Ultimate Guide To Learning Web Development7 mins - Introduction
Web development is not only important within the modern world, but it’s also one of the most sought-after professions out there. Our world runs on technology and therefore runs on the development of websites and webpages. While many people know what a website is and how to access one, many others don’t know the programs, people, and other parts of the web development that go into creating these sites. This is an introduction to web development which will help give you a basic understanding of how it works.
What is Web Development?
Web development tends to refer to the activities related to website functionalities and development. Although every website is developed differently, there are three fundamental components that conduct and interaction between the site and the user. The first is the Frontend, also known as the Client. This is the local computer, device, and browser the user is interacting with in order to access the website. For this part of web development, the challenge comes with making sure that a website functions exactly the same way on all browsers. Next comes the Backend or Server component. The Server is the remote computer that’s being run on the other side of the interaction and is responsible for site code generation and database handling.
The database is the information that is generated or used within the website. For instance, Facebook users who are logged into the site have their account information stored in the database for the site. This includes all your photos, your personal updates, shared content, and profile information. Understanding the three fundamental components helps you to understand where web development ties into the entire process. The web developer’s role is quite significant. They ensure that when the users interact with the website, it reacts in the way it’s predicted to do so.
The History of Web Development
To better understand what web development is, it would help to take a look back at how web development became what it is today. You’d be surprised where it started because it’s in quite a different place than where it is today. Web development is tied to the implementation of the World Wide Web and the arrival of the Mosaic Browser in 1993. While it was originally developed within the 1980’s it wasn’t until 1993 when it truly caught fire. Businesses were initially apprehensive at the thought of using the world wide web but eventually found that it had commercial potential. There was a great influx of usage thanks to the growth of the network infrastructure. This proverbial tech bubble grew and grew until it popped and now the internet is all but essential to our daily lives. Amazon, Yahoo, and Google are the main survivors of that technological era.
Implementation of the World Wide Web started at CERN. It was very much an academic tool. It was tied between military and academic entities who used it to transfer vital information. One of the first browsers that came out was the Mosaic browser. It came out of the university setting, specifically the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. From the development of Mosaic browser came what many early web users remember and loved – Netscape. Netscape was one of the first commercialized browsers. 1995 is when things really took off. The commercial internet took off and became available to the common folk. Microsoft then jumped on the bandwagon and released the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser in the coming years. This was also the time when Bill Gates wrote now infamous The Internet Tidal Wave memo, which predicted that the internet would become something bigger. It gives an intimate look at how early internet and world wide web adopters approached it. He made clear in the memo that he had the intention of focusing Microsoft’s efforts online with immediate effect. The executive staff members were meant to make the Internet their highest priority. He called it a very important development. He wasn’t wrong.
It’s hard to believe it now, but the early internet didn’t look the way it does today and therefore it didn’t look like something that could be commercialized and pushed into homes. It was codes and hyperlinks. Web development became what it is now because of the commercialization of the internet and the world wide web. At one point in history, Microsoft thought that interactive television was the way to go. The common person was far more engaged by texts and words when it was put together with pictures. That’s arguably why film and television continue to be so popular. This vision of interactive television is what led to pictures and other graphic designs being implemented in web browsers. This is why nowadays there’s such a high demand for web developers and web designers. The marketability of your website is a key aspect of gaining success in the modern business world. Photos, logos, different fonts styles, videos, and more are all important components to a successful website. Yet, they wouldn’t exist without the code implementation that comes from web development.
What are the Web Development Roles?
When you’re developing a website, you’ll want to take into consideration the specific project roles. They have different responsibilities that are important to the entire process.
Web Designer: First is the web designer. These professionals often get mistaken for web developers, but their roles are quite different. They’re responsible for the usability of a website and its appearance. They normally work with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to help them come up with a design. The more advanced web designers can build web prototypes using coding skills.
Backend Developer: The Backend developers are the ones who work behind the proverbial curtain. They’re responsible for developing server-side logic, managing database connection, designing APIs, and handling authorizations and security. These developers commonly use Ruby, Java, Node, and quite a few other programs to get the job done. These professionals also deal with the databases.
Full Stack Developer: As an army of one, the Full stack developer is a specialist who can work on both the server and client-side, and sometimes they’ll even develop the design of a website. These professionals have mastery over different layers, which is highly sought-after in the job market. Full-stack developers are also highly sought after because they understand the problems that may arise in different project roles. This makes them a perfect fit for a team leadership position.
What Do Web Developers Do?
In a general sense, web developers are responsible for building and maintaining websites. The average Joe may assume that web developers spend a majority of the day messing around with codes, but that’s not all that they do. Development is a huge part of their job, but there are other important tasks that they need to get done.
Analysis: As a constant part of a web developer’s job, analysis involves talking with a client and gathering nonfunctional and functional requirements. The purpose of this is so that the developer can look at a project from an isometric point of view. From there, they’ll plan out the architecture accordingly.
Code Review: New codes aren’t just added to the main codebase. They normally undergo a code review process. The process involves other developers who go through the code, review it, and then make suggestions on how to improve the code.
Mentoring: Mentoring plays an important role in the web development field. Once a developer has reached a certain level of understanding about web development, they’re normally expected to share their knowledge with others. Many advanced web developers train junior developers. Following the mentorship, there will often be a pair of programming which involves two developers sitting in front of one computer trying to solve different problems together.
Maintenance: Maintenance involves solving problems like random bugs and making small changes to a project that’s already working.
Meetings: Another misconception about web developers is that they’re constantly alone. That’s not true. In many cases, developers spend quite a bit of time meeting with and talking to others. In some cases, web developers are independently contracted or entrepreneurs. That means they’ve got to be their own secretaries and produce and maintain their workflow. Communication goes beyond discussing new features with their clients. Developers will commonly organize daily status meetings, where they will discuss what they accomplished work-wise in the previous day. They’ll then discuss what they’re going to accomplish in the near future.
What is Needed to Become a Web Developer?
Many people may assume that you need a degree to become a web developer, but the truth is grayer than that. Studying computer science will give you a great understanding of all of the technical aspects that are involved in the field of web development; however, it’s not the degree that many companies are looking for. To put in bluntly, they don’t care as much about your education background. They’re more concerned about if you know how to do your job well.
The process of learning web development has become accessible in many different ways. Web development is different from other fields because you can start on it right away. All you really need is an honest desire for learning and discovering the world of web development. There’s a wealth of resources online that’ll help to get you started on your path. The only person who will get in the way of your learning is you.