So you decided to become a Web developer? First of all, there are a couple of things you need to learn – or, to put it more accurately, there are plenty things you need to learn, but only a couple of them are important to comprehend at the very beginning. Once you have acquired them, you are ready to move on and build new knowledge on top of the existing one. Therefore, here are the most important tips and hacks to look into.
Picking a good code editor is as important for Web developers as picking a proper canvas is for painters or a good typing machine for writers – in short: it is vital! When settling for one of the possible options – three most often named the best are Notepad++, Sublime Text and Adobe Brackets – go with the one you are most comfortable with and the one that personally suits you the most.
For example, Adobe Brackets has only been on the market since last year, but has already been proven as the most noob-friendly out there: it includes a good suggestion box and auto-completes some of your code lines when you type in the first couple of letters on the keyboard. Moreover, it has a live preview option which allows you to follow the development of your code in real time and change it when necessary, especially applicable on Cascading Style Sheets.
A word of caution – this is not a text about tutorials for Web developers, but they should be mentioned in just a couple of words because they can be a rather helpful tool for aspiring developers. So, after you have seen and read any of them (W3Schools, Code-academy, Udemy, Lynda… ), the crucial thing is not to settle for just one, any one, but take bits and pieces from several. You will find useful ideas and hints in each, so combine them into a more comprehensive base that you will use for as long as you work as a Web developer.
Another problem arises with tutorials that focus solely on PC design and ignore mobile versions of websites. This is an issue not just because they train you to do only one thing, but, by doing so, they teach your to make sites with fixed dimensions which are outdated, useless and definitely not enough for modern users. Finally, many people find it helpful to consult other learning sources, more academic, to say. Many students make study notes and material that comes in form of HSC notes and pass on the knowledge acquired at universities or quality high schools (That is where you can pick best basics for the matter at hand).
It is only natural to expect novice Web developers to make mistakes and create problems – mostly to themselves, which they will soon find out – but they should not fear that. Instead, they should understand what they are doing wrong and try to work it out. For example, most of them have a tendency towards building unpractical sites that only work on desktops/laptops and are not optimized for mobile devices. Knowing that a constantly rising number of people go online on their smartphones and tablets, it makes not sense to build sites that cannot be accessed that way and all Web developers should understand that these are an absolute must. Especially now with Mobile addon on the way, where google will penalize search results for every site that is not mobile friendly or responsive.
Ultimately, there are several on-page factors that determine how visible your site is on search engines, so you should pay attention to on-page SEO as it will, after all, affect the site’s functionality and importance. Create linkable content, use prominent keywords, allow smooth navigation and promote easy access – thinking of all these things may sound a lot at first, but it becomes natural over time.
Probably the most important thing to remember in the end is that a developer’s learning process is never complete – as the web is a giant “organism” that is constantly evolving (yes even while you read this), and that people who create web content also have to evolve with it.