Many of those who want to master web development and make a career in it have no idea where to start and what prospects they have.
This article will give you basic understanding of web coding, design and marketing, and will help you decide whether or not you want to work in web development.
Let’s start with motivation as it is the key factor in building a successful career. No matter what you do, it is important to keep motivated. But motivation is not everlasting, and with time it may fade away. How can we make it last longer? You probably know those green pieces of paper (sometimes of other colors) called money. Money helps us get what we want. So, mmm… what was I saying? Yes, it is the money that can become excellent motivation.
You probably think it will take a long time before you start earning money. I am happy to tell you the good news – in 2 or 3 months you will be able to sell! And in 2-3 years your sales will grow significantly, and so will do your profit! With time you will start working more professionally and quickly, and will be able to take up more expensive projects. And soon you will start reaping the fruits of your work (which will include crunchy banknotes).
Probably you think: “Why would anyone buy from a beginner when there are plenty of good web-developers? You see, there is the other side, the customer. Customers differ – and so do their demands.
Let’s, for example, take a customer who likes fishing. He is a communications engineer with an average salary. One day he decides to start a blog about fishing. Often, such customers have a limited budget and they will want something simple. So you will make something based on HTML, or some free website engine which he will be quite happy with. So you will earn your first money - excellent motivation to keep you working further.
Which Specialization to choose?
This point could have been the first, but we know from our experience that it should be here. So you have come to the point where you need to choose a specialization. It’s quite simple. Just forget about money, trends, and your friend Max, who makes a lot of money on websites. Think of the things you enjoyed in your childhood, at school, a year ago, yesterday. Analyzing the things you enjoy will help you choose among web-development, web-design or marketing.
Let’s take my own example. When I was 4-6 years old, I liked experimenting with soldering irons, studying circuit boards, and playing with LEDs and batteries. My parents bought me an Atari computer when I was 6-10 years old. It came in a set with a tape-recorder and a cassette with games. Yes, I played 8-byte games, and I was quite interested in Basic, which was available on Atari, which even allowed writing programs and having the results on the screen. But at that time, I had no idea that I was coding with Basic. I copied the code from the book and watched what I got on the screen. I started experimenting. I changed the numbers and commands to get new images and sounds. It made me happy. When I grew a bit older, I watched “the Matrix”. I watched it many times. I think it is one of the best movies, ahead of its time. At school my favorite subjects were Algebra and Geometry. I had an “anti-textbook” in my mind. I learned what I was taught, but I was always trying to “invent” a new method of solving the tasks we were given – faster, more accurate and in a different way. I was about 12 years old then.
Now it’s time to ask:”What was the right profession for me to choose?” Yes, a programmer, or even a programming architect. Use my approach and you will be able to understand what you really like. If only someone had told me this earlier! I would have started studying programming at the age of 10, not 13 as I did!
So, you have to choose among these three fields: web-design, web-coding or marketing. If you choose web-coding, you need to choose the first programming language to master. If you choose web-design or marketing, you don’t have to choose a narrower specialization.
Which programming language to choose?
There are plenty of web-site programming languages available today. Below is the list of most popular languages with a brief explanation of each.
HTML + CSS
Whether you are going to be a designer or a programmer, you should definitely start with HTML. HTML is the basics. Knowledge of HTML is crucial both for designers and programmers. You will need a couple of months to master it.
We recommend these tutorials as a start:
• HTML Tutorials;
• CSS Tutorials.
You can find a lot of useful resources on the internet. Just search in Google - the first two links are usually quite good and relevant.
If you are going to develop websites, we recommend that you start with PHP, as it will help you quickly understand the fundamentals of website building. It is number one in developing dynamic websites. You can learn other languages later.
Java was developed by Sun Microsystems. It is the standard programming language for corporate software support, web-content, games, mobile applications, and OS Android. Java can work on different platforms, so a program made on Mac OS X can as well work on Windows.
Ruby is a simple and easy programming language created by Ruby On Rails for websites and mobile applications development. It is dynamic and object-oriented. Ruby is used in many websites including Groupon and GitHub. It is great for beginning web-developers.
C++ is an intermediate level object-oriented programming language and an extension of the C language. Many popular programs, like Firefox, Winamp and Adobe, are built on C++. It is used to develop system software, applied software, high-performance server and customer applications, and games. It’s great to know it, but don’t rely on it for making websites.
Python is a high-level script language for websites and mobile applications. It is easy to learn ad read. It uses fewer code lines than other languages for the same purpose. Many complex products, such as Instagram, Django and Rdio are built on Python. Python is also widely used in Google, Yahoo and NASA products. It is great for projects with high load. We recommend studying it as a second or third language.
At any stage of your studying, keep in mind that there will always be something new to learn. Never stop learning and improving. Be dynamic to keep your knowledge up-to-date, as the range of new tools never stops enlarging. Attend seminars, lectures, teach yourself. Keep developing.
To be a successful programmer, you must be able to find solutions. At first, it may seem hard, but with time you will see that nothing is impossible. Internet opens many doors to you - just choose the right one each time. Don’t be afraid of mistakes – accept them and minimize them in future. Never believe trainings like “How to become a programmer in 24 hours”. High results can be achieved only by hard work, practice and time. In average, you need 10,000 hours of practice to become a good programmer, which is 5 years if you work 4 hours a day. Studying more than 4 hours a day will overload your brain, which will hinder concentration and good learning.
Writing codes is just one part of programming. From the very first day you need to develop such qualities as self-control, self-discipline and persistence. You must keep learning and developing. Don’t rely only on the knowledge you get at trainings. Teach yourself. Perseverance and hard work will make you the best.
Never be discouraged. Never think you are worse than others. In the beginning, you will often tell yourself:”I have no idea how to do it.” Everything comes with experience. A good programmer knows he can always find the solution, even if in the beginning he has no idea how to do it.
How long does it take to become a programmer?
Never stop learning! Programming, like many other disciplines, demands constant self- development. Each day brings new opportunities and new solutions. Follow the news, keep up-to-date, and develop. With each project you will perfect your skills and consider yourself cleverer than yesterday. It’s great!
Each new project must be better than the one before. If you are working on a project similar to the one you did a year ago, don’t write the same code. Always write the code anew and try to do it better than before.
Invest in yourself - it is the most paying and profitable investment. While spending extra couple of hours on finding better solutions for your project, you invest in your experience.
A bonus for your motivation
This graph shows average earnings of a good programmer. Let it motivate you! Also, keep in mind that we live in the age of automation, which means that the demand for programmers will only grow.
Be persistent, love what you do and you will succeed! Good luck and best wishes!
Founder of Perfecto Web