Suggestions for Getting Started Developing the Web

Many people start out by telling you that you should start with what they do: web design (graphic design for websites), front-end development (what you can see and interact with on websites) or back-end development (the data moving around in the background).I’m not going push my emphasis on you here (I’ll leave that for another post). The following are some useful principles and a few resources to get you started:

  1. An integrated program of instruction (so you aren’t just searching the web or books, willy-nilly). Start with basic front-end. Consists in three areas: That’s HTML (Hypertext markup language, which says what goes on a web page and a general idea of where the items will be placed), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, which gives further indications of element placement, color, filtering, etc.), and JavaScript (which gives basic behavior to the page, just as pop-ups and interaction for end users). Also, Bootstrap (made by Twitter) as a front-end framework to help your production. For a [free] integrated program of instruction on these, try the “Build A Website” Course at codecademy.com. If you get stuck, google it best you can. If still stuck, ask someone.
  2. After this course, you ARE an entry-level front-end developer (more particularly, an HTML/CSS Software Engineer. Don’t let ANYBODY tell you different. Therefore, it’s time to get some clients. The best way to learn is by building things. Look at websites such as upwork.com and Indeed to help you get contract, freelance, and other work.
  3. Start marketing yourself via social media and blogging.
  4. Find a mentor, or at least someone to walk the journey with you. Sometimes you will get stuck in a hole, someone needs to be close enough for you to reach out to them. You could even choose me!
  5. Build something while you learn. In point (2) I mentioned that the best way to learn is to build things. There are two reasons for this (1) to get practical experience as you go, and (2) so that what you learn won’t just fall after your mind as you go through these courses. The courses I have suggested above do a decent job here, but if you don’t find meaningful projects in these courses that engage your emotion, you are less likely to remember.
  6. Stay motivated.Watch videos on YouTube and investigate other sites to learn more (I will post on some of my favorites soon). Keep the interest going. Give different things a try. If a topic gets stale with you, look into something else.

Lastly, GET STARTED! The longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to build the life that you want! What are you waiting for: GO FOR IT!

 

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