How to Become a Web Development Professional
Web designers and developers are very much appreciated and in demand in today’s digital world. One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding web development professionals is that these IT specialists only build websites and offer maintenance services, when the truth is that a truly skilled and highly trained web developer does much more than that.
These specialists do use scripting and programming languages to create complex websites, but in addition to this they may also:
- Design and edit website content
- Identify and address a wealth of functional and software-related issues
- Convert media files (including video and audio components) in order to make them compatible with various web formats
If you have decided to pursue a lucrative career as a web development professional, we’ve got some suggestions about the path you need to take to become successful.
1. Start with Web Development Basics
If you’ve ever wondered how to become a web development professional, first remember that even the greatest in the field were once novices. Web development itself is a very demanding and sophisticated field, which is why you need to first learn the basic skills. CSS and HTML are two programming languages that are considered to be the backbone of the internet. Before moving on to other web development tools, it is important to first master these two languages—they will serve as your core skills and help you make practical, intuitive, user-friendly, highly functional websites.
2. Learn Web Development Software
One of the most important parts of being a complete and professional web developer is becoming familiar with the various software programs that are commonly used in this field. While it is true that learning programming languages certainly are critical for a beginner, it is important to also learn how to work with the latest and greatest web tools, as well as graphics software. Some examples of these include Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as with Dreamweaver and Fireworks—these four will undoubtedly prove important for your web development career.
3, Master SEO
As mentioned above, one of the many duties and responsibilities of a web development professional involves managing the website content, which means that you will need to become familiar with the concept of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
SEO stands for a set of practices, techniques, and methods that are widely used to make a website’s content more easily searchable—as well as more beneficial for a website’s readers. Ideally, good content should be keyword-rich, 100% original, well-written, and filled with useful information. SEO services often go hand in hand with web development and web design, and a complete web development professional usually offers a wide array of web-related services. Many regard web development as a multidisciplinary field—with good reason, since it does not cover only one area of expertise.
Every good web development professional should possess a set of varied skills and qualities—and being highly attentive to detail or having an eye for aesthetics are only two of them. While it is true that most of the skills are acquired, some of them are innate—but fortunately, there is software available for almost everything these days.
4. Emphasize Practice Rather Than Theory
One of the most common mistakes web development professionals tend to make is by focusing too much on theory, forgetting that ultimately their practical skills will set them apart from the crowd. That being said, a very important part of pursuing your career as a web developer involves creating dynamic websites that do not require individual HTML pages, but multiple pages using the same design—these are driven by MySQL and PHP.
After having created a dynamic website, you should make the best of it and use it for improving the UX, by developing a new website that uses AJAX. By doing so, you can experiment with a plethora of flash or other interactive online applications that will add to the aesthetics, value, function, and rating to the website. Lastly, you must exercise your coding skills with the help of various programs and systems, such as Joomla or Drupal.
5. Take Your Software Skills to the Next Level
The final step you should take in order to become a professional web developer is to enroll in one of the many high-end web development programs that will help you take your software skills even further. These programs often include both technical and non-technical information, along with the most popular programming languages, the latest features and functions that are used in web development at the moment, in-depth training in jQuery, HTML5, CSS3, XHTML, other programming languages, and more.
Moreover, these courses also include a final project where you need to build a functional login system, to build a basic static website, or a test site with MySQL. At the end of the training program you will be awarded a certificate that will undoubtedly add to your professional portfolio and increase your chances of getting a top job.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a web development professional can be a daunting and time-consuming task, but you can easily pursue a great career in the IT industry on a budget. There are plenty of forums, websites, as well as free PDFs and eBooks that offer thorough information, tips, and advice. One of the most important aspects that set apart mediocre web developers from the true web development professionals is staying up to date with the current trends and design styles in the development industry.
Whether you’re just getting started or already have web development skills, Simplilearn can help you improve your skillset with our large variety of online web development courses. We even offer a Full Stack Web Developer program, which will help you reach your goal of becoming a complete web development professional.
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