Web Development is a complicated subject, and it could take years to truly understand. From frameworks, to programming, to API’s, and more, web development education never really ends. Luckily, there is common path if you want to get started in web development. This post outlines the different paths you could go down if you wanted to be a web developer.
Note, there is no single “correct” way to learn this. There are dozens of different ways someone can develop the skills sets needed to become a web developer, all of which are equally reputable. What matters is that you start learning now and stay consistent in your education. The first rule of getting started in web development is never stop learning. As soon as you’ve come to terms with the mental discipline it takes, we can cover some of the basics. Ready? Let’s dive in.
Front-End Vs. Back-End Vs. Full Stack
Before you get started learning how to program websites, you need to decide what kind of developer you want to be. You have mainly three choices, which I’ll outline below.
Once you master those three languages, you’re now able to structure and design a web page! Time to build a website and put it on the internet, right? Well, it depends. If your website doesn’t collect any information, then sure… but what help is that? In order for your website to gather and store information, it needs a server, and thus involves programming languages that help make that possible.This is where a back-end skill-set is necessary.
The path to learning back-end programming is a little more complicated. You ultimately need to pick a “programming stack” to learn. There are many different stacks you can choose from, and note that we broke down 6 of them in this post. Whatever stack you choose, just pick one, because even if you switch stacks in the future, the fundamentals of programming are the same for each one. So what does a back-end programmer do?
Without a back-end, sites wouldn’t be able to take in user information, make user accounts, or remember game scores. If front-end is the skeleton and skin, the back-end is the brains and memory. If you just wanted to get started with learning a back-end stack, try learning MEAN to start out. That stands for MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node. Even if you don’t stick with that stack forever, it will teach you the fundamentals of programming that will apply in the future.
A great resource to learn back-end programming are Free Code Camp’s back-end section. If you can’t tell, we like Free Code Camp because it’s free and it works. Also, the Web Developer Bootcamp on Udemy has a very in-depth section on MEAN, and it will have you deploy a full stack app! Wait, full stack? What does that mean?
Full stack programming is when someone knows both the front-end and back-end stacks. Ultimately, a full stack programmer can build a beautiful looking web application without outside assistance. It takes years to get to this level, but everyone starts somewhere.
There’s one key question to ask yourself; do you want to know front-end, back-end, or full stack? We suggest learning full stack, because you will be more valuable of a programmer and will ultimately be more versatile. If you do choose to become a full stack developer, we’d suggest getting your feet wet with front-end development first, then learn back-end development. Good Luck!
Note that we mean what we said about the learning never being over. Frameworks come and go every year, and they gain popularity like rapid fire, such as React. It’s a fast moving environment, so there’s no other option but to keep learning. But the most important way to learn is to just start and don’t stop. Good luck!