Hello World

Hello World

The magical sentence of development: Hello World!

What a strange world to someone who didn’t explore it since its childhood. I have already told you about my relatively new passion for development, especially web and app development, in this post.

I am learning by myself web development after work for now 1 year and will soon have all my time to do it. My short experience makes me want to share with you my feelings about the hard path of learning programming.

Learning Web Development requires to learn two different kind of subjects, a more art one and real programming.

The basic is HTML (HyperText Markup Language) which you will use as a markup language for web pages and web applications. Not really difficult, don’t skim over it when learning since you will use it everytime.

Then you have the graphic part with Illustrator/Photoshop (in order to have an idea of your future website) before working on it with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language. CSS is fun to learn and use since you immediately see the result on your screen. For me it is rather intuitive and I like this language.

Then, you have to learn JavaScript (for the Front-End part) and/or PHP (for the Back-End part). Both are real programming languages. They are not just text or arty stuff, they allow you to create programs. I am spending right now a lot of time on JavaScript to get skilled with it and will look to PHP after that.

My opinion (not an expert one since it is my first real programming language) is that JavaScript is hard, weird and obvious at the same time. The basics (variables, loops, arrays…) are quite the same with other programming languages, but at a higher level it requires some time to understand the logic of the language. It is the case with closures, IIFE, prototypes…

In a broader sense, programming languages are easy to understand but very hard to use. Consider them as foreign languages, it takes time and training. It is so easy to get lost when you have several functions as parameters in other functions, objects in objects… You will understand why comments are more than useful, they are essential, they are a compass to don’t lost North!

Learn

If you plan to learn Web Development, you could follow these steps in order to not be overwhelmed and stay confident:

  • You want to start simple, try a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress. Look at all the things you can do with it and how it works. Once you are used to the LEGO part of the work, it’s time to look at how all of this was done. Moreover, don’t rely on a CMS to be a web developer, you will have to dive into the code without the certainty to come back alive 😉
  • Learn HTML and CSS. They quite go together and it will be more fun to learn both at the same time. Then go into the details for HTML and for CSS. These languages will allow you to create good static web pages, moreover with CSS3 which has some animations.
  • Then, get ready to cross the wasteland since you will learn a real programming language! After HTML and CSS, it might be interesting to keep going with JavaScript which will allow you to create interactive web pages. Take your time to understand the basics of JavaScript (which is not Java!), and then continue with more complicated stuff.
  • Congrats! You are a Junior Front-End Web Developer. Now it is time to either go deeper into CSS and JavaScript with frameworks (which is a piece of code which dictates the architecture your project will follow, you have to follow the framework’s code and design methodologies) and libraries (which is a reusable piece of code dedicated to a single piece of functionality), or to glance at PHP/MySQL for the Back-End part of a website to then create dynamic web pages (a web page whose construction is controlled by an application server processing server-side scripts).
  • After all that, you can learn non relational databases with MongoDB, as well as Back-End development with Node.js (JavaScript for Back-End), and surely other interesting things.
  • Congrats! You are now a Junior Full-Stack Web Developer.
  • Why not try app development. You can develop hybrid applications with Web languages, or you can learn Java/Kotlin – Swift/Objective-C to create native applications for Android and/or iOS.

The most important, stay confident and optimistic. The path will be fun and hard at the same time. It requires a lot of willpower, you will surely feel unqualified because you don’t have any teacher to give his/her opinion about your work, but as long as you study, there is no reason you don’t become a Web Developer. It will take 6 months, 10 months, a year, two years. This is not important. The objective is to be skilled and to do something you like.

If you are also learning Web Development or other languages, or if you are a skilled developer who wants to share his/her opinion, leave a comment 😉

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