Web development is a vast field with many career opportunities to pursue. In fact, it’s so vast that some people might not even know what to do and where to start. There are some skills that can help you get started on your web development journey, and progress your understanding of the field. Today, that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about.
Web development, unsurprisingly, needs a few essential technical skills. Before you start working on anything else, you need to actually know what you’re doing.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the foundation of web development. Some tools might allow you to create websites without writing HTML (or at least claim they don’t), but HTML is the standard all around the world for a reason. HTML coding gives you more control over the content.
Understanding HTML will help you diagnose problems more efficiently than anything else. You can also include SEO information directly in your HTML code to make it easier for web crawlers to read your page and increase your visibility. HTML is an essential part of web development in the same way drinking water is essential for the human body.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) has grown significantly since its inception. Previously, developers used CSS primarily to define simple elements like colors and shapes, but now it can use dynamic elements such as interactive buttons and animations. However, one of the most important features is the responsive design.
Nowadays, users expect websites to move seamlessly from computer to tablet to mobile. Responsive design ensures the screen is optimized for each platform. A CSS concept that will take your design to the next level is flexbox. It’s a layout mode that makes it easy to create flexible, responsive layouts.
If a good website is built, but nobody’s around to use it, does it really exist? Every day, over 250,000 websites are created. How do you make your site stand out? Through the power of SEO. This practice allows your website to use keywords, and other things that search engines like to see to get your website higher on the search results.
At a minimum, you need to know how search engines “rank” websites” and what they can and cannot read. This way you get the most out of adding metadata to your website and website elements that web crawlers can’t see. SEO is most important for websites that thrive on traffic like blogs and journalistic news sites.
The above skills will help you learn about the fundamentals of coding, but nothing will stop you like a bug in your system. Understanding the development tools offered by browsers can speed up the debugging process and get your website running up in no time.
Of course, once you know how to walk, you have to start learning how to talk. It’s important in web development to have these essential soft skills as well.
Communication is key to a successful website. While yes, there are a lot of people who have made websites all on their own, that’s not where communication ends. Communication isn’t just with a team (which at a certain size every website will need), but also with your users. Remember, you make your website for people to use, so make sure that you communicate with your users.
Websites are a very finicky thing. Even one little piece of code being wrong, an image skewed the wrong way, or even mismatching fonts can really affect the user experience. Not only that, making sure your website is GDPR compliant as well as not breaking any other “internet etiquette” is key to avoiding controversy. For such problems, being precise with your site’s details is very important.
Websites can be works of art if you have the drive for them. Web design is a crucial aspect of user engagement. Nobody wants to browse a website that actively hurts their eyes or actively bores them. You don’t see Facebook being a wall of plain, black text on a white webpage. You need to jazz up your website to make using it actually fun.
At some point, something will go wrong. Even if you double and triple check, it’s an inevitability and you need to be able to work fast in fixing it. Solving problems is part of the web development process, whether you encounter it live or if it’s a need of your website that needs to be fulfilled. A good mindset to have with web development is that something will go wrong, so you are never caught unawares.
Project management isn’t just about delegating team members or setting schedules. Even if you are a lone web developer, knowing how to manage your project is an important skill. Keeping yourself and anybody on your team accountable, making sure deadlines are met, making sure that every aspect of the project is being fulfilled, all of that requires the seamless use of all the above soft skills mentioned here.