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What do I need to be a Web Developer?

Posted on November 8, 2017 by Michael Rosario  |  Comments

I was asked recently asked by a college student what he needs to be a “Web Developer.” If I were to sum it into one blog entry, it would be a mix of the tools I use, best-practices and the coding languages that I know.  It’s never to late to learn how to code and learn new tools. Once you have an idea on the basics - it’s never too far to learn another.  Every single thing online has documentation, youtube videos, and wikis readily available.  There are a lot of tools out there and a lot of developers willing to share their two cents on forums and social media.

If you look at the top “Web Development” jobs out there they are seeking the following criteria:

HTML - Hypertext Markup Language is the standard markup language and something that any web developer should master.  It needs to be clean, properly indented and easy to follow.  We’re currently at HTML5 and there’s already a HTML6 - which is not there yet, but its there.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets is a style sheet language to make your HTML-coded pages look pretty.  It also pays to learn SASS and CSS3 and responsive stylesheets.

Javascript - A perfect pair with HTML to program front-end animations, data manipulation, and many more.  Also helps to learn how to use libraries like jQuery - opening an extensive list of plugins for slideshows, form validation, etc. 

PHP - PHP is a server scripting language and the code is ran before the page load, unlike javascript that is ran during or on page load.

Design Tools - A good handle on Gimp, Sketch and/or Adobe Suite is also important.  You have to be able to translate/convert designed creative into a fully-functioning website.

Data/Databases/API - It doesn’t hurt to know how to manipulate and get data from SQL, JSON, and other third party APIs like Google, Facebook, etc.  Their API documentation will be your best friend.

Frameworks - There are plenty of frameworks out there - PHP frameworks, Javascript frameworks, HTML5 Frameworks - They are there to simplify and optimize web development. For web development, I recommend Foundation 6

Content Management Systems - Again, there are plenty of CMS solutions out there doing different things and some do them real well than the others. People probably have heard of WordPress, Drupal, Magento, CraftCMS, ExpressionEngine, and so forth… Whether it’s a blog or a full-on commercial store, there is a CMS out there to help you manage your content.

Servers/Domains - Most servers have a support team and it doesn’t hurt to ask.  It’s a good skill to be able to successfully launch a website onto a server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or SSH (Secure Shell) into a server to transfer files and use code versioning (GitHub).

If anyone reading this have any ideas or suggestions, please drop it on the comments.

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