4 Things to get started (Web Development 101)
As with any industry, you need the necessary tools and intangibles to even get started.
There are many ways an individual may become a Web Developer, there’s a natural progression (you have IT Background: help desk, tech support, project management, tester, etc.), cross-over (you’ve done some programming maybe SQL, VBA, etc.), ‘side-way’ ( you’ve been handed a CMS or required to fix something that required programming), or you’re a complete newbie. Never the less, the basic foundation for Web Development is understanding what Web Development really is, how it works, and what’s involved.
Before you start, here’s a crash course on Web Development.
In simple terms, there’s a Web Page, Web Server, Web Browser. The Web Page is the document that is hosted on a Web Server and viewed in a Web Browser. For comparison, A track is a media file that is saved on a compact disc and accessed (heard) through a CD player.
I advise navigating the web and also following this HowStuffWorks example to better understand the nuts and bolts of the Web.
And here’s are my 4 elements to get you started up:
1. Start with the end in mind
What exactly do you want to do? Are you looking to develop as a hobby? Are you looking to start a new career as a Developer? Are you wanting to start a project? All these are basic questions that you need to answer before proceeding. This will provide the direction that’s needed to complete the next steps. For example, if you’re looking to pick up programming as a hobby, you may want to start with something fun, easy to pick up, and has a large community. If you’re looking for a job, then you may want to find what’s your ideal work environment (industry) and understand what skills are needed for that industry. Research task for job seekers: Go to a job site like, Dice.com and enter in a programming language to see the demand in your area.
2. Ensure you have a good PC
Having a high performing (good processing, and a good amount of RAM) PC that is reliable is critical to development. A good investment will give you performance that will last a few years. Often times you need to run multiple programs at once, need the ability to set up a local server, and process and debug chunks of code without lag. It does not have to be a tier-1 gaming machine, but you do want some solid hardware to efficiently support your software and rigorous use. I don’t advise a Tablet or Net Book. But I do recommend a Laptop or Desktop depending on your preferences.
3. Get an IDE
Based on your goals outline in Step 1, you need to download a few different IDEs to see which works best for you and gives you the most bang for what you are looking to achieve. Most Professional Windows Technology developers use Visual Studio. I also use Web Matrix for small, light weight projects (WordPress, other CMSs, Small Web Sites, etc.), I use DreamWeaver when I am doing Design, and NetBeans when I need to work with PHP.
4. Online Tutorials (Education)
“This is crazy, I’m on the right track, I’m finally found/