Web Development

How to Start Coding in Web Development

How to start coding

Already have your mind set on becoming a developer? Then there’s probably one question on your mind: how to start coding? It can be daunting to compete with professionals, but we all have to start somewhere. And don’t worry if you don’t yet know anything: if you’re struggling to tell your PHP from your JavaScripts, or web hosting from domain names, this is the perfect tutorial for you.

Why Learn Web Development Anyway? Web development in process

If you just happen to land in this tutorial without even planning to learn how to start coding right now, here are a few reasons why you should start thinking about it: 

  • Coding is a skill that is in high demand in the technology industry.
  • Freelancer jobs as a coder can allow you to work wherever you want. All you need is a computer and the internet! But most of the time, you will be working with a team who can help you develop your skills.
  • If you want to get into cutting-edge job fields that are currently available it is a perfect motivation for how to start coding because this kind of knowledge is very much needed.
  • Many of the most exciting opportunities in emerging industries today are in the cryptocurrency and AI space. Coding is crucial for both.
  • Coding is both challenging and worthwhile. You’ll be amazed at what you’re able to create after just a small-time spent on how to start learning coding.
  • The skills you learn will be relevant in the future. The tech industry is only going to grow!
  • Jobs that use specialist skills like coding are often very well paid.
  • You don’t need a degree to learn how to code. You can get started without any college/university debt!

Programming for Beginners

In the beginning, coding is going to be tough – you are essentially learning a new language to communicate ideas in! There is no easy way how to start programming for beginners.

If you’re completely new to this sort of stuff, it will be nothing like anything you have done previously. Stick with it though. The longer you hang in there, the more likely you are to have a “eureka” moment and it will all start making sense.

You should start by choosing the programming language that seems most fitting for you. It is advised to choose a language that is mostly user-friendly or is not that hard to begin with. An example of that would be HTML or CSS, which are mainly used for basic web applications. If you are looking at more serious programming languages to start with, Python could be the one for you.

learn HTML and CSS with Space Doggos
BitDegree recommends: start coding with Space Doggos

Above all, coding is about problem-solving. It’s not so much about memorizing all these functions that different lines of code create (although that’s incredibly useful). You can look at those functions up if you forget how to do something specific! Your skills as a problem solver, which are the most important skills regarding coding, will develop with the more time you spend training them. 

How to Start Coding – The Wider ConceptsMan wearing headphones and using a computer 

For many, computer science and coding seem alien skills that are impossible to understand. Even if you’re already familiar with how networks and computer systems work, it’s still a good idea to give yourself a quick recap from the list below. 

When learning programming, there are several things that you should fully understand: 

  • Learn computer science basics for beginners. There are loads of great resources out there. Before you start searching where to start coding, you need a solid idea of how computers function! 
  • Understand how networks work. It’s important to know how different computers can communicate with one another in various types of networks. This will make it easier to understand the concepts that are introduced later. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the command line. Here’s where you’ll finally start to feel like you are getting to know how to start coding! Entering text into the command line can be a bit scary at first but you don’t need to fear. It’s very difficult to do any real damage!  
  • Next, it’s important to know how to start building a website and get a domain. This stuff isn’t going to challenge you too much, but it is crucial in your journey to becoming a web developer.  

Client-Side Front-End

Every page you visit on the internet is built using certain programs that work side by side with each other. The browser you use is the translator that translates the code that is built either by the HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. As a result, we see the result on our screen and interact with it along the way. There are three main front-end languages:

HTML 

If you’ve never done any web development whatsoever, you’re going to want to start with HTML. 

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. Put simply, it’s used to make basic webpages. It’s not technically a programming language at all. However, if you’re completely new to coding, it’s still nothing like any language you’ll be familiar with. 

Whenever you see images or text on the web, they will have been put there primarily using HTML. HTML allows you to place text, images, videos, songs, and other content onto a webpage using what are called “tags”. 

There isn’t a whole lot you can do with HTML but what you can do appears all over the internet. It’s therefore really important to get a good grasp of HTML before you get to know how to start coding career or hobby as a web developer. 

Check out the beginners’ guide to coding in HTML. You’re welcome!

how to start coding HTML example
Some basic HTML on Notepad

CSS

The next logical step to learning how to develop websites is to learn CSS. This still isn’t a programming language though! However, it does introduce a load more variety into your websites and is another crucial step you need to take before you start programming in more interesting languages!

