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How To Become A Web Developer And Break Into Tech

Published: Thursday 21st May 2020

As people are always spending time at their mobiles and desktops, companies have allocated their resources to creating high-quality, digital products like their websites or apps. That’s why being a web developer is so in-demand these days. Besides, web developers can work from anywhere they want. Most web developers work remotely and this allows them to be digital nomads, being able to go on vacations whenever they want and they’re the owners of their time. This is the type of job that you must be going after if you’re a tech lover or interested in a career in IT. Here we’ll show you everything you need to know to become a software developer and where you can learn this skill. We’ve selected some of the best Coding Bootcamps that you can choose from. 

What Exactly Is Web Development?

Web development is the ability to create and modify websites. Web developers use programming languages like HTML or CSS to build websites and they usually work closely with other professionals like UX and UI designers, which are in charge of designing a functional platform. Let’s not confuse web development with web design, while web developers work with the functionality of the website like algorithms and interfaces, web designers work with the visual aspects like layouts or fonts. 

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How Can You Become A Web Developer?

In the past, the only way to land a web developer job was to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. But today companies are more flexible with requirements and you can even learn the required skills through a coding bootcamp. To become a web developer, you need to have coding or programming skills and be able to understand programming languages like CSS or Python. To become a web developer you can either go for any of these paths:

  • Study a bachelor’s degree in computer science
  • Self-learning with online tutorials 
  • Go for a complete web development bootcamp 

No matter which choice you make, the important thing is that you’re able to dominate programming skills and create functional and aesthetically-looking websites. Today, the Coding Bootcamps trend has significantly grown because these courses offer a more up-to-date education and are cheaper than universities. Besides, bootcamps also provide you with all the required knowledge to become a web developer in less time than a bachelor’s degree. While at college you would spend 2-3 years to graduate, you can earn your web development certificate in 12 months. 

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Where Can You Learn Web Development?

There are many schools that offer this type of program, but one of the best ones is Flatiron School. In this school, you can learn everything from back-end to front-end development and all programming languages like Python or HTML. Thinkful is another great school to learn web development, especially front-end development. Both of these schools offer flexible payment methods that go from deferred tuition to loan financing. If you don’t have the money yet, they also offer a program where you only pay your course only after you’re hired. This is a way to show that most of these bootcamps provide a high employment rate.

Types Of Web Developers

Just like software developers, web developers have three types of developers; front-end, back end and full-stack developers. All of them are different specialisations but they usually work together, along with other professionals like UX and UI designers, web designers and DevOps. 

  • Front-end development:

Front-end consists of all the visual elements in the interface like buttons or search bars. While web designers only design these elements, front-end developers program them with languages like HTML or JavaScript. Front-end works with everything that users see and are able to interact with.

  •  Back-end development:

Back-end refers to everything that happens underneath the visuals and makes the website functional. We could say that this is the “server-side” of the website. 

  • Full-stack development:

And lastly, we have the unicorn-like specialisation; full-stack developers. Not everybody follows this path because full-stack developers have a lot on their plate. But companies prefer to work with full-stack developers because communication is better. Full-stack developers handle front-end and back-end operations. When someone works with these two professions separately, there are usually communication problems between both. But this doesn’t happen with full-stack developers. 

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What Can You Do To Get Hired?

Once you get your degree or graduate from your coding bootcamp, you should start going after opportunities. If you want to work as a web developer and have no experience the best way to impress recruiters is to create your own website to show your skills. In fact, this is what most companies see when they’re hiring a web developer; their website. If you’re not able to create a functional and well-looking website for yourself, you probably won’t be able to do it for them, so think about this before you start sending applications. 

On the other hand, apprenticeships or internships are also a good way to start earning some experience. An Internship will also open your network and this way you’ll start surrounding yourself with people that’ll connect you with others in the industry. You can always use LinkedIn to start building a network and showcasing your work. Remember to be active in social media, show your work, and let people know you’re there. If you want to start connecting with other people on this platform, you should be kind, personal and straight-forward. If you send a message to recruiters to let them know that you have a friend or interest in common, this will draw their attention, rather than sending a generic email.

Are you on the lookout for web developer vacancies to break into tech? If so, register on Zoek today and bag yourself your dream job!

Author bio: Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.

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