What do I need to become an excellent web developer from scratch

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Posted by John Mwaniki on 27 Feb 2016

Want to become a web developer? It’s pretty awesome and interesting. With internet you don’t necessarily need to enroll for the course (I published my first fully functional website into the internet before attending any web development class) to be excellent in the field. All you need is passion and ambition. There are many self-taught web designers and developers out there. Characteristics that every web developer should have.

Web technology field is very wide, from designing to the development of an excellent working website. To ensure you become the best, you first of all need to understand what a perfect website is (Characteristics of a good website).

You should design and develop a website with the owner and the users in mind as the first priority. Make user experience in the website as interesting as possible. When a user visits a site, the first thing that he/she observes is the design then the efficiency of the site. The first goal in the design is to ensure that it has an awesome look and layout. This will catch the eyes of the visitor and will be attracted to visit the site again and again. The site should be easy to use and to navigate as much as possible. Also every bit should be functioning properly as expected.

I covered Search engine optimization techniques in an earlier article which explains in details the steps taken during the development stage to ensure the website will be highly ranked during the web searches. In the upcoming articles I will also explain how to publish the site into the internet and CPanel in details which is a broad topic.

In this article I will explain all the resources and skills you need to develop a website and where you can find them. I believe this arrangement will be helpful since you will start by adjusting yourself to fit in this interesting field by knowing what is required of you, then know what is a good website and all that it should consist, then how to design and develop it and all that is required and finally, publishing it into the internet and managing it.

All that you require to develop your own website.

As I told you earlier, the field is vast with wide technology and many ways of doing things. In this section I will talk about the tools and knowledge you will need in the development.

The tools.

Like any other work, web design and development also requires some tools. In our case we call them editors. This are the tools that will enable us to type in our commands and test them. They are as follows:

A text editor

This are the software in which we type in our commands for developing the site. They include notepad, which is the default windows editor, notepad++, text mate, macromedia dream weaver, adobe dream weaver and brackets among others. You only need at least one of them, some like notepad++, text mate are free while others such as both the dream weavers are proprietary. You can search the free over the internet and download them or just purchase the proprietary.

A Web server

You will need to run the server side programming languages which can only run on the server and to create databases using database management system which is available in the web server. There are two main servers namely XAMPP (which is cross-platform and runs on different operating systems) and WAMPP (designed only for windows). Luckily, both of them are freely available over the internet.

A web browser

Another relevant tool you should have is a browser for running and displaying the website to determine whether it looks or functions properly as expected. There are very many browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft internet explorer, google chrome, opera mini, safari, pale moon and torch among others. You should have at least one, but as a web developer I encourage you to have as many as possible because your website may look different across different browsers. Therefore it’s better to have many for testing purposes.

The Knowledge

  • HTML

It is the hypertext markup language. It is the standard markup language for creating web pages. Every web page must have it for laying the structure. There have been several versions with the latest being HTML 5.

  • CSS

It stands for cascading style sheet. It is the language used in styling web pages such as positioning web elements, coloring them, adding various effects among others. There have been several versions since it came to existence with the latest being CSS3.

  • Client-side scripting language.

These are programming languages that run on the users’ browser. They are used in performing various operations such as computations, validating of form inputs and adding various effects in the page among other uses. A commonly known example is JavaScript which is the world’s most popular programming language. Also a JavaScript library known as JQuery is included in this category.

  • Server-side programming language

These are programming languages that run on a server. They are used also to perform various operations just like client-end languages apart that they can only run on a server. They are also used in connecting the website to the database. Examples include PHP (which is the most popular), java and python among many others.

  • SQL

It stands for Standard Query Language. It is the language for accessing databases. It is used for creating and destroying databases, creating tables, inserting records, querying and updating among other operations.

Photo editing

There is no any beautiful website which does not completely have any images. Hence, since images are inevitable in the design, you should know how to manage them to suit the needs of the site by learning photo editing skills. There are various tools available such adobe Photoshop, adobe fireworks among others.

Where to find the knowledge

With the increase usage of the internet, learning nowadays have become very easy. There are very many reputable websites offering free web development at no cost. They include:

Other skills

Web technology is very dynamic and keeps changing and improving day by day. New technology is being invented and made available periodically. Other areas I would advise you to check on is bootstrap, angular.js, JQuery mobile and content management systems such as WordPress, joomla, magento and others.

With that, I believe you will know where to start and what to expect. Should you find any difficulty don’t hesitate to contact us at thecodepot@gmail.com . Hope you have learnt something knew. Comment below and like our Facebook page.

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