If you’re fascinated by websites and apps, and everything that goes into building them, you may have toyed around with the idea of actually trying your hand at web development. Getting started with web development is extremely tough, but if you’ve got a genuine passion for it, it can be an exceptionally worthwhile task. Just like anything, if you dive in the wrong way, you can easily have a bad experience, and get turned off the project for life. Here, we’ll go over some key tips to making sure you get the best start in web development…
Cover the Basics
Research, and Be Inspired
When you’re first starting out in web development, you’re going to be reading a lot of journals and blogs, not to mention other programmers’ codes. You may have a head full of ideas, but there’s really no need to come up with anything completely original. In fact, copying another programmer step by step is one of the most effective ways to develop your skills in the early days. The web is bursting with code snippets, open source projects, and libraries that you can use to develop your first projects. Another great way to get inspired is to join a recreational coding group on social media, and start networking with some of the other members. You’ll be exposed to a wide range of advice, project examples and snippets that can do a lot to help you along. Some pieces of content will be more helpful than others, but it won’t take too long to find the diamonds in the rough.
Take Your Time Choosing a Text Editor
A text editor designed for coding is an essential tool for every programmer. This is the tool you’re going to spend the majority of your time coding on, so obviously, you’ll want to start off with one that has an interface and functionality that suits you. Some text editors are going to be better suited to basic websites, whereas others are conducive for web-based or mobile apps. Start off by considering the kind of projects you’re hoping to pursue, then research the various benefits, drawbacks and limitations of each one.
Try Some Frameworks
Using frameworks, especially when you’re just getting started with web development, can make life so much easier for you. You’re probably not going to be pursuing any projects that are totally revolutionary, so making use of various existing frameworks is kind of part of the package. There’s going to be a range of options out there, limited slightly by the niche you’re going to be working in. Bootstrap, for example, is one of the most popular frameworks going these days. Frameworks such as Ember are more suited to front-end work.
Learn to Track bugs as Soon as Possible
A lot of people enter web development with the attitude that bug tracking simply isn’t for beginners. This is completely false. All successful web development projects depend on a workflow where you can collect and track bugs, and allow the end user to report them. Again, there are a lot of bug tracking tools out there to choose from, and the interface you use is mostly down to personal preference. Having said that, there are some trackers that come with additional, helpful features that can really help along your learning curve. UserSnap, for instance, comes with a screenshot tool, which allows you to annotate pages directly from a web browser.
If you don’t know where to start with web development, follow these tips to give yourself a solid foundation. One final tip: keep at it! Development won’t get easier if you don’t get stuck in!