I’ll let you in on a little secret. In 2020 programming is still a superpower. Especially if you combine it with some online marketing and copywriting. But how do you become a web developer?
I like to create things. My first piece of software originated in high school. It was software to hide your web browser from school teachers. You could goof off and if a teacher came nearby you just triggered the shortcut. It would hide the window including the icon on the taskbar. The program spread like wildfire from USB to USB from classmates sharing it with each other.
After this many small projects followed over the years like a web scrapers, Twitter bots, and many small websites. My first actual app was Proxybeuker which started out as a joke to speed up the video encoding workflow of the video production company I was working at.
I’d love to combine all the previous experience and use it to learn how to make websites and web apps.
On this page, I’ll share my honest progress and the best resources I find. This means you can get a head start if you want to go down the same path.
It’s hard to pick something to focus on. There are an infinite amount of frameworks, programming languages and courses for an aspiring web developer. There is always some 17-year-old kid who has 200.000 visitors on the first week of his website launch. At the same time, it can feel like you are screaming into a forest. This can be very discouraging. You have to pick something small and focus on it.
- Building a basic web app
- Brush up internet entrepreneur skills like Copywriting / Marketing / Launching / Designing
- Ship & Launch 3 projects
What have I learned so far
- Basic Terminal Usage
- Vim (Super unnecessary at this point but I got sucked in)
What did I do
- Finished Modern HTML & CSS from the beginning
- Create a new landing page for ProxyBeuker
- Remake the basics of the Nomad List Homepage with HTML & CSS
- Remake the basics of the Trello interface with HTML/CSS
What I’m doing now
What do you need to become a developer?
Not much, a decent laptop will work. However, in the long term, a decent (ergonomic) setup will help. Also, people who can help you out when you get stuck or share best practices and resources are incredibly helpful.
Helpful Beginner Video’s
This video get’s you in the right mindset and makes sure you aren’t spinning your wheels. It outlines the trap so many beginners fall into. They follow tutorial after tutorial. It gives you the false sense that you’ve learned something. But you can’t do anything yourself. It’s better to build 10 things yourself than to do 10 hours of tutorials. Use tutorials to get the basics down. After that, BUILD, BUILD, BUILD! If you are learning but not building… you are not learning. Don’t do course after cours. Keep repeating, keep building. Split websites up in smaller components and try to make the individual pieces. Build 10x navbars. Do algorithmic challenges, yes they are hard but they teach you to think as a programmer. Be a slow Becky not a fast Joe. Slow and Steady.
Places for reference:
It’s tempting to put everything I’ve read here. But to be honest 90% was a waste of time. I’ll try to only put actually useful stuff here.
Flavio Copes Flavio has great ebooks, articles and tutorials on various web dev languages and concepts. I like the straightforward and practical explanations. He teaches you the 80% you actually need in use in 20% of the time. So it’s a practical way to get an introduction in a language of framework without feeling like you have to write a thesis about the subject.
Internet is Hard | HTML & CSS Detailed guides explaining the basics of HTML & CSS
CSS Tricks | Guides – Great reference guides on Flex Box, CSS Grid, Media queries and more.
Brad Traversy – Design Resources – Great collection of all kinds of web design-related tools and websites
Mozilla Developer Network – See it as the encyclopedia of web development.