A web developer may also deal with servers, databases, and other things that are “behind the scenes”, so to speak. This particular kind of web development is called, “back-end” development. 

While a front-end developer will work with everything that the user sees, a back-end developer deals with the unseen processes that create, store, and transfer information from the server to your browser.

While you’ll use some of the knowledge you learned in front-end development, you will need to learn an entirely different toolset to become a back-end developer. This means that you’ll have to learn new programming languages. Some examples of popular back-end languages include Java, Ruby, Python, and PHP. 

With experience as a back-end developer, you’ll also be able to take your skills to other IT jobs that involve managing databases and systems. Even though these jobs don’t involve programming, they do require knowledge of server-side processes. 

Database Management

A database manager is the one who is in charge of taking care of the servers and making sure they run properly. 

They also spend much of their time keeping data organized and updating the system so that the website runs smoothly.

The quality of your database management can affect loading times, your user’s experience on your site, and even your website’s position on the search results page of Google.

Good database management can also prevent your site from crashing or returning errors to your users. All of these factors are extremely important and can make or break any website or online business.  

The process of managing databases also requires one to learn a new set of programming languages. Some of the most widely used tools for database management include Oracle, SQL, and Apache. 

System Administration

Similar to a database manager, system administrators focus on keeping software and hardware running properly and up to date. A system administrator’s job generally consists of installing, upgrading, and monitoring the performance of a system—typically in a corporate setting.  

Almost every large company in the world needs a system admin to maintain the security of their IT structure and to troubleshoot problems as they arise. Company email, business applications, and internal communications are all handled by the system administrator.

Without these vital methods of productivity, a business would likely fail in today’s market. 

A system administrator’s work could be considered boring or mundane, but the tasks that they perform are extremely important and can make or break your IT structure. 

What’s the Difference Between a Web Developer and Web Designer?

You may have heard the terms Web Developer and Web Designer used interchangeably. However, that doesn’t mean that they are the same thing. 

A web developer focuses its efforts on programming and dealing with code, while a web designer uses graphic design tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and InDesign to create branding and graphics for the website.

The web developer takes the web designer’s concept and turns it into reality with the use of code. To use a real-life example, a web designer is like an architect who draws the blueprints for a building and creates mock-ups of how the building will look.

Like a construction worker, the web developer then takes those plans and starts to construct the building, brick by brick. 

Although web developers and web designers are two distinct positions, they can often overlap. If you’re a web developer who also likes to play with design, you might use graphics editing software such as PhotoShop to create images, logos, and layouts for your website.

A step closer to the perfect website

 

What Is Web Development Like?

Web Development is a fun and rewarding career that gives you a lot of room for creativity and artistic expression. 

Like any other form of programming, a job in web development may require you to work on an odd schedule and stay available around the clock to fix bugs and problems as they arise. However, many web development jobs will require you to work on a typical 9-to-5 schedule.

One of the main advantages of web development is that there are many opportunities to work remotely. This provides you with the freedom and flexibility that you won’t likely find in other careers.

A typical day in the life of a web developer mostly consists of spending time sitting down in front of a computer. Throughout the day, you’ll likely have short meetings with your peers and clients, discuss what to work on, and then begin coding away.

As you encounter new problems and challenges, you’ll spend time searching for answers on sites like Stackoverflow.com and online forums for programmers.  

You’ll also have multiple tabs open at once, as you juggle your projects, communication, and research. While you work, you’ll spend most of your time writing code in a text editor.

These programs make writing code easier and come with a variety of tools that help you stay organized. Coders also use terminals to speak directly to servers and other software for managing databases, handing versions, and much more. 

One of the greatest benefits of web development is instant feedback. Since the code is rendered in a web browser, you will be able to see the results of your work on almost any device. You’ll also be able to test your code and fix problems quicker than in other forms of programming. 

How Do I Learn Web Development?

Chances are, you’re eager to start learning the basics of web development right now,  and so you’ll want to know exactly where to find the best resources.

One of the greatest advantages of learning web development is the ability to learn completely online. Since web developers spend most of their time in front of a computer, tutorials, documentation, and classes are all available on the internet.

If you prefer a more formal style of education, you may want to check out courses at your local university or enroll in accelerated classes. 

If you’re a fast-paced learner, you might also want to enroll in a coding bootcamp, which is a short and condensed learning program that operates as a military bootcamp. However, instead of doing pushups, you’ll be writing code until your fingers fall off. 

In our article, “How to Learn to Code”, we’ll teach you the top ways to study and practice coding.

Introduction to web development

How Long Does it Take to Learn Web Development?

Web development, like any other skill, takes time and practice to learn.

If you want to learn to play the guitar or the piano, you have to set specific hours to practice per day and really invest in leveling up your abilities. 

Similarly, the time it takes to learn web development is best measured in hours. The total length of time it takes to learn web development will then be limited by the number of hours per day that you dedicate to learning it. 

Let’s say that it takes 200 hours to learn the necessary skills to become a front-end developer. You could spend 1 hour per day and take 200 weeks, or spend 5 hours per day and complete it in 40 weeks. It all depends on your learning pace. 

Your brain is also limited and can’t possibly learn for 24 hours per day. For most students, the suggested limit for studying is about 6-8 hours per day, but that’s not the case with everyone. 

Your real goal should be to get quality study time and to retain the majority of what you learned. If you’re studying web programming for 12 hours a day and you feel like you can’t remember anything the next day, you should probably reduce that amount. 

So, if it takes a fixed amount of hours to learn something, we should probably be asking a better question, “How long does it take to complete your education?”

Well, that will depend on the path you take. 

Taking the traditional route and getting your Computer Science degree at a university will take you at least 4 years. However, even after you have gotten your degree you will have to spend your free time learning various programming languages and doing internships to learn the skills you need.

Computer Science programs also tend to teach you overarching concepts in computing, such as mathematics, electronics, telecommunications, and more.  

The good news is that most web developer jobs don’t require a Computer Science degree. This brings us to our next two options: coding bootcamps and online courses.  

A coding bootcamp is an accelerated program that generally takes an average of 14 weeks, or 3.5 months, to complete. Just like attending a university for a semester, you’ll have to live near the location of the bootcamp to participate.

If you happen to live far away, you’ll have to move and find temporary housing for the duration of the bootcamp. 

Online courses combine the flexibility and condensed nature of a bootcamp while providing you with the ability to work at your own pace and learn from anywhere in the world.

In addition to incredible convenience, online courses provide you with the same high-quality education while saving you a lot of time and money.

Instead of renting temporary housing, commuting to the university, and buying expensive materials, online classes only require that you have a computer and a stable internet connection. 

That’s a total no-brainer. 

Is Web Development Right for Me?

If you read our previous articles on programming, you already know the qualities that a web developer needs to have. 

These qualities include high attention to detail, problem-solving skills, patience, the desire to learn, and a love for technology.

However, if you find it hard to sit down for hours at a time, have trouble concentrating, and don’t like computers, you might want to reconsider. 

Difficulty typing and a low GWAM (General Words A Minute) may also prevent you from truly enjoying programming and completing tasks on time. 

If you meet all of the requirements above and have a passion for the field, you have what it takes to pursue a career in web development. Your next step is to determine what languages are right for you and where to start.

See you in the next article, Beginner’s Guide to Java Programming Language”.

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Programming languages” series, we’ll be answering questions you may have regarding what programming language to choose, how much money you’ll be making, what you can do as a web programmer, and where to start.

Beginner’s Guide

Would you like to learn how to code, online? Come and try our first 25 lessons for free at the CodeBerry Programming School.