How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Developer

The web development industry is huge and the demand for skilled web developers is growing. According to glassdoor.com, at this time there are over  14,000 open positions in the IT and software development sector.

Job prospects for web developers are bright as the career is rewarding with a median salary of over $59,000 USD according to payscale.com

The question becomes how long does it take to become a web developer?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Developer

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With different types of training such as online courses, boot camps and colleges many wonder what kind of time commitment is required.

Knowledge acquired through an online course or boot camp may be quickly put to use through one's own projects and personal learning network, but this sort of expertise does not always translate well when searching for work.Fast track programs to employment are common at boot camps, but they frequently overlook the most critical step of the procedure: networking. A good approach to comprehend how many jobs there are currently worth $75,000 yearly is by looking at 73,000 open positions.

So, how long do you need to learn the abilities required to become a web developer? The time is variable and is determined by which route you want to take. There are many distinct sorts of web developers, each with its own set of skills. The following are the major broad categories:

  • Front-End Developers
  • Back-End Developers
  • Full-Stack Developers
  • WordPress Developers
  • App Developers

Front-end developers are web designers who work with the visual side of a website, often converting designs into code that become the websites you use on a daily basis. They mostly code in HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other frameworks. This is typically the first step toward learning web development and one of the quickest ways to obtain an entry-level position (as described in the following section). Depending on your interests and chosen road, developers may eventually move into back-end, full-stack, or even WordPress development.

Back-end developers handle databases, scripts, and the code that interacts with the front end to show data from a database. They frequently employ PHP, Python, Ruby, SQL, and other frameworks. The back end is more technical in nature.

Full-stack developers are just what is sounds like, they are usually skilled in aspects of both the front and back end. They are mostly skilled and experienced developers who have been doing it all for many years.

WordPress Developers deal with a Content Management System(CMS) called WordPress. There are other popular CMS’s like Joomla and Drupal, but WordPress is definitely the king of the CMS world. According to TechJury.net, 30% of websites are built with WordPress with over 75 million and counting. There are still CMS developer specialists in each brand and job opportunities are plentiful. These developers interact with the CMS frameworks using basic languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and skilled developers also utilize backend languages, usually PHP, which is what WordPress is built on.

How Do I Get Started?

HTML and CSS are the first two skills you'll need to master in order to get a front-end developer position. HTML is a markup language that is used to structure a website. It has simple tags and follows straightforward syntax rules.

CSS is a markup language that allows you to format your text and/or images. It's also used to style your website by setting sizes, dimensions, colors, spacing, and so on. These two skills are the most essential entry point because they can help you build a simple yet professional-looking website.

Once you've learnt these two languages, and with some practice, you'll be able to construct a portfolio of your work and get an entry-level front-end developer position or even an entry-level WordPress job in 6 months to a year.

After you've made some progress with HTML and CSS, you may start freelancing. You can look for simple work on sites like Upwork and Freelancer. This will allow you to practice and improve your skills while also earning a little money on the side. Not to mention it will add to your portfolio of projects to showcase.

HTML is simple, and after a week you'll have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. CSS will take some time because it isn't very difficult, but it might be confusing for novices. With enough practice, you'll be able to master the basics of CSS in a month.

The thing with CSS is that it’s not something you learn all at once, you learn the syntax and basics, and then the more you use it you will naturally start building on more knowledge about different properties as you go. With that being said, this is also true with learning most concepts and languages in web development.

Where Do I Learn These Skills?

If you want to be the top in your field, keep pushing and practicing every day, even if it's only for an hour. Youtube is a good resource for learning how-tos such as Traversy Media, RealToughCandy, and Codingphase.

You can practice by taking apart the code on this site and following along with the lessons. Tools like Codepen.io may be used to practice with. It's essentially an online code editor that shows you the output on the same screen as you're writing your code in.

There are free courses available on Codecadamy and Freecodecamp. They're fine for learning the fundamentals for free, but I recommend paying for Udemy, Coursera, Pluralsight, and TeamTreehouse courses instead. In comparison to the free classes, these courses tend to be of higher quality information.

I strongly suggest The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele. You may get this course through Udemy. This program alone will teach you all you need to know to begin working as a front-end developer. For the second half, it also covers some backend languages.

You'll also create a few projects that can serve as an excellent foundation for your portfolio. This course is essential for newcomers, but it's also beneficial for those who already know the basics. With this course, you'll be able to do yourself a favor and lay a strong foundation.

To keep your learning method more organized, I recommend using this Toptal Web Developer Checklist tool. You may get this checklist here at: Toptal Web Developer Checklist Tool

There are also coding boot camps that provide immersion instruction, but they may be pricey and difficult to fit into your schedule if you have a full-time job.

It's difficult to learn programming on your own, but I believe it's well worth the effort. If you're completely new to coding, I highly recommend going the self-taught route and learning with a blend of free and paid resources. This is the road I took, and I'm living evidence that a person can enter the Internet development business without any prior experience.

Learn Javascript

You should start learning Javascript and JQuery after you've gotten used to HTML and CSS. Javascript is a programming language that allows you to add interactivity to your website. You may use Javascript to create features like slide menus, animations, and other features that allow users to engage with your site. This is only a fraction of what it can do, but in the context of front-end development, it's a powerful instrument for which you must learn how to utilize.

Javascript is a complicated language to learn, and it will take some time for you to get started. It'll probably take six months to a year for you to feel at ease with it. You'll get it if you stick with it and practice regularly, and it will be well worth the time invested. Being adept in Javascript may help you find employment as there are numerous Javascript Developer positions available.

I highly suggest the Udemy Course: Javascript - Understanding the Weird Parts by Anthony Alicea if you want to learn Javascript. This course breaks down the ideas in such a way that they're easy to comprehend. This course has increased my technical capabilities significantly.

JQuery is a Javascript library that makes it easier to code. This is another skill you'll need to master. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the whole package for a front-end web developer seeking to work in the business sector.

It's worth noting that learning web development is a never-ending process, and you will never know everything. I've been working as a web developer for over 5 years now, and I still have to Google any time I'm having difficulties with certain issues. It's just another step in the process; while learning, don't feel inferior because you had to Google a code problem.

But Do I Need A College Degree?

Even if you don't have a computer science or engineering background, many employers still want candidates who have studied the subject. It's becoming more frequent for organizations to hire self-taught developers. Even those that list this requirement in their job ads will occasionally choose applicants with strong portfolios and the ability to demonstrate that they possess the abilities required for the position.

Don't let job postings' parameters deter you from applying. If you've practiced and invested time in your portfolio, it will show through. You'll get the position if they see your websites and determine that you have the expertise needed to fill the position.

The wonderful thing about the web development sector is that it is primarily talent-based. They will give you a chance if you have the abilities they need. You may have to start working for a small business and then climb your way up as your talents grow when you first begin. 

Conclusion

When you finally get your first web development job, your learning rate will skyrocket. You can learn a lot more quickly when you're working on real stuff with actual deadlines. The most vital point is that the faster you can master these fundamental abilities and break into the industry, the sooner you'll be paid while learning.

About the Author
David Attard
Author: David AttardWebsite: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dattard/
David has been working in or around the online / digital industry for the last 18 years. He has vast experience in the software and web design industries using WordPress, Joomla and niches surrounding them. As a digital consultant, his focus is on helping businesses get a competitive advantage using a combination of their website and digital platforms available today.

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