LEARN TO CODE

Why Learn Web Development?

Getting started with web development

Aneesh Rao
Mar 1 · 5 min read

The Web is open to anyone who wants to code for it. It’s one of the fastest-growing platforms. In this article, we’ll check out the features and perks of choosing web development. Make sure you know what other options are available before you begin. Check out this article for more info —

1. Lots of Resources

The Web has plentiful documentation and other resources to learn about the Web. A broad range of learning material can be found, from the official documentation on basic web technologies to many websites devoted exclusively to learning web development. My recommended method of learning to code is to devote equal time to hands-on exercises as well as some theory.

Tip: Most major browsers have built-in developer tools, which are usually used to find errors (also known as debugging), which can be accessed by right-clicking anything on the page and selecting Inspect from the drop-down menu. This is a great way to understand how a website runs under the hood as it allows you to read the web page’s source code. You can play around with it, change colours, styles and so on. The Console tab allows you to run (javascript) code right in your browser.

Useful learning material for beginners —

It might seem tough at first, but don’t lose hope. Once you start, it only gets easier.

2. It’s Growing Fast

The Web is one of the fastest-growing platforms. In fact, in just 25 years, a whopping 5082 million users have started using the internet (Source: Internet World Stats).

Languages are improving, browsers have started to support several features which were previously available only to native app developers. Earlier, one of the significant disadvantages of web development was the unavailability of OS-specific features, for example — being able to access a webpage directly from the home screen, work offline or send push notifications.

Graph of internet user growth showing substantial growth of internet users over 20 years
Graph of internet user growth showing substantial growth of internet users over 20 years

As the graph indicates, the internet (and the Web along with it) hasn’t stopped growing and is expected to expand even further.

I found this amazing website that visualizes the evolution of the Web —

3. Lesser Code, Greater Audience

Cross platform development with web illustration
Cross platform development with web illustration
Web for cross-platform development | Source — CodeCondo

Let’s say you want to take your business/product online. So, if you decide to make an app (actually, apps), you would have to develop apps —

  • one for each platform (Android, macOS, etc.)
  • each using a different language
  • requiring a different development set-up

To develop iOS and macOS apps, you would need to run macOS for which you would have to get a mac 😬!

  • with a different way to distribute them (Play Store, App Store).

Apart from this, you’ll have to maintain them — Fix bugs and errors, optimize, add and remove features and so on.

It all seems like a nightmare doesn’t it?

If only there were something that would work across all the platforms without requiring a pricey setup or the several constraints of distribution platforms…

Oh but wait, there is, it’s the Web! It works across most of the platforms, and you only need to write code for the Web not for each of the underlying platforms/OSs.

Note: Of course, the Web too has its limitations.

4. Huge, Active Community

Developer community illustration
Developer community illustration
Source — Developer Economics

67.7% of developers use JavaScript, one of the core languages used for web development, according to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, and 63.1% use HTML & CSS, which are primary web languages as well. Over the past three years, the community has been steadily rising in size and is expected to continue to expand.

Question/Answer sites like Stack Overflow and collaboration sites like Github (which is primarily used for code hosting) have seen considerable growth in users over the past few years.

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is an international community aimed at sharing knowledge, developing guidelines, and making sure that the Web is open to all.

In short, the web development community is enormous, friendly, helpful, active and is growing. They’re always creating something new and cool for you to try out!

5. Unlimited Options and Opportunities

Collection of javaScript framework icons
Collection of javaScript framework icons
Copyright by Jose Aguinaga

Many new languages and tools release each year giving you a wide range of possibilities to develop for the Web.

Fortune 500 companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook are actively building tools that easily add and support complex features, boost performance, and support a larger number of devices. Most of all, they aim at providing a good developer experience, in terms of productivity and ease of use.

Just to develop the frontend (what the user sees), you’ve got many languages to choose from.

Basically, you’re going to have plenty to choose from. All you’ve to do is pick a tech that supports the features you want and that you’re comfortable using.

A Big Disadvantage

Browser support meme — One day to design code, six days to fix compatibility with old browsers
Browser support meme — One day to design code, six days to fix compatibility with old browsers
By Adam on Developer Memes

Yep, that’s right. The Web enables supporting multiple platforms with less code. But the ability to support multiple browsers? Eh, nope. Supporting old browsers (I.E. <11) is especially painful. They mess up code and make it harder to maintain and read. Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do about this

Conclusion

If you like learning new and different things regularly, want to reach a broad audience and want to be part of the largest developer community (Source: Slash Data), then I would certainly suggest that you pick the Web right away!

Happy learning/coding!

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Join The Startup’s +740K followers.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +740K followers.

Aneesh Rao

Written by

A hobbyist, student and open source contributor who loves learning new things. Find me on Github - github.com/sidrao2006

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +740K followers.