I keep reading and hearing about the minimum requirements for becoming a professional developer all the time. And I remember asking that same question back when I first started learning coding. I felt confused and insecure about whether I knew enough to start working or applying for jobs.
What always put me off a bit was the sheer number of tools I thought I needed to learn right away. It just seemed so overwhelming and I thought it would take years before I mastered any of them properly. Moreover, I was struggling with a bunch of misconceptions about learning coding, making things even more confusing.
So even though there are lots of languages and technologies listed in this post, let me tell you this: you don’t need to know everything about even the most basic tools. Good enough is good enough!
Hence, you will never have perfect skills in any programming language. Instead, you will learn the basics first and build on top of that.
Therefore, when you’re thinking about how to become a web developer, what is more important is:
- To know where to look for answers
- To use your skills for building projects for your portfolio
It’s as simple as that. These two points will get you pretty far, I promise.
But without further ado, let’s get started!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a course using an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission for referring you. But please, only purchase a course if you feel like you need it and think that it will help you reach your goals with coding. Thanks for your support!
When do I become a web developer?
So what does is it even mean to “become a web developer”?
In my opinion, you are a skilled and professional developer as soon as you have acquired the necessary skills to start applying for jobs. And of course, to actually do a good job for an employer using those skills.
The moment you can work on real-life projects and create something out of nothing with code, you are a developer.
I mean, once you can create a heading and a paragraph in HTML, you already know more about web development than 90% of the people. And learning that will take around 5 minutes.
But you surely need to know a lot more to become a developer and to get a job in web development. Let’s take a look at the minimum requirements for becoming a web developer in 2018 next.
Minimum skills: Junior Front-End Developer
Now, what are the minimum requirements and skills you need to have to start applying for your first job?
Since I’m more experienced in front-end development, let’s focus on that area.
For a Junior Front-End Developer job, you should learn the following four tools. I know it seems like quite a lot, but don’t get overwhelmed by the acronyms and jargon here.
- HTML or HyperText Markup Language creates the structure and contents for a website. Headings, paragraphs, links, images, lists, and much more – you will create all of those using HTML.
- CSS or Cascading Style Sheets is what you will use to make your HTML contents look beautiful. CSS is responsible for the look and feel of a website. Colors, typography, sizings, positionings, alignments, and basic animations are what CSS can do for you.
I know, it might already seem a bit daunting.
Four different languages and tools for a junior position?
And let me assure you, you can learn the basics of all of these in a matter of days and weeks.
What will cost you more time is understanding how to put the puzzle pieces together to create a real-life website from scratch.
Here’s the good news: learning coding and web development online has never been easier than today!
There are more than enough courses available online – so much so that beginners often have a hard time finding the best coding courses to start with. All these resources out there can help anyone become a web developer – including you.
That’s why I’m here to help you out. I’ve taken a number of different web development courses online and I’m more than happy to share my experience to help you get started.
What really makes a good online course for web development is the amount of projects and assignments. They allow you to apply your new skills for creating something out of nothing. Trust me, nothing is a better way to learn and really understand what you are learning than putting your skills to the test right away.
Recommended Beginner-Level Web Development Courses
If you are completely new to coding and web development, I would recommend you start with the very basics with my Free Coding Guide for Beginners.
I would recommend that you start by learning the basics of HTML and CSS at Codecademy. Their beginner-level courses and tutorials are a great way to get started.
After that, you should find a course that is packed with good-quality content. Above all, make sure it includes plenty of real-life projects. They are the best way to apply what you have learned for solving actual problems.
Now, I don’t usually play favorites with online courses, but sometimes I make an exception. That is why I’ve chosen the following three beginner-level courses that I have had the best experience with so far. These are the courses I simply love and trust in and I keep recommending them over and over again. They are just a few of the best online coding courses I’ve taken, but they will be more than enough to learn all the basics you need to start applying for junior level jobs in web development:
1: The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (Udemy)
If you are only going to take one course in web development, I’d definitely recommend going with The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 at Udemy. You will learn all the tools you need for a Junior Front-End Developer job – and much more.
