It is hard to be a Web Developer today. Having more knowledge on your field is not enough. As a web developer, you need to compete with millions of Web Developer worldwide. You must be updated with all new applications and you must follow the trend of designing and showcasing your talent as a web developer to get more jobs opportunities.
As a beginner on web app developer, you’ve got a difficult but rewarding path ahead of you. You have to master (or at least attempt to master) the intricacies of OOP and scripting languages, learn to build web apps the hard way (practice, practice, practice), and network your way into a few job opportunities. You must also decide whether you’d like to work as a solo/consultant/freelancer, a startup employee or founder, or a rank-and-file developer at an established company.
You can apply these few tips on how to be a good web developer. These may help you to enhance your ability as a web designer and it can help you to be socially aware and able to compete with millions of web designer out there.
- 1. Go Open Source
- Put in some time on open-source projects. The hands-on experience will challenge you, educate you and help you build your body of work.
- Aside from code for code’s sake, open source projects are a good way to meet other devs and do some networking. You’ll have the opportunity to work with people who are much more skilled and experienced than you are yet; take full advantage of this situation and be a sponge.
- SourceForge and GitHub and good places to start looking for open source projects that appeal to you; also, as you follow various blogs around the web and see what projects might need a few extra hands. Sites like Codeof America and organizations such as the Mozilla Foundation are always looking for good developers with free time.
- Finally, when working on open source apps, not only will you get great practice and be able to learn from some really excellent engineers; you’ll also be giving back to the community. Creating and sharing free and open-source software is one of the best things you can do to help your neighbors as a developer.
- 2. Expand Your Web-Browsing Repertoire
- 3. Network Your Socks Off
- 4. Show Your Code
- 5. Market Yourself
Watch the video above and hear some words of advice from the web developer experts.
By far the most oft-repeated words of advice we heard from masters of the web dev trade were these:
If you’re aiming to meet, influence or otherwise “catch” a particular group of people, you have to be seen and heard in the places (real or digital) where they come together. Fish where the fish are” as they say.
If you’re “fishing” for other developers — the people who will teach you, help you, and with any luck, hire you — you’ll need to add a new set of websites to your browsing and bookmarking repertoire. Hacker News and gossip can be a wonderful resource for meeting other developers, getting advice and learning about the ecosystem, particularly where startups are concerned.
GitHub’s Gist, Forrst, UseTheSource and CodeSnipp.it are four places on the web where you can go to see and post brief code examples. Be open to critique, and don’t be a show off. Other sites to follow are SourceForge, Stack Overflow, Google Code and Google Groups, and resources for web app developers
If you can locate and befriend a few like-minded, highly skilled professional web devs, they might be able to guide and help you in your career as you broaden and deepen your skill set.
Joining a few Facebook groups can help and checking out developer-oriented Twitter lists from Twitter users you already follow and respect. Once you’ve located the people you’d like to imitate, go back to Tip 1 and see how you can offer your time and skills to any open source projects those people might be involved in.
The golden rules of networking still apply: “Give as much as you’d like to receive, and be a good resource and connector for others, not just a parasite”.
Once you’re practicing, networking, reading, working and generating piles of beautifully functional code, you’re going to want to show it off to the world.
Use a robust, accessible code repository such as GitHub or SourceForge, release your code into the wild. And don’t stop there; be sure to blog about any clever hacks or efficient new ways of doing things that you may discover along the way. Make sure your code samples show good architecture, documentation and versatility.
Showing others your code is equal parts giving back (by open-sourcing it) and self-promotion (if the code is good, that is). If the code you’re posting is worthy, then sharing it is a win-win scenario.
You’ll need to learn how to gracefully and effectively promote yourself as a web applications developer. Focus on creating a good portfolio that shows a breadth of work on a variety of projects. Your apps could be entirely open-source; you could also include client work, if you’ve had the opportunity to develop web apps for others. Make sure this experience is attractively highlighted on your résumé, along with any languages or frameworks you know and your proficiency in each.
Once you have a great website that showcases your skills, make sure you and others link to it frequently in your email signature and from your other online profiles, and don’t be afraid to show your Twitter and Facebook friends when you add a new item to your portfolio or update a section of your website. Whether you use physical or digital business cards, make sure your website is the most prominent link the receiver will see.
- If you’re looking for full-time work, be a great developer and a well-rounded candidate with communication skills.
- Always thoroughly comment your code.
- Be as good at reading code as you are at writing it.
- If you’re a developer, learn something about design, UX/UI, business and web economics (especially if you’re going into a startup).
- Customize your personal growth: If you don’t get a job, ask why and what you can do to improve.
- Remember the big picture — make sure your code is built with scalability in mind.
- Commit to perpetual self-education.
- Don’t give up.