Example of how to start coding
This is how CSS looks like

CSS makes the stuff you made using HTML look good. You can do all kinds of neat tricks with it such as adding color, padding (borders), margins, and changing fonts.

A good grasp of CSS and HTML can make a half-decent looking website. However, if you want to be a developer, you’re going to have to learn some real programming languages too!  

To learn to use CSS like a pro, check out this awesome guide to getting started with CSS.

 

JavaScript 

Let’s not sugar coat it. If you want to learn how to start coding to a high level, you’re going to need a good knowledge of JavaScript. 

When learning programming, JavaScript is a must. It’s everywhere. These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a company that doesn’t want some kind of online presence. JavaScript will be used to build most of their applications and websites. 

Being such a widely-used programming language, job opportunities are great for someone skilled at programming in JavaScript. That said, in a recent survey of developers by StackOverflow, it was found that a massive 62.5% of respondents said that they used it. 

how to start coding Javascript
This is how JavaScript code looks like

This means that finding a JavaScript job is going to be hugely competitive too. Although the path of how to start coding can be tough it will be worth it though. PayScale estimates that the average salary of a JavaScript web developer is almost $60,000. There’s lots of money to be made if you’re good!

JavaScript adds interactive features to your list of web developer tools. These might be games or responses to the text being entered – that kind of thing. 

You can start by making small adjustments to your basic HTML webpages. These can include welcome messages and image changes. However, you can progress to making full three-dimensional games if you get good enough at coding in JavaScript! 

If learning JavaScript is the next step in your career or hobby development, check out this interactive course all about this diverse programming language. 

learn Javascript BitDegree Interactive Course
Learn JavaScript with BitDegree’s interactive course

Building Your First Website 

If you followed all the steps in this how to start coding guide so far, you should now be ready to build a high quality, professional-looking website.

There are loads of good things you can do to continue advancing your learning at this point though. Some of them include: 

  • Learn more about debugging programs and sites using the Chrome developer tools.  
  • Find and attend meetups about coding and using JavaScript in your local area. 
  • Learn about synchronous and asynchronous JavaScript.  
  • Learn about event loops – this will open your eyes to a whole load more great stuff you can do with JavaScript.  
  • Download and study node.js and npm. These tools are great for all aspiring web developers. 
  • Learn about React.js.
    how to start coding your first website
  • Read as many “how to start coding” articles you can on sites like Medium. There are loads of different levels, but your understanding of industry jargon should be pretty good by now! 
  • Learn all about servers and backend concepts in greater detail.  
  • Get a raspberryPi and start tinkering with it. You can now try to build your server! 

What to Learn Next? 

After learning these basic coding languages and concepts, you’ll be starting to get a feel of what you’re good at and what you like to create using the code. Below are some of the next areas you should consider studying:  

  • Learn how to use Git and GitHub. After familiarising yourself with these tools, you can sign up for a GitHub account and start making commits. Employers often favor active GitHub users.  
  • SQL – if you love the heavy database stuff, SQL is a great programming language to learn. Since practically every application uses databases in some way, SQL programming knowledge is a great skill to have while learning how to start coding.
  • Solidity – the programming language of the Ethereum blockchain is a particularly good one to learn. It’s used to implement smart contracts and Ethereum developers with such skills are in high demand right now. It’s only a matter of time before someone develops a killer dApp application on the Ethereum network using Solidity – it could be you! 
  • jQuery – jQuery is like a toolbox for JavaScript developers. It’s been developed to speed up typing JavaScript code. Many tasks are grouped to mean they can be added with a single line of code. 
  • Swift – Swift is the programming language of iOS applications. Since Apple products are so consistently popular, being a skilled Swift coder will certainly land a great job. What’s more, iOS applications are generally a lot more profitable than those that appear on Google Play or other such application stores. 

What now? 

This is just the beginning of your education. The thing with technology is that it doesn’t stay the same for long. This is particularly true with web development. New frameworks and libraries are constantly being released for JavaScript meaning there is always something new to learn. Then there are loads of different programming languages. Realistically, your efforts of learning programming are only just beginning! 

Remember that programming and coding is all about solving problems. You’ve been given a great set of tools to start solving problems that arise when you’re building applications and websites. New tools will come along that will make things easier, but your foundation is there already.

And if you’re looking for a place where to start coding, be sure to check out courses on BitDegree. Can’t afford courses? Check out scholarships for courses instead.

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