2: The Web Developer Bootcamp (Udemy)
The Web Developer Bootcamp is another one of my favorite courses at Udemy. It is an amazingly comprehensive beginner-level web development course I would recommend to anyone interested in learning the basics of web development and much, much more.
Packed with great content and a great set of projects you will work on, this course is more than you need to learn how to design and build beautiful, modern websites.
3: Front End Development Track (Treehouse)
Team Treehouse is a subscription-based online platform for learning programming and web development. You can get to know how they work by using this link to get a FREE 7-day trial and access to all of their courses and content.
I’m personally a big fan of Treehouse. They simply offer great-quality content regardless of your level of experience so far. So even if you are a complete beginner, the instructors will take good care of you and make sure you understand everything.
I often feel like I probably need more time than others to grasp certain ideas. But with Treehouse, I’ve never felt frustrated or “left alone”.
Your first web development project: Your own portfolio website
Ok so the very first thing you should build with your web development skills is a portfolio website for yourself.
A portfolio is simply a website that serves three main purposes:
- Introduce yourself to the world,
- Give your visitors an overview of your skills, and
- Present the projects you have worked on
Of course, when you are just starting out with coding and web development, you don’t have too many projects to present.
Nevertheless, building a nice, modern portfolio website is sort of like an online CV that anyone can find and have a look at.
Once you start gaining more experience, you can simply add new projects to your portfolio for everyone to see.
When can I start applying for my first developer job?
So how do you know when you are ready to apply for jobs?
How do you know when potential employers will become interested in your skills?
Now, in general, the job market for developers is booming almost everywhere you look in the world. Tech skills are so sought-after that you should start applying for jobs as soon as you feel comfortable with it. Perhaps a little earlier, already.
I have put together three easy tips you can keep in mind when you feel like you are ready to start writing your first job application:
Tip 1: Don’t underestimate your skills and value
If you are teaching web dev skills to yourself alone, it is easy to underestimate your value in the job market.
This is simply because you are not getting any “official” recognition for the progress you are making. Nobody is grading your work and projects like in school.
So how do you know if you are good enough then?
You simply have to see how far you have come yourself. Take a step back and look at what you have created so far. Try to take an objective point of view. Be aware of which topics you are really good at and where you could need some more practice.
Take pride in everything what you have learned. Really try to see your own potential, and be confident about developing your skills further.
If you have build a fully functional website from scratch, don’t forget how good you are already! I mean, how many people can actually do that?
Tip 2: Don’t worry about not possessing all skills listed in the job ad
The thing with job ads these days is that you will almost certainly find a gigantic list of required skills in them. This can sometimes feel a bit discouraging, but don’t let it stop you!
If an employer is looking for someone who knows the four fundamental tools listed above, apply for the job right away. Even if the list of required skills is much longer, simply send a good application and see what happens.
It is always a good idea to let the employer know that you are currently focusing on developing your tech skills further. If you are learning additional languages and tools, make sure you mention them in your application. Especially if the employer mentions them in the job ad.
Tip 3: Not getting a job doesn’t mean it was all for nothing
If you don’t get the job, don’t let it get you down.
Every company that reads your application – or perhaps invites you to an interview – has a first impression of you. You have introduced yourself to that company and they are aware that you are interested in working for them.
Who knows, they might have another position available soon that you could be the perfect candidate for.
Conclusion: How To Become A Web Developer
All in all, it’s easier than ever to become a web developer these days. Anyone can find plenty of good resources online to learn the necessary skills for an entry-level junior position.
But learning these skills is just like learning anything that is completely new to you. In other words: there will be rough patches along the way. However, the overall experience can be incredibly rewarding, regardless of your motives and goals.
I hope you found some helpful tips and resources in this post on how to become a web developer. If you feel like something is missing, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! I’m more than happy to update the post with more helpful tips and advice.
So, just roll your sleeves and get started with your first coding course!
For more motivation and helpful tips, make sure you read my previous post on how to start learning coding with 6 helpful tips for beginners.
Have fun and let me know how it goes!