What is web development?
In simple terms, web development means creating any part of the World Wide Web – the system of HTTP that allows information to travel from one computer to another. There are actually three components to web development.
- Client-side scripting – it is the code of the front end of the site that executes in the browser. When you are reading this page on your screen, it and all the images are actually stored on a server probably thousands of miles away from you. A particular set of data is fetched from the data and your browser arranges it into a webpage usually using language like HTML 5, Java, CSS. It is the visible part of web development.
- Server-side scripting – but what about the information stored in the server? It needs to be stored efficiently with backups in place and uses languages like PHP, Python. It is the invisible and indispensable part of web development.
- Database management – every site needs a database where it stores code, images, files and other data using database technologies like Oracle, MySQL
In simple terms, we refer to web development as client-side scripting and building a website from the ground up. A web developer can create code optimized for your site and design the layout and features of your site. But a good web developer takes care of back-end development also.
Who is a web developer and what does he do?
How do you learn about web development?
- Colleges – Web design and development is taught at most colleges. It will usually be a part of a bachelor degree in computer applications or something similar (depending on the country)
- Other than colleges there are a lot of online resources to learn web development for free or at a very little price. These are MOOC and free resources
MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses.
- Codeacademy provides completely free coding classes in different programming languages such as Python, Java, Ruby, SQL as well as HTML and CSS.
- Khan Academy is an extremely useful site that offers to tutor in a number of subjects including web designing. You will be introduced to basic and advanced web development by experts through video tutorials.
- Similar to these are MIT Open CourseWare and Coursera.
There are hundreds (or thousands) of YouTube videos, free pdf books, websites and discussion forums dedicated to web developers which really make learning web developing from scratch a whole lot easier than say learning about archaeology or physiotherapy.
What you must focus on is what language you wish to learn and why you wish to learn instead of blindly chasing certification. Focus on learning languages such as HTML as a beginner. Then put it into practice by doing projects. Most of the web development is being able to apply what you learn and that only comes from thousands of hours of practical experience.