How To Become a Web Developer (Plus Key Benefits of Training)

Updated June 15, 2023

If you want to create websites for your career and improve their usability, you may consider becoming a web developer. An effective web developer has the tools and knowledge to help a business thrive online, which they can attain through web development training. Learning about the education to become a web developer can help you decide if you want to pursue this career.

In this article, we define web development training, explain how to become a web developer and provide examples of courses you can take.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

What is web development training?

Web development training programs prepare individuals with any level of experience or technical knowledge for a career in web development. Skills that a web development training program may teach include coding, programming, search engine optimization (SEO) and responsive design.

Advanced courses can offer specialized training, such as coding boot camps or app design and development, which can increase your earning potential and improve your chances of securing a job as a web developer. Consider looking for online programs to pursue web development training if you want to work in this industry.

How to become a web developer

Follow these steps to pursue a career as a web developer:

1. Learn the Hypertext Markup Language code

It's important for web developers to understand Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) code because they often use it to structure the content on a website. Effective developers can manipulate certain parts of HTML code to change the way sections of the content act and appear to visitors. Watching online tutorials, reading articles from industry experts and taking classes at your local community college can help you learn HTML effectively.

Related: 14 Types of HTML Formats and Why They Are Important

2. Learn Cascading Style Sheets code

Another essential coding language that web developers use is Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to alter elements of the style and layout of content on a webpage. Some elements that CSS formats are the font, size, color and spacing of materials, and web developers can add visual features to webpage content to create unique websites for their clients. Consider reviewing educational materials from multiple sources, including textbooks and online videos, to improve your understanding of CSS and find useful tips and insights.

Related: What Is CSS? (And Why It's Important)

3. Learn the JavaScript language code

Hiring managers often look for candidates with experience using the JavaScript scripting language because it allows businesses to incorporate moving visual elements such as interactive maps, content updates or animated graphics into their websites. Web developers typically use JavaScript with CSS and HTML in layers to form a webpage with dynamic content and interactive multimedia. This way, they can encourage viewer engagement and ensure a pleasant visitor experience.

4. Choose a web development specialization

Web developers can pursue three different career paths in this field, which are front-end, back-end and full-stack development. While it's necessary to have both front-end and back-end development to create a website, they differ regarding frameworks, programming languages, skills and responsibilities.

Front-end developers ensure that various visual elements on a webpage appear dynamically on a user-friendly interface. Back-end development involves the storage and transformation of user data and communication between a website and its database. Full-stack developers are familiar with all elements of the developing process, but they rarely perform all functions in a single project.

Related: 12 Front-End Developer Skills To Have In 2023 (Plus Tips)

5. Research server-side programming languages

Web developers use several server-side programming languages to complete key projects. These languages can generate HTML and send it to a browser, which makes it convenient for front-end developers to understand. Understanding how these programming languages interact and perform can facilitate your growth and inspire you to create innovative features that promote an optimal user experience.

Related: 7 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2023

6. Develop your skills with a project

One of the most effective ways to improve your professional skill set is to practice. You can apply your knowledge of basic web development programs such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript by building a website. The more you practice, the more experience you gain, and the more likely you are to succeed as a web developer. You can also contact nonprofit organizations and similar companies who need help with their websites. You can offer your skills for free so you can gain experience and acquire a project to add to your portfolio.

7. Build a professional portfolio

When building a web development portfolio, consider including high-quality projects that show the versatility of your experience. It's important to be selective and highlight the best work in your portfolio while also highlighting diversity to show potential employers you have a strong understanding of key web development elements. An effective portfolio can facilitate your success as both an independent and corporate web developer by displaying your unique designs and important achievements.

Related: How To Make a Digital Portfolio in 5 Steps (Plus Tips)

8. Consider earning a college degree

While many web developer positions don't require a college degree, having one in a related field can differentiate you from other candidates. Individuals in this field can choose to earn an associate, bachelor's or master's degree to enhance their knowledge of the industry and improve their skills and techniques. Most universities don't have a degree program in web development, but you can research similar programs. For example, you may choose to major in information sciences and pursue a concentration in web development technologies.

