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Things NOT To Do As A Web Developer

If you’re looking at getting into chicago web development, or web development anywhere in the world for that matter, then there’s some do’s and don’ts you should be savvy with. Here’s a couple of things to muse over.

Don’t stress the language barrier.

There’s a ton of scripting languages out there, we know. You can’t learn them all. Nor should you paralyze yourself trying to decide which ones to focus on first. Start by identifying your goals- front end, back end or server side programming? Try and target a language that will suit you in that goal. But don’t let the thought of trying to decide which one that is back you into a corner so you do nothing about any of it! Pick one. Any one. You need to figure out your own preferences and choices. Tinker a little with a few of the big ones to get a sense of where to start. Also spend a little time researching the job market you are hoping to break into, as that will give you a sense of what employers are looking for on your CV. Do your thinking. Just not too much. If you’re really really stuck, start with Javascript, as you’ll need it in almost any environment and it plays well with the others around it. But in the end, you’re going to need what you want to use and what your market wants, and getting started on that voyage of discovery is more important than the fine print.

But grasp the basics well or look like a fool.

Sadly, web development lacks the sort of regulation of, say, the medical industry. There’s no ‘bare minimums’ and licensing. Any kid who’s tinkered on WordPress can claim to be a web developer if they want. But you want to work, don’t you? You actually want to be hired? If you’re looking to hire on in the corporate world as a junior developer, you will be expected to learn on the job, they won’t expect you to have everything.

However… if you arrive on day one with nothing, your colleagues will hate you, your employer will hate you, and it will go downhill from there. Make sure you have a firm- and we mean firm- grip on the basics before you start selling the idea you are a web developer. HTML CSS should be like air to you before you claim that title. You should be able to work with them comfortably- and in text, not the fancy programs like Dreamweaver. You should also be familiar with programming ‘language’; the data types you’ll run across and that will be discussed around you. Know your version control too. And work the heck out of the command lines. Maybe you won’t be working on a GUI, after all! You should be prepared.

Getting the basic steps on the road to a career as a web developer right can make or break your entry into the field. Make sure you really are a ‘web developer’ and not a web developer wanna-be, if you want to make a success of this fascinating field.

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