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Any tips to become a web developer?

Do you have any tips for a beginner like me to become a web developer? What habits I should avoid to become one?

Top comments (22)

jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

Let me flip this around just a bit before I answer:

  • What is it specifically that attracts you to becoming a web developer?
  • What are habits you're afraid you might develop?
tmchuynh profile image
Tina Huynh

I love the questions

@kevincp17 may I interest you in some articles:

@ben has a lot of very helpful articles regarding web development as well!

kevincp17 profile image

Thanks for the reply Tina, I will check it out.

kevincp17 profile image

β€’Because I love to build something

from scratch. It's like building a house
from step one. Building web is no

β€’I am afraid of making slow program
performance especially if I am working
on backend. Better web must have a
fast performance.

jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

If you love building, then learn about patterns. I don't write or program Java but "Head First Design Patterns" was one of the best introductions to those. Learn the language of talking about programming; I found Martin Fowler's book on refactoring quite useful.

If you're afraid of performance, learn about bench marking and tracing. There are so many bottle necks for speed, and it's often "all of the moving parts" that creates the un-realized friction that slows the system down. (e.g. sending too many files, not compressing things, bad looping logic, missing database indices, disparity between assumed bandwidth and available bandwidth, etc.)

And as someone who's been coding for quite awhile now: practice and write. Practice writing tests of different varieties (unit, functional, integration, smoke, etc). Try writing documentation first then coding. Get good at articulating what "done" looks like. For myself, when I can say what done looks like, it becomes rather easy to get to done.

Don't go chasing new things at the cost of learning the lessons of the old things. Each new thing addresses the problem of something that came prior; learn about what that prior work solved. I have seen many folks jump from new to new, without internalizing the humble yet critical lessons of maintainability and sustainability.

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kevincp17 profile image

Okay, I will read his book, kinda interesting for me.

Bench making and tracking? Kinda learned that at college. Definitely learning that right now.

Never documenting before doing any of my projects before. Probably the habit I should avoid.

I agree with you, sometimes older stuff can be useful when learning something new.

I keep grinding though. Thanks for the tips. I appreciate itπŸ‘

Thread Thread
jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

I saw you favor Java, then definitely grab "Head First Design Patterns".

shmuelhizmi profile image

I think a passion for building stuff is probably the best drive to start developing, there are no rules for learning to program, the things you should avoid are only the things you feel like aren't contributing to your progress. my advice is to just start, if you have any idea of something you would like to create try to create a pragmatic list of thing you need to know in order the start and start executing :)

I would not wory about performance issue too much if you're just getting started, you would be supprised how little web development deal with performance issues compared to other aspects of web development.

Good luck

otumianempire profile image
Michael Otu

As far as you interested in building stuff from ground up and understanding what you are doing, I'd say start with PHP (add html, css and some Js).

There is a lot that happens with PHP, you'd learn how data follows through your application and it's not bad, in fact, as a first language (Some C will help you - but not necessarily).

Start in one niche, one tool, one project at a time. Make sure you know enough about the tool you are using and google a lot.

Now, there is python with flask/fast API, and Js with node/Express so why PHP?

As a beginner, I don't have to think about servers or application instance. No package or library is needed until you need it. There is not need for ports and routes, php does file routing. To you don't have to visit /login to view the login page, just go to login.php. just like that.. this is what I meant by you'd learn data flows through your app..

I'd leave you with three things.

  • develop a lot of projects. It is through trial and errors that you'd really know you are doing something
  • I read a lot about documentation down there in the comments. So before you start developing, plan what you want to develop. Have some sketches,
  • once in a while ask people for feedback, find a mentor or a community to join or something like that.
  • don't unnecessarily pay for online courses before discussing it with your mentor. YouTube is awesome and you'd learn a lot for free. There are free articles on
  • make sure you can do something the way you understand it before jumping to using some approach like MVC or the like.

Remember, you can't be good or better in a day or something like that. Your code is not always going to work. You can fall ill yourself, your PC may have a break down.. it happens, so prepare for anything and feel free. Don't join the software politics. πŸ₯‚

coderlifeisawesome profile image

Nice question!! If you are a gamer, avoid it for a few time to learn about web development. Find good courses online for free like FreeCodeCamp. You must learn JavaScript. I've made a full opinion of mine about JavaScript. If you are interested then read it. Mostly focus more on your region means web development. There might be many things that will disturb you but stay focused, Ok Man!

