Baby steps into web development

Earlier this week, I spoke to two developers that I used to work with. I asked them some questions about how they got started and how I could do the same.

The developers that I spoke with, a front-end developer and a senior web developer at an advertising agency, learned to code in college (and just after), when they were studying computer science. But most of the learning actually took place by doing — trial and error, and making observations. Experience is a better teacher than what you can find in a book.

The best piece of advice, learning to code for the first time, was not to give up. There will be days where it seems like everything you touch breaks, or a new concept just doesn’t stick, but everyone has those experiences. Sometimes a different approach helps, sometimes your brain needs a break, and sometimes you just have to start over.

Both developers I spoke with said they would work with me on a project if the situation arose. Qualities they look for are someone who can communicate well and someone who is able to work independently without a lot of supervision. Advice to improve was mostly gaining a more diverse skill set — I have knowledge of different test methodologies and types of testing, but that’s just one part of the software development life cycle. I’ve had a chance to make suggestions regarding UX for a particular microsite I worked on, but having web development skills opens up a whole new set of opportunities for the future.

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