Being a web developer is a very in demand profession especially when everyone is shifting to the internet. In this article I will provide you with an overview on how to be a great web developer. No Computer Science degree required.
Study HTML and CSS
HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language is not really a programming language but it’s the language that every web page on the internet is written in. The good news is that it’s very easy to learn and understand and there’s a good chance that you might know it already. I suggest that you download Notepad++ and just write and edit HTML. Learn the proper web standards and create your own website no matter how basic it looks. Speaking of looks, while HTML provides your website’s structure, CSS or Cascading Style Sheets provides its layout and design. Familiarize yourself with the different CSS properties and I’m sure with enough practice you’ll be styling those HTML pages that you’ve done. I suggest that you concentrate with positioning the elements because you’ll use that skill a lot in your career.
Study a web programming language like PHP and one database language like MySQL
Although there are a lot of languages available, PHP is the language of the internet. It powers a lot of top sites like Wikipedia, Facebook and Flickr. A lot of programmers would suggest against PHP as your first language but I think that it’s one of the easiest languages to learn and setup. There’s a myriad of tutorials out there designed no matter what your background is. A prerequisite though is that you have to know HTML. Also setting up your development environment in your desktop computer is as easy as double clicking an installer and creating your files on the web server’s directory. Download, install and read the instructions for XAMPP if you’re using Windows and MAMP if you’re on the Mac. Most PHP tutorials covers or provides more tutorials for learning a database language like MySQL. You need MySQL to store user input/data and to service them with that data the next time they visit your website.
Practice makes you better
It’s cliché but there’s no better way of learning how to program than to practice. Just program a lot of websites no matter how small they are. Create your own blog, create your online portfolio, there are a lot of information out there that needs a platform and you can provide that. Start creating!
Make Google your best friend
Everything that you need to know about becoming a programmer or web developer is in Google and the best of all they’re available for free. The key here is knowing where to look and how to look for the information you are looking for. A tip I can give you is describe the information you’re looking for in keyword phrases. For example if you’re looking for the syntax of an If…Else statement in PHP, just type in “If Else PHP” it’s that easy. Never settle on a website and try to learn from a lot of resources. It’s like gaining the experience of tens of master programmers.
Never stop asking questions
Develop that desire to know the craft of programming. Join forums, comment on blogs. There are myriads of websites that promotes interaction with other developers. You should use them to your advantage. Never stop learning and have the passion to be the best programmer that you can be.