Best way to start learning Web Development

learning web development

Web development is an ever-growing field with evolving coding languages and libraries. The basics, however, remain the same and are essential for anyone who wishes to embark on a career in this field. Web development is split into front-end and back-end developing and it is worth understanding the requirements for both, no matter what type of developer you wish to become. Those that can code and work on both front and back -end projects, however, are known as full stack developers and people in these roles require in-depth knowledge of both areas.

Getting Started

Developing is a vast field. There is a lot to learn and most of it is best learned by doing. It is good to approach the knowledge in a structured way, going step by step as you go. Understanding the basics of how websites are constructed and work is a great place to start. The first coding languages to focus on when studying front-end developing are HTML, CSS and Javascript. If you take a Bootcamp course with Ironhack, you will study HTML and the basics of CSS at the beginning of the course, along with responsive web design and JavaScript basics.

Theory aside, the best way to start learning web development is by putting your new coding knowledge into practice. Developing a game using JavaScript is part of the first module in Ironhack's course. This will truly cement your skills and knowledge of the topic and is the best way to develop your ability. The opportunity to test, re-test, fail and succeed while practicing code is the quickest way to understand how all the different components of web developing fit together.

The front-end

The front end of a website is the part that the user sees, browses and interacts with and it is usually one of the first things to focus on when learning web development. The front-end is built with 3 types of files - HTML files, CSS, and JavaScript.

  • HTML is the basis for all websites and is one of the first things you will study when it comes to development. It features tags that correspond to various parts of a website and can be adapted and updated over time.
  • CSS is where design and layout come in - it basically lets you add colour and shape to the website. Anyone who wants to specialise in front-end developing should hone their CSS skills and know as much as possible about this code.
  • JavaScript lets you create dynamic on-page content. Any form that a user can fill in, for example, or a widget, will be built using JavaScript.

One of the most popular front-end frameworks is ReactJS. For this reason, understanding the framework and how to work with it is essential for anyone who is studying to become a developer. This technology was developed by Facebook engineers and is used by a lot of the big tech companies around the world. It is constantly evolving and being updated by a tribe of independent developers. It is also important to understand concepts like component-based frameworks and SPAs (single page apps)

Other popular JavaScript frameworks to familiarise yourself with are Angular and Vue. These have pre-built structures and can be used to quickly build apps when starting from the very beginning.

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Responsive Design

An important aspect of front-end developing, responsive design is an area that ensures your website will look great on all devices. This is often checked according to screen size. So, whether the user is browsing on a tablet, laptop or smartphone, the layout and overall aesthetic will be correct.

The back-end

Once you have mastered HTML, CSS and JavaScript, it's a good idea to focus on the back-end. All websites are hosted on a server and this is part of back-end work. Creating a server with a tool such as NodeJS, ExpressJS, or Handlebars is a good place to get started with this - it is well worth playing around with these tools, as well as MongoDB, and getting acquainted with how they work. Knowing how to make HTTP requests is also an important skill to acquire, along with integrating APIs into an application. Again, putting these skills into practice is the best way to study web development.

Back-end developer languages include Ruby, Java, Python and PHP. You will also need to understand how to work with databases. These can be used to store website information, for instance, if a user fills in an on-page form or if the website requires logins, this data will need to be stored somewhere. In most cases, databases use SQL and are run on a server such as MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server.

Full-Stack Developer Bootcamp

Ironhack's Bootcamp is designed to qualify you as a full-stack MERN developer. This acronym stands for: MongoDB, ExpressJS, React and NodeJS. To cement all of your new knowledge and skills, it is a great idea to put the theory into practice in a full-scale project. Creating a full stack application is the best way to put your new knowledge to the test, plus, it is a fun and practical way to consolidate your skills. Showcasing a full stack application with your CV or portfolio will place you as a highly desirable candidate when searching for jobs - these positions always have a very high demand.

Check out Ironhack's Web Development Bootcamp today and equip yourself with all the skills required to start out strong on this exciting career path.

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