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Everything About Web Development [Beginner's Guide]

Written by Richa Sharma | February-2021

Technology plays a massive role in our everyday lives, from the easiest of applications to the most revolutionary inventions. A web developer has created every website or web page that we come across—but what is web development specifically, and what does a web developer do?

For a beginner, it can appear to be complicated, perplexing, and to some extent, an inaccessible field. Therefore, to reveal some insight into this exciting industry, we've put together a fundamental introduction to web development and what all it takes to turn into a full-fledged web developer. 

This article will cover web development basics in detail and outline all the necessary skills and tools you'll need to break into this field. Before you jump into Web Development's career, go through the details to see if web development is for you, and then start learning the essential skills.

What is Web Development

Web development is the way toward building websites and applications for the web or a private network known as an intranet. Web development is not concerned about the design and layout of a website; instead, it's focused on the coding and programming that controls the website's functionality.

From the most basic, static site pages to social media platforms and applications, from e-commerce sites to content management system (CMS); web developers have developed every tool we use via the internet.

Front-end Vs. Back-end development

Web Development is primarily categorized into Front-end development and Back-end development. So, if you plan to start a career in web development, you should know what both terms mean.

Front-end developers work on what the client can see while back-end developers fabricate the infrastructure that upholds it. The term "front-end" refers to the UI, while "back-end" signifies the server, application, and database working in the background to send the data to the client.

The front-end is created using a blend of technologies, for example, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Front-end developers design and create the user experience components on the website page or application, including dropdowns, buttons, menus, pages, connections, procedures, etc. 

The back-end, also called the server-side, comprises the server that delivers information on request, the application that channels it, and the database that arranges the data.

There’s another term called Full-stack development, which is nothing but the combination of both front-end development and back-end development. A full-stack developer is someone who can design and create both the front-end and back-end of an application.

So you can see, you have three options here from career perspective in web development. You can start your career as a front-end developer, or a back-end developer or you can learn both and be a full-stack developer.

Now that you know the career perspective in web development, let’s move on to the skills you need to learn before you dive into this exciting career and start looking for a web development company.

Skills Required for Web Development

Composing a thousand lines of code and transforming that into a website is one of the imaginative and complicated things for web developers. If you get excited seeing attractive web designs and planning to try your hands on the same, we would like to provide you with some insight into web development.

Anybody can turn into a web developer. You needn't bother with a fancy degree in software engineering to master the skills. However, before you can begin searching for jobs in the field of web development, there are a couple of things you should learn.

HTML

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It's one of the key elements of a website. Being a front-end language, it provides the basic framework of a website, primarily through a series of tags.

CSS

CSS is Cascading Style Sheets. It sets the style behind the HTML structure and brings life to the website's appearance.  Without CSS, the web page would look dull.

JavaScript

JavaScript allows you to add and implement various elements on the web pages. Features like interactive maps, 2D/3D graphics can be added to a website using JavaScript.

Application Programming Interface (API)

In web development, you will have to work a great deal with APIs, which essentially manage the third-party data. It permits web developers to use some of the functionalities without sharing the code.

There is a wonderful GitHub repository of APIs which you can use, and it additionally gives you a plethora of project ideas. You can check the link Public APIs to explore further.

Authentication

There is a possibility that you will be managing user authentication to track the users on a particular site. For instance, permitting the users to sign in, log out or perform some actions from their accounts or blocking a few pages for the users who are not signed in. 

User's account security intensely relies upon authentication. So it's essential to know how to manage this functionality in your web application.

Back-end and Databases

Once you master the front-end, you need to proceed and take care of what is going on in the back-end. This is where all the magic happens, and this is where all the data is stored.

Data is stored, manipulated, and retrieved from the databases. Nowadays, we often use cloud frameworks like Azure or AWS to keep the database. What you need to learn is how to manage data in a database.

For this, you need to know either SQL (Structured Query Language) or NoSQL (used by MongoDB and Firebase).

Generating Tests

A lot of developers consider this exercise pointless. For small applications, you can overlook creating tests. However, if you are creating an extensive application, we suggest you compose tests and test cases since it helps in making the whole process robust, and thus debugging becomes simpler. 

At first, you might feel like you are wasting your time; however, later, you will acknowledge that it really saves your time. So make a habit of composing tests while developing your application.

Besides the technical skills, there are some other skills as well:

  • Willingness to constantly learn new skills and improve
  • Stay up to date with the industry
  • Time management
  • Understanding UX
  • Multitasking

Web Development tools you should know about

Developing a site that gets a lot of attention isn't just about learning different programming languages. You need to get familiar with certain web development tools that would help you with full-stack web development.

We will cover some essential web development tools that you ought to learn as a web developer.

Git

Git is quite possibly the most famous version control framework which is used in many organizations. The odds are that you might need to work on this version control if you start working as a web developer.

This is why you should invest some time learning Git and a few basic commands like cloning, pushing to the repository, making a pull request, combining branches of code, etc.

GitHub

GitHub is a service platform where you can push your Git repositories to host your code. It is primarily used for collaborations, allowing the developers to work together on projects.

Code Editor

When you build a website, the most fundamental web development tool you will use is your code editor or an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). This tool permits you to compose the markup and code that will make up the site.

There are many acceptable choices out there; however, the most popular code editor is VS Code. VS Code is a more lightweight form of Visual Studio, Microsoft's primary IDE. It's fast, simple to utilize, and you can customize it with your themes and extensions. 

Other code editors are Atom, Sublime Text, and Vim. However, if you're a beginner, I'd suggest looking at VS Code, which you can download from their official site.

Browser DevTools

You can do plenty of stuff using browser DevTools like troubleshooting, editing HTML tags, editing CSS properties, debugging JavaScript errors, etc.  Every web developer ought to know about using various tabs (components, reassure, network, and so forth) in DevTools to make their work simpler and quicker. 

Depending on your browser, you can use any DevTools like Chrome DevTools, Firefox DevTools, or whatever web browser you are using. People usually prefer using Chrome DevTools to create, test, and debug a web application. Still, it's entirely up to the developer and the browser he/she is using to build the website.

Wrapping Up

The job market is getting harder. The more traditional jobs are eliminated each day. So, why not become skilled in expertise that will keep you employed and potentially affluent for a long time to come? 

Now is a terrific chance to turn into a web developer! Now more than ever, technology is critical to how we work, connect with people, access medical services, shop, and the list goes on. If you're still contemplating joining this exciting industry and building the future technology, we suggest "go for it."

The incredible part is-you needn't bother with a fancy and extravagant degree to get into the field. Ready to create professional website? Follow the steps we've jotted down here, and you can begin your exciting journey of web application development.

Do let us know if you find this article interesting. And in case of any query, feel free to ask!