Tips on How to Become a Good Web Developer

While the field of web development is as old as the internet, with the advent of new customers and a large number of Indians going online today, it makes it an exciting place to work. Companies such as Swiggy understand that developing a web app is as important as developing a mobile website and they are not alone in this. The author spoke to a number of professionals in the field to know what a web developer must know in this day and age of internet connectivity.

“For modern day development… at a small scale you can get immediate output in sort of three days, four days or a week. Building websites or small web applications you do actually get immediate output that is usable by someone,” says Shashank Kumar, co-founder and CTO at Razorpay, a digital payments gateway. “It’s another matter that it may not really be usable beyond 2-3 people because you’re not really looking to market it or anything. But it makes you feel really powerful.”

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He also adds that web development can be different from other form of coding since the results are shown then and there without much time gap and this can be motivating for developers to keep coding. “Accomplishing something really motivates you. Eventually that gave me the confidence that I can do this as my day job too,” Kumar says.

Rishabh Garg a developer at Hypertrack, “If you’re just getting started, HTML and CSS are absolute fundamentals for web development, but aren’t really programming languages. The language most Web developers need to know is Javascript, which is closely tied to Web Development for decades and allows developers to add dynamic effects and handle user interaction on the website.”

He also insisted that modern day web developers need to learn new frameworks such as AngularJS and React to build better websites faster. Garg also adds that web development is a great field for those who are comfortable with coding. “A majority of the world is Internet connected… Modern tools make it easy to build  complex products on the Web and there are career opportunities at all levels of expertise in Web development,” he adds.

A web developer from Microsoft, spoke at great lengths when it came to values which should be learnt from web development.

“A good Web developer is someone who can write neat, clean code. They shouldn’t throw in binaries like bhel puri… Writing less code is a lot more challenging that writing more code,” he says.

He equates web development with cooking, “A good web developer is someone who can create really simple and small websites. It’s like cooking, you can take a lot of shortcuts. You may get away with shortcuts once or twice but not for long,” he adds.

He also says that it is really easy to decipher a good web developer, “Right click, view source, and click inspect element. Good code is a delight to see. There may be some cheeky comments in the code and you can see how neat it is,” he adds.

Hypertrack’s Rishabh Garg says that the biggest misconception a web developer can have is that if the website looks good on their device it will look equally good on other people’s devices. “Since website can be consumed on a variety of platforms having different form-factors, browsers, speed and capability, it’s important for a web developer to make sure what they have built is tested and works well not just for them, but also for all of their intended audience,” he adds.

Razorpay’s Shashank Kumar says that web developers should take up small freelance projects to test their skills. Even if the pay is that great on such jobs the experience which can be gained can be invaluable once you start working. He has some valuable advice for every budding web developer out there, “Participating in hackathons and open source projects is a good idea. Develop a network, get good mentors and connect with them,” he adds.