If you have a little free time , then use it for web development. Don't waste time. Remember Time and Tide waits for none.

knaagar profile image
  1. Create projects as you learn.
  2. Never be ashamed of googling stuff if you are stuck because it is not wrong as long as you are not spoon feeding.
  3. Your goal of learning should be clear because it is easy to lose motivation if you don't really know why of doing things.
  4. Showcase your work along the journey.
horus_kol profile image
Stuart Jones

I got started in web development by having a problem to solve - which led to more problems needing solving, which lead to me learning. I learnt some basic HTML, then some JavaScript, then some CSS, and then some PHP and MySQL.

Don't be afraid to ask questions - I learnt a lot from forums back when I started, and I learn from places like this and from StackOverflow. Find a local community meetup or join a Slack community.

When starting - don't worry too much about getting it right, or getting it optimised - that comes later. Worry about getting it working (and also making it secure if you're going to be doing backend stuff), and then work on making it better.

And just keep on doing that - you get better by learning, and you learn by doing and trying to do new things.

thevinitgupta profile image
Vinit Gupta
  1. The most thing is to learn the basics of HTML and CSS first from a tutorial.
    After that, start building small fun things like navbars, footers scrolling gallery.

  2. Then learn the basic of Javascript and starting building small projects like a form, call any API and display the results and then build a small game or any instrument.

Now, you are a developer...

idosius profile image
Ido Schacham

My tip would be Nike's eternal words: just do it. I got into web development in 1995 because I wanted to build my own personal homepage. Been a web developer pretty much ever since. So, maybe pick some project that excites you and start building it from scratch. Watch some videos, read some tutorials, experiment with some technologies. Learn as you go and have some fun. And allow yourself to be the perfect beginner. Don't mind if you write "bad code" or have poor performance - as a web developer you'll see that you're always improving your knowledge and skills, yes, even after more than 25 years that holds true for a boomer like me. But the more you'll practice, the better you'll get. Make some mistakes, enjoy the ride, and build something that you'll love. Good luck!

lexlohr profile image
Alex Lohr

Select topics and learn until you feel the urge to move on to another topic. HTML is a good starting point, as it encompasses, fuels or includes a lot of other topics, e.g. semantics, accessibility, CSS, JS, HTTP over TCP/IP, back-ends, JSX, etc. If you really like a topic, don't hesitate to specialize in it. Specialists are always in demand.

shifi profile image
Shifa Ur Rehman

Most of it is just from my perspective. No yell me plis

If you can't concentrate on things in the morning, its not a shameful thing to be awake late at night. Many big names achieved what they did because they stayed awake at night. Just beware of the health issues relative to it and take 10 hours of good sleep as regularly as you can. Be productive.
Think like a programmer before trying to be a programmer. Be good at Math (the better the tastier) and general studies if you're a student (Don't leave education because you think you can make a career out of development and don't need education anymore).

Teach people what you learn. Start writing a blog. Remember, just because you think something is too miniscule to learn, there are a million people who possibly don't understand what an tag is. And imagine, you can teach them what it is. That experience will make you solidify your own concepts.

1 - Learn HTML (It's not Hard. Just pay attention to the DOM).
2- Learn CSS (Not like tips and tricks, learn it as a predefined well written system and while at it, please try to understand what normalize.css and the likes of it are trying to achieve).
3- Learn CSS Flex and Grid and try to get hold of a good frontend library such as Bootstrap and Tailwind (People will hate me for this, but the curiosity alone of how they achieved something is going to lift you up. When you finally get off the ground, learn basics of SaSS, people will hate me even more now but you'll understand what I mean when you're done with it).
4- Javascript and DOM manipulation.
5- Fetch api and event handlers.
6- Go off to REACT! (Just kidding, you have many options now. You're 99% a frontend developer now. Anything else is that 1% away from you. VueJs, Angular, Svelte are just to name a few, but I consider react to be the most beginner friendly and understandable if you paid attention on javascript DOM).
7- Ditch React, move to Shadow DOM.
8- Marry and have kids.
9- Be a dad of a son.
10- Make him learn backend development.
11- Profit.

If you need advice on backend, do lemino.

jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

My favorite strategy is: write a functional test around the code I want to be performant, then refactor towards performance (if required)

jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

Oh my heavens yes!

devonadam profile image

web developer can mean anything

adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett πŸŒ€

Keep doing this sort of post, never stop asking, don't do everything from scratch, just the fun bits

tinkermakar profile image
  1. Let your curiosity pave the way for you -- try to understand HOW everything works.
  2. Do micro projects re every topic. Best knowledge is the one gained through practicing.
wjk22 profile image
Wojtek Kalka

Be persistent, be dedicated ..