How to start being a web developer

How to start being a web developer

So, you've decided to become a web developer. I know that's true because you're reading this post, otherwise, I think you don't know how to surf the web. ;-)

As a web developer who I am, who loves so much his job not to consider it "work", I also know that's one of the most requested job in the world today and for sure one the funniest: you can develop websites, create your blog, write real video-games, create a lot of useful home automation tools and much more. Be a web developer is fu**ing amazing!

Anyway, in fast words, I think that to start being a web developer you have to follow some simply rules: be motivated, follow some courses that can gives you a starter pack of knowledge, try an internship, read and visit every days blogs, tutorials, community and inspiration gallery.

And don't forget to choose your role: do you prefer working on back-end, so for example be a PHP or Python master? Or do you prefer working on the client side, with JavaScript as your best friend? Owh..You can also choose both, like I've done. :)

I receive a lot of e-mails with people asking me things like How can I start to become a webdev?, Where I can find the best manuals to learn to coding a web-app? or Please, help me to code this plugin!. So, this is the reason of this blog page: I want to create a smart post to give you some useful tips to start your travel in the "Webdev Knowledge".

Never stop learning

Before sharing with you some helpful resources to start you journey, I want to spend some time about my experience. My whole developer career is based on 3 simple words:

Never stop learning.

I think this is the base for this profession. The way web technologies evolves is real impressive, the way you work could be outdated in just 6 months and your knowledge could be useless without constantly learning. In my free time I always spend some hours about reading tutorials, learning new things and studies JavaScript libraries or server side code in Python: this is my work and my hobby. Hope this could be the your mentality too or you will be out-of-the-game in two weeks.

Best course website

I learn 90% of my skills directly at university and "on the field", especially working on new projects, but when I want to learn something new just for curiosity, such Python basic, I love to get a course on Codecademy, for me, the best place to start learning code out of here.
You can start HTML and CSS courses to get some basic, than you can check real programming language like JavaScript and PHP, finally you can start writing your personal website or start with nice simple project.
The way the websites teach how to code is simple: just reading the basic and do instant tutorials and exercise to increase your skills: fast, simple, free and funny.


Internship is for sure the fast way to improve skills when you a newbie: I think that 2 months of internship in a good company is like 6 months of autodidact. Finished studies I started my career with an internship of few months, working on front and back-end, and today, after 4 years, I'm still here as full time web dev in the same company. Today, this is my second family: learning on the field and get motivation on big projects is key of your growth.

Reading blogs and tuts

Reading blogs is a MUST-DO activity. Follow tutorials, get informations about new technologies and read the most you can. Here I want to list some of my favourite blogs that I visit every week:

  • David Walsh: the best blog to learn JavaScript for sure. It gives you basic about pure JS and also tips about the most useful libraries for you web app.
  • Codrops: one of the best blog to learn how to animate you web application. Stunning and smooth effects, helpful to learn but also to get inspiration.
  • CSS Tricks: like the name says itself, if you have some CSS problem probably you will get your answer here.

Follow communities

There is only one place where you can post your problem and get fast and documented replies about it. This magical place is called Stack Overflow, the best developer community in the world. As you can see, there are a lot of topic, everyone is dedicated in a programming language: you can check how visited it is. And if you want to help someone, you can do it simply posting a useful tips. Easy.
I want to mention also the Google+ Community system, a very good place to find other web devs and discuss about our world.

Best daily awards websites

A good developer have to be motivated and inspired. Watching some daily awards websites every day, you can learn some tricks that can give you better results. Here a list about my favourite awards websites:

  • FWA: Favourite Website Awards, imho the best place to find the most innovated website in the world.
  • AWWWARDS: a beautiful gallery about the best web design projects, most design oriented.
  • CSS Design Awards: another nice place where you can find beautiful projects everyday.

The conclusion of this post is simple: be motivated, learn as much as you can and never get down. Sometimes you could be frustrated but its part of the journey, an amazing journey.

Hope you enjoy this post, if you have some question, drop a comment below! Cheers!

Daniele Petrarolo

Daniele Petrarolo

In love with #JavaScript, #PHP and #Python / Web Developer / There's no place like

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