Ramblings of a web developer
Want to learn how to code?

Want to learn how to code?

“What should I learn first if I want to be a web developer? “- a question that I get asked a lot.

Let’s first start with the basics

Ask yourself do you want to be a front-end developer or a back-end developer? My personal opinion start learning front end before you get into learning back-end.

You need to understand basic HTML markup and CSS syntax, if you want to make any sort of application or web page. You might be saying to yourself, why wouldn’t I just use a framework like Bootstrap or Foundation so I can skip all of that? I highly recommend not learning how to use any of those frameworks until you understand some of the basic layout principles.

  • Tree objects of the HTML DOM
  • CSS and the CSS box model

There are a ton of free resources out there to help you learn these basics, a few of my favorites are teamtreehouse, codecademy and udacity.

What other skills do you need?

As a front-end developer you will deal with client side (what the user sees) and as a back-end developer you will deal with everything before the browser renders to the user.

Front-end Developer Toolkit

All the things you will need on your way to becoming a front-end web developer

  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • CSS PreProcessor – Sass or LESS
  • How to use browser Developer Tools
  • Version Control – Git
  • Debugging

As a back-end developer you will deal with server side logic to present on the web pages

Back-end Developer Toolkit

It’s so important to learn front-end before dipping your toes in the back-end – everything will start to make sense once you do. 

  • Any of the following: PHP, Ruby, Python, Java
  • Databases
    • MySQL
    • MongoDB
    • PostgreSQL

These are the very basics that I have listed for back-end the list can go on and on, I didn’t mention any frameworks such as Angular or React because it is important to understand the underlying technologies that these frameworks are built on. With that said it is SUPER important to learn JavaScript before learning jQuery. The two are not in any way exclusive of each other while you are developing, I have a lot of projects where I mix jQuery and JavaScript and it worked like a charm.

I will eventually write a part 2 to this post, I would like to get to a more detailed description of the essentials you will need for all the things I listed, such as knowing what a loop is in JavaScript, how to use git to manage your projects.. and more. So stay tuned, I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you are looking to get into web development – it’s never too late and I hope that this post encourages you to get started!


Li is a Front End Developer with expertise developing WordPress themes, she has been developing websites for 10 years. She is also interested in the #makerRevolution and the #ioT and a huge lover of Android
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