How to become a successful web developer?

With the web development industry booming, many people want to become a web developer, learn web development and launch a new career as a developer. There have already 121,000 people working as web developers right now in the U.S. alone and 20% growth predicted for the industry through 2020.

Web developers are probably one of the most important groups of professionals we have in our world today. Depending on who you ask, a web developer is the lifeblood of the internet, slaving away in front of a monitor and keyboard, pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into the digital landscape to amuse, inform, and connect us to each other. Of course, a simpler, more mundane answer would be that they build and maintain websites.

How to become a web developer?

Internet is one of the fastest growing markets and is quickly integrating itself into every facet of our daily lives to the point that it is, or will soon, become inextricable from a healthy, modern society. Moreover, the internet has grown from a modest user base of under 500 million people in 2000 to well over 3 billion users by 2015. In fact, the internet has grown by 1.7 billion people in the past five years alone and projects to add another 1.1 billion users in the coming 5 years.

That is why web developers have to learn a myriad set of skills in order to do their jobs. The job of a web developer is vital, not only to our personal lives but to the world economy as well. The jobs themselves involve a dizzying amount of tasks and responsibilities.

Pretty impressive! Because so many people around the world are web developers, it's important to ask, how many of them are successful.

In the future, you may want to become a web developer or already struggling in this path, it's important to know how to become a successful web developer.

In this article, we'll focus on the most important steps to make a success of your web development, career - whether that’s at a company or a freelancer. So, let's get started -

1. Learn Coding

Web development projects require knowledge of more than one programming language. That means you have to learn many languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, PHP, Java, Ruby, etc. Start with the languages that are both versatile and in-demand, such as PHP or Python, and continue building your experience with more technologies over time.

2. Know how to use Google like a pro

When you're learning program or work as a developer/programmer, you must learn how to Google stuff like a pro. All of the problems you might have, you will find the solution online, but knowing where and how to find them. Whether you find your solution on GitHub or StackOverflow, you must need to learn exactly which search terms are leading you to your destination. Web developer career will be much easier when you understand how to Google for things.

3. Passionate about your work

Most people hate their 9 - 6 jobs, but few do jobs they love and are passionate about. So, you need to find your passion. Before starting your web developer career you need to ask yourself a few questions - Would this be an exciting career for me? Do I love to experiment while to build a website or web app? If your answer is yes, then you are on the right path.

4. Showcase your work

When you are applying for a job as a web developer you're not asked to show your certificates, but you'll be defiantly asked to show what projects you have been part of creating already. This is why it’s really important to build up a portfolio. If your portfolio is good enough, clients and/or potential employers will come to you.

5. Market your service

To effectively market freelance services, you should ask yourself - who is my target clients? You can start by target a single industry. Once you’ve established your target market then set your rates and occasionally offer your services.

6. Use social media

Social media are very powerful tools to build your online presence, and social media is one avenue to grow it. Make sure you have a profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc. and try to promote your services frequently.

7. Contribute to Open-source projects

If most of your works are limited for your classes, mock projects, or solo gigs, you can also increase your teamwork by getting involved in an open source project. It not only helps you to strengthen your development skills but also get your hands-on experience working on teams and projects and expand your network with other developers.

8. Work smart

Smart work is really important to become a successful web developer. You can't start every project from scratch, either you need to write generic code or use someone else modified code. It will save lots of time to complete your project.

9. Stay up to date

Use downtime to learn new languages and technologies as they emerge. Subscribe to newsletters and publications that provide continuing education in your field. This will prevent you from becoming outdated as a developer and allow you to continue to expand your clientele as your skill set grows.

10. Never give up

Sometimes the only thing separating you from success or failure is the willingness to continue. Successful people fail regularly, but they never give up and always find new and better ways of doing things. Follow dreams, aspirations and your purpose.

11. Proficient nature

Web developers will be proficient in using various software programs (e.g. JavaScript frameworks, version control, CSS), and will have not only the specialized knowledge that characterizes their roles, but also an understanding of the process as a whole. Prior to starting out, it’s wise to get an understanding of the type of web development work that seems interesting - such as user interface design, mobile application development, or front-end development - to best set the stage for future education and training.

12. Online portfolio

Employers want to see results, such as current examples of successful site and application builds. With a portfolio, developers can test new technologies and tools, as well as demonstrate their coding talent and technical capabilities. Standout portfolios can help candidates clear that crucial first hurdle: landing a job interview.

13. Web development certificates

The certificate option is designed for targeted educational training and is intended for students who need practical and fundamental knowledge relating to web development. Prior programming and computer technology experience can be helpful, but may not be required. Some certificate programs may even serve as a stepping stone to an associate degree in web development.

14. Learn soft skills

What does a web developer do when they’re not coding? Clients, especially smaller ones, are beginning to expect the web developers they hire to have a range of soft skills. Soft skills are non-technical skills that will help a web developer to understand the businesses and organizations they work for better. Soft skills include advertising, marketing, accounts and many more. The soft skills you’ll need to learn will depend largely on what kinds of client you work for. For example, if a developer takes a job at a company like Amazon, then soft skills in logistics and customer experience would be hugely desirable. There are many ways to learn soft skills. If you had a job before you decided to learn how to become a developer, then you probably already have some. If you’re just starting out, then don’t worry. A lot of companies offer on-the-job training in areas that are related to their business.

15. Do the works

There is absolutely no substitute for building, shipping, and putting in the work. Build things worth paying for - find projects and problems worth solving and prove to the world (and potential employers) that you can do this. Document everything. Track what you learn and build a personal library of solutions. You need real experience. Real experience means doing work for someone else. Personal projects are useful, but they’re not enough to make you competitive in the job market. There are a few avenues for gaining real experience.

Conclusion

No matter how it goes, you’ll have survived. Don’t ever think you can’t do something and be successful at it.

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