Your job title can be enhanced greatly by the words “web developer in Surrey, UK“.

With web development ranking 8th of the top ten best jobs in tech (with software engineer #1), it is known as a well-paying and mentally stimulating career choice. Web development is also highly marketable, which makes it pretty safe to pursue. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that web developer employment will grow by 8% by 2029, which is twice the rate of US employment growth. There’s no wonder then that web development qualifications are in high demand.

There is no doubt that this is an extremely desirable career choice. However, how do you go about breaking into such an enticing field?

Here’s a good starting point for anyone who wants a piece of the pie, but doesn’t know where to begin. Here’s what you need to know about a career in programming: who, what, how, and why. Using the clickable menu at the top of the page, you can jump directly to a section that interests you more:

  1. What are the requirements to become a web developer?
  2. In what ways can I determine if a career in web development is right for me?
  3. How do I get a web development qualification? What skills do I need?
  4. Are there certifications or formal qualifications I need to become a web developer?
  5. Links to further reading

What are the requirements to become a web developer?

A web developer can be anyone. A career in web development does not require you to be a tech whiz or possess a long list of formal qualifications; as long as you’re passionate about the field and willing to learn, it’s well within your grasp.

Doubt it? Here at CareerFoundry, we had an employee named Sam who was in charge of Web Development. Before switching gears, he trained as a musician, before enrolling in the Web Development Program and swapping chords for the keyboard. In spite of the fact that he had no previous experience or knowledge, he plunged into the industry head-on and has never looked back.

However, that does not mean that web development is an easy field to pursue. You will need time and dedication to learn the necessary skills, and at times, your brain will hurt. It’s important to remember that web development isn’t reserved for one type of person – nor is there a clear-cut route to becoming a developer. You can do it if you want to.

What should I look for in a career in web development?

Having a successful web development career is not a magic formula – as we’ve seen, anyone can learn coding! You may fit quite comfortably in the web development industry, however, if you’re a keen problem-solver who enjoys creating things and getting them to work.  A range of questions can be asked to find out if you’d be a good fit for a web development career, but if you like puzzles, logical tests, or riddles, you’re probably a good fit for programming.

Patience and perseverance are also two tell-tale signs of success. Most of your time as a web developer will be spent fixing stuff that doesn’t work. Sam, our Head of Web Development, says, “When you program, obstacles are constant.”. For some people, this is what drives them forward. Some people, however, find that this is a cause of frustration and actually takes the enjoyment out of their work.” If you can relate to the former, web development might be the right choice for you.

It’s important to note here that a career in web development requires a lot more than just sitting in front of a computer screen and hacking away at a codebase. If you work for an in-house company, you’ll also need excellent communication skills. In addition, it helps if you are able to think strategically and come up with solutions that benefit both the user and the business.

In order to become qualified in web development, what skills will I need?

It is incredibly important to keep in mind what a web developer does on a regular basis as part of their job description. Thus, in order to call yourself a professional and apply for jobs, you need to master a few skills before you can call yourself a professional:

  • Scripting languages: HTML, CSS, and Java

If you’re not fluent in these three languages, then you cannot pursue a career in web development. Websites and apps are created using HTML; you will use it to describe the structure of pages. This visual presentation is determined by CSS, which determines things like layout, colors, and fonts. These pages are interactive thanks to JavaScript. The ten most popular programming languages can be found here, but these are the most useful for beginners.

  • Bootstrap and jQuery are libraries and frameworks

Following your mastery of the basic languages, you can explore libraries and frameworks, which have basically been created to make HTML, CSS, and JavaScript easier and faster for you to use. You will be able to create responsive, mobile-friendly websites that display flawlessly no matter what device you use by knowing and using Bootstrap and jQuery. From a free, open-source front-end library containing HTML and CSS-based design templates, Bootstrap helps you build websites that are responsive and responsive on mobile devices. Are you familiar with JavaScript? If so, jQuery is simply a JavaScript library. jQuery simplifies common JavaScript tasks by condensing their code into fewer lines. 

  • The Git and the GitHub

The Git version control system is a tool you can use to keep track of all the changes you make to your code as they are made. GitHub is an essential tool for developers because it acts as a hosting service for your Git repository, which enables you to collaborate with peers and team members.

  • Sketch and Photoshop are optional design software

The use of programs such as Sketch and Figma is not strictly necessary to work in web development, but it doesn’t hurt either. These tools are popular among frontend designers to present website mockups and prototypes, so if you ever intend to work as a freelance web developer, you will have an advantage.

The list above is just the tip of the iceberg. Web developers use many more languages, tools, and platforms in their daily work. But before you can run, you need to learn the basics.

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