Blog Post

In this blog, we will discuss the question "How to become a web developer". I think anyone without any prior experience can get started in Web development and also due to so much demand is a lot of opportunities can be explored. The income is high for web developers, work can be done from home, and the coworkers are generally smart. Also, there is very little politics in this field, thus it makes for a good field to work in, at least for some time. 

We will discuss what are the most in-demand skills, and how can you get started. In a subsequent blog, we will discuss how can you apply for your first job.

Step 1 - Acquiring skills 

You need to first acquire skills, without skills no company will ever want to employ you unless you are from a big branded college like IITs or IIMs. There also you will have to clear interviews which will require knowledge of skills. So below the learning plan, you can follow.

The learning plan is divided into two big categories. learning front-end skills and back-end skills. Front-end skills comprise mainly HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Backend skills comprise learning a web framework like Node.js or Django or any PHP-based framework or other. Once you have good knowledge of both frontend and backend skills, you have started your web developer journey. 

Frontend (1 month)

Frontend code is the code that runs in the client(browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc). Since browsers support only HTML, CSS, JavaScript it becomes important for any web developer to learn these languages. All modern browsers come with support for these languages. Below is the plan for going about learning frontend skills. 

Start with HTML (Hypertext Markup language)

HTML is the skeleton of a webpage. It is the language of the web. The basic layout and structure are written in HTML. The good thing about HTML is that it is pretty simple to understand. It is actually nothing just a formatting language. So it forms the basic starting of any web developer. 

You should invest at least a week in understanding HTML. You should learn slowly.

The resources to learn HTML are many, the most popular of them is w3schools, and there are other good resources such as Mozilla documentation.

Then take up CSS (Cascading style sheets)

CSS forms the design of the page. The color of the buttons, the style of the font. The border, margin, padding, etc all can be controlled by CSS. In today's world, most websites rely heavily(maybe too much ) on CSS to make their sites appear visually pleasing. The again good thing about CSS is that it is easy to learn and be reasonably good at in a short period of time. 

Similar to HTML, you should invest at least a week in learning CSS. Again w3schools and Mozilla CSS docs are the best resources to learn.

Enter JavaScript

It will be your first programming language if you have never programmed before. Javascript is the language of the web browser. All the interaction on a webpage, like form fields validation, alert boxes, talking to the server is handled by Javascript.

You can call it a bane or boom that web browsers don't support any programming language other than Javascript. This has led to a drastic increase in the usage of Javascript, so much that Javascript developers are among the highest-paid web developers out there as websites are becoming more and more front-end heavy.

You should invest at least 2 weeks in learning Javascript. It is a bit more complicated than HTML and CSS, so you should proceed with caution. 

Sources to learn wise, Mozilla documentation wins here over w3schools as Mozilla documentation covers the basics in much more detail and clarity. Also, you can go for live classes for Javascript if you want to learn more details.

With Javascript, your journey of learning frontend skills finishes for now.

Backend (1 month)

Backend is what is also called server-side skills. It's basically the code that runs on the server as opposed to frontend code that runs on the client(browsers, like chrome, firefox, safari, etc). The server-side code can be written in any programming language and is not restricted to frontend code which has to be primarily in HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Thus we have more flexibility in the backend. 

Over the year's web developers have evolved from using the raw programming languages for backend code to using web frameworks based on the programming languages. The web frameworks have certain advantages over using the raw languages as frameworks provide design patterns to structure the code properly, which helps in keeping the application easy to understand and maintain. Also, web applications have particular use-cases like any other type of application, and these frameworks come with support for them. Hence almost no one uses raw languages anymore for backend code, rather everyone uses frameworks. 

The most popular server-side or backend frameworks are Node.js(based on Javascript), Django(based on Python), Cake PHP(based on PHP), Ruby on rails (based on Ruby), and many others. You can check the popularity of web frameworks on stackoverflow or a site called Stackshare where people share what technologies they are using. 

Below are the most popular backend web framework, you can choose anyone and learn it for 1 month.

Easy Django

One popular choice for backend frameworks in Django. It is easy for beginners as python itself is an easy programming language. Django has almost all features that modern web applications need, from the ability to support static content to great security to stellar documentation to database supports plus a lot of 3rd party packages(which can be downloaded from ). Thus it makes a great choice for beginners. 

Popular Node.js

Nodejs has grown exponentially as it is also easy to understand, and more so for somebody who is already familiar with Javascript as it is based on Javascript. Many big companies are using it hence the demand for developers with Node.js knowledge is pretty high. You can choose this if you don't want to learn a new programming language for the backend. Though some concepts in Node.js are a bit different than plain Javascript your knowledge of Javascript will of course come in handy here.

Feature-rich Ruby on rails

Ruby on Rails is the old tried and tested web framework out there. It is known for helping you making big prototypes in a matter of days. It is the choice of people who quickly want to create something. The large array of gems(3rd party packages) make a ruby on rails choice of many startups hence the demand of the developers is always high. Though Ruby on rails has lost ground in the last few years, still with the last version being released in Dec 2020 its usage is going strong. 

You can choose any of the above web frameworks and get started the choice is really yours. All have immense job opportunities. 

Whichever framework you choose make sure you spend around 1 month understanding it and creating something with it. A small application like the polls app(Django documentation sample app) or a simple blog will give you confidence and building understanding.

So that's it in 2 months you would have gained a good basic understanding of what web development is all about. This is enough to apply for a job as a fresher.

I will cover step 2 of applying for the jobs in the next blog. 


Learn21 conducts an online Boot Camp for web development. If interested you can check the details here.