Related: FAQ: Can You Become a Web Developer With No Degree?

9. Seek a professional certification

Certifications can help web developers who want to develop their skills and further their careers. Programs often vary based on skill and experience level from novice to advanced. You can evaluate your own aptitude to determine which courses align best with your levels of expertise.

Related: 11 of the Best Web Development Certifications Programs

10. Apply for an internship

Internships can be an effective way to begin your career in web development because they can supplement your current knowledge and increase your familiarity with the web development field. You may have the option to choose between a part-time or full-time program, which can be helpful for current employees, students and other individuals with other commitments. Try to research different internship opportunities and consider the advantages of each position. This can help you determine which position best aligns with your goals and schedule.

11. Customize your resume

Positions often vary in requirements and responsibilities, so it's often beneficial to adjust your resume to each opening you pursue. This practice can help you understand the unique qualifications different hiring managers seek, and you may be more likely to secure an interview. You can also include keywords, such as particular certifications, programs and technical skills, to increase your chances of selection by applicant tracking systems.

12. Seek a mentor

A mentor is an employee who has years of knowledge and experience. They can provide you with valuable insights and techniques in the web development field and can support your professional growth. When seeking a mentor, consider someone who practices active listening and displays a willingness to take suggestions. These qualities often contribute to a positive working environment and mutual learning experience, which can help you strengthen your relationship with your mentor.

Related: How To Get a Job as a Web Developer (With Steps and Tips)

5 web development training courses

Here are five web development training courses to consider:

1. HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers

Coursera hosts the HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers course, and Johns Hopkins University originally created it. It requires about 40 hours of active coursework, working at your own pace. At the end of this course, you can download a shareable certificate that proves your ability to implement modern web pages with CSS and HTML. This course also focuses on how to code webpages so they resize and rearrange themselves depending on the device a visitor is using.

2. Meta Front-End Developer Program

Meta leads the Meta Front-End Developer Program on Coursera. Over the course of seven months, you can spend six hours per week gaining foundational knowledge of front-end development practices. Throughout the program, you can work on a front-end web application to add to your portfolio.

3. Meta Back-End Developer Program

If you want to learn more about the back-end side of web development, you can take Meta's Back-End Developer Program on Coursera. During this eight-month course, you can learn about databases, data storage, version control and SQL queries. Complete the applied learning project so you can confirm your understanding of key concepts and add a finished project to your portfolio.

4. Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization

Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization from the University of Michigan helps you practice coding using the Document Object Model (DOM) to edit pages, apply responsive design principles and add interactivity to web pages. You can complete this beginner-level course within six months while only working for three hours per week.

5. IBM Full Stack Software Developer Program

Upon completing the IBM Full Stack Software Developer Program, you can receive a corresponding professional certificate. This certificate shows that you know how to work with both front-end and back-end programming languages and applications. By completing 10 hours of work per week, you can finish within four months.

Benefits of web development training

Consider these benefits of web development training:

Increases earning potential

Web developers with training qualifications can prove to supervisors and potential employers that they strive to improve themselves professionally and personally through their willingness to attempt new challenges. When writing offer letters, hiring managers often consider a candidate's experience, education and skill set to determine an acceptable salary, so it's helpful to seek training like coding boot camps, certification courses or freelance projects before applying for a promotion or new position.

Related: 6 Careers With Unlimited Earning Potential (With Tips)

Expands career opportunities

As you develop your professional skill set and knowledge, you increase your marketability and credibility as a web developer. This can contribute to success in your career by facilitating positive, long-term customer relationships. When clients receive completed projects that meet their expectations, they're more likely to request future projects or refer their friends to you. You may also qualify for more senior-level positions that involve the supervision of junior web developers.

Related: 20 Career Development Opportunities

Improves relevant skills and techniques

One of the most notable benefits of web development training is that it gives you the opportunity to improve your technical skills and develop your techniques. As you learn, you may find that you're able to complete more in your workday, which facilitates an increase in your productivity. This can help you achieve an ideal work-life balance while excelling in your career.

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