Get Started With Web Development: 5 Easy Steps

After speaking to many developers and aspirants, I realized that the first question that bothers most folks is, "how do I get started?"

As someone who is mostly self-taught, I wish someone had given me this guidance when I started out. I'm breaking it down so it helps someone else who has trouble getting started.

1. Learn HTML and CSS

To begin web development, learn HTML, and understand what each of the tags does. Next, start creating simple blocks and forms. Don't worry about whether the blocks are not visually appealing yet, this is just an exercise for you to get familiarised with the tool and its principles. DO NOT spend more than a week on HTML.

CSS is used to style the HTML components you've learned, understand how basic class and id-based styling works. Again, do not spend too much time trying to master this (spend around a week), you will later get to work on a lot of different frameworks like bootstrap and material UI which are very popular.

2. Learn Javascript

Javascript is the easiest way to make a website dynamic. Pick up one of the frontend libraries, preferably React(Angular and Vue are pretty popular too). Understand how the react framework works, read their documentation.

One easier way to get started is to follow along with a tutorial, a lot of interesting Udemy courses are available for less than INR 500. Once you've got the hang of the frontend, try to get your hand dirty by creating a backend. Express and Node are pretty popular.

3. Build at least 5 Applications

The best way to learn is by doing - or in this case, building. Keeping up with the ethos, pick any 5 applications of your choice and start working on it, ideally don't look at any available solution but try to come up with your own solution and build it module by module.

4. Set up your own portfolio website + a blog space

Once you have some experience and familiarity with some frameworks, set your own website. Keep it simple, keep it clean. Pick your color scheme, talk about what different languages you work on, give a demo of the work that you have done, and also place the GitHub source handy for each of your projects so that anyone visiting your website knows where to look.

Setup your blog, and document your journey, this serves two purposes, firstly, as a placeholder to come back and take a quick glance if you have any questions about a specific topic. Secondly, it forces you to think and therefore helps you to structure your code better.

5. Join a club

Working alone does not take you that far, you will have a drop in motivation, accept that it is normal to feel it. During these times you will need a support group to help you push through the slump. Even otherwise, discussing code as a group and writing code together pushes you to work in a collaborative environment.