Considering a Career in Web Development? Here’s What You Need to Know

The internet is huge. Really huge. There are more than 1.25 billion websites online with thousands more added each day. Web developers (also known as front-end developers) are the individuals responsible for making that happen. They take a static visual design and turn it into a working, online website which people can visit and interact with.

A web developer shouldn’t be confused with a web designer (who decides what a website looks like), although these roles often overlap.

Getting Started on Your Web Development Journey

To get started in web development you’ll need to know three key languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There’s plenty more to learn once you’ve mastered these, but these three are the basics. We like to think of them as the holy trinity of web development!

Let’s take a brief look at each in turn:

What is HTML?

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a markup language used to describe the basic building blocks of a website. A markup language is a language that tells a computer how to present data; in this case, it’s the parts of a web page.

Every single website online is, at its most basic, an HTML file. The HTML code includes tags which tell the visitors browser how to render the data on their screen, informing it when certain parts, such as paragraphs and images, start and end.

Using HTML, you’ll be able to write a simple web page. Unfortunately, it won’t look very good. That’s where CSS comes in…

What is CSS?

CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is used to create the presentation and layout of a web page. This includes the colors, the fonts, and the layout of the page. You can also use CSS to adapt the presentation to suit different screen sizes and devices, which has become increasingly important in the last few years as mobiles and tablets are now many people’s primary devices for browsing the internet.

It is common for more than one stylesheet to apply to a single HTML page; that’s where the “cascading” part comes in. The cascading bit means that each CSS rule can override previous rules — the rules are essentially ranked from general down to specific. The web browser takes the most specific rule and uses that. It sounds complicated, but it’s not — and it saves developers a lot of time.

What is JavaScript?

A website created using HTML and CSS can look great, but it’s just static. To make it really interesting, you might want to add some interactivity such as videos, news feeds, or animations. JavaScript tells the browser how to respond when a user takes an action without the browser having to ask the server. This saves time, adds extra usability, and gives web developers far greater control over their websites.

Consider it this way, if your website were a person, the HTML would be the bones, the written content and images would be the flesh, and the CSS would be the skin and hair. That person might look nice, but they won’t be moving much without JavaScript — the muscles. Each element is essential to making a fully-functioning, interactive person — or web page — which is why we advise you learn all three.

Why Become a Front-End Developer?

The web is only going to get larger, and someone needs to create it. You, perhaps? Learning to develop websites as a career has many advantages:

Web Development is Flexible

Web development is a highly-flexible job that allows you to work how you want. You could join a company and work as part of a team, or go solo and work as a freelance developer. You could also work part-time as a developer as a way of bringing in additional income alongside your main job.

It’s Easy to Get Started

Getting started as a web developer is easy; all you need is internet access and some learning materials, which are readily available online. The key things you need to get started is desire; you’ve got to want it. The progress you make will be largely down to your ability to motivate yourself and work hard.

There’s Always More to Learn

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the essential ingredients, but if you’re passionate there’s a whole lot more you might want to learn to further your career. You might find yourself studying Ajax, PHP, Ruby, AngularJS, and more.

These skills aren’t something you need to worry about just now, but what you do need to know is that there are plenty of opportunities to advance your skills and become more of an expert.

It’s Fun

Most developers do what they do because they love it; web Development is frequently cited as a career with high job satisfaction rates. According to SkippedUp, 88% of developers are satisfied or highly satisfied with their career. The top three reasons behind this satisfaction are work-life balance, job flexibility, and salary.

There’s Plenty of Job Opportunities

Web development is a growing field with plenty of job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that approximately 130,000 people are employed as web developers in the U.S with an average annual wage of $72,000.

Gooroo estimates the average web developer’s salary to be a little bit higher at $72,000 and report that there are just over 5,000 web development jobs advertised in the US each month, and almost 12,000 globally.

Becoming a Web Developer with SoloLearn

SoloLearn’s courses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are just what you need to kickstart your career as a web developer.

The HTML Fundamentals course comprises 44 lessons across four modules and includes more than 125 quizzes to help you test your knowledge. The course takes you from the simplest fundamentals to advanced HTML5 features such as audio and video elements, APIs, and HTML5 forms.

The CSS Fundamentals course comprises 77 lessons across seven modules and includes 175 quizzes. The course covers everything you need to know including positioning & layout, working with text, gradients & backgrounds, and transitions & transformations.

The JavaScript course comprises 51 lessons across seven modules and includes 147 quizzes. The course covers everything from basic concepts (such as variables, data types, and operators) to the Document Object Model (DOM) and events.

By the end of these three courses, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a web developer. The easy-to-use SoloLearn app allows you to learn anywhere and our thriving community means you’re never without help.

Take your first steps as a web developer today by downloading the SoloLearn App.