Coding websites is easy. There, I said it.
With this post I just want to encourage people out there that might be hesitant to get started in a web development career, because they believe the job is “too hard”. Let me assure you, it is not.
Surely it is not harder than other jobs, and people who code are not geniuses by default.
Sure, prepare yourself to get stuck (a lot), to not understand concepts (a lot) and to feel like a cheater when you copy other people’s code (a lot), but this said, coding is not hard. It involves plenty of trial and error, and it can be related to solving puzzles and building using Lego blocks.
Do you enjoy computers?
If you already have an interest in computers, tweaking softwares, installing operating systems, fiddling with settings, rooting phones, than you most probably can do this job.
The main skills you’ll need
The single biggest skill you need as a coder is that of problem solving. If you are the person people go to when their computers or phones have some trouble, then you most probably have these problem solving skills. The second skill you absolutely need is being able to Google to find solutions to your problems. The third one would be being able to read and write english.
Would you like to create stuff?
So, if the idea of creating websites that people can actually use (and getting paid for that) is appealing to you, then by all means get started in this career. Even if you are not a teenager, even if you are 30 or 40 or 50 or whatever, it’s never too late to start doing something you actually enjoy, especially if you’ve always thought about it.
Join a local Meetup
If you live in or nearby a big enough town, chances are there is already a meetup about frontend development, usually meeting once per month to discuss things and get together. Just go, and be open about you being new to the craft. 99% of the people will be supportive, and you will make friends.
Ask for help
Do not be afraid to ask for help when you get lost, but always do your homework before asking (meaning, try to solve a problem on your own first). Resources like Stack Overflow are very helpful in getting you answers from people who enjoy answering them.
Some resources to get started
Just a few ideas that might help you orientate yourself in the seeming neverending sea of information about web development.
- Consider signing up for a Team Treehouse account, their video courses are excellent.
- Follow Smashing Magazine and CSS Tricks for anything related to web development.
Beware the impostor syndrome
A time will come when you will fill like an impostor. This is the impostor syndrome, Google it to find lots of blog entries about it.
You will think “I am worst than the others”, “I should not do this job”, “I am a fraud.”. These thoughts will start cropping up when your skills are improving, they probably reflect the fact that you realize you will never know everything.
Just know that these thoughts are normal, they occur to every developer. However, they also are not true. Learn to live with them, and don’t give them too much weight.
Ask me anything
Feel free to hit me up with any question you might have, especially when starting out. On Twitter I am @akmur, I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.