A basic introduction to teach yourself how to code and become a web developer, whether for business or pleasure. As the internet becomes an increasingly integrated part of our world, there’s never been a better time to learn how to code.
Once your start diving into the Web, you’ll find a dizzying number of online communities where programmers discuss the different kinds of coding, share tutorials, code samples and offer up their work to be critiqued and improved.
There are tons of great free web-based tutorials and resources online, but let’s start with the basic building blocks for web development.
HTML and CSS
Before you can build anything, you need to learn HTML, which is the page markup that makes up web pages, as well as CSS (cascading style sheet), which is style information like font sizes, colours, etc, that makes the HTML look pretty and save you have to code in every tiny detail of a web page.
Because a web page is a frontend to every web app, HTML and CSS are the front ends of everything you can create as a web developer. So the first thing you need to do is learn these. It will take quite a while. So please don’t be put off, because once you’ve mastered these, you’ll be well on your way to learning more types of coding.
It has a wide range of uses from making web pages attractive and interactive to communicating with a server, which makes it such an essential programming language to learn.
Server Side Scripting
Okay, so you’ve got the hang of styling and creating responsive web pages? Next you need to learn about server side scripting languages so that your website can talk to databases, redirect users to different pages depending on their nationality, sign users up to a mailing list or allow users to log in and store information, for example.
Server side scripting languages include PHP, Python, Perl and Ruby to name a few. But considering most of the web is built on PHP, this is the language that most people will usually teach themselves first.
Application programming interfaces are the way that different pieces of software to talk to one another. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are all common examples, which can be integrated into WordPress via plugins so that whenever your blog updates with fresh content, it’s automatically fed via RSS feed to your social media profile page in the form of a title, snippet text, thumbnail image, and a link.
While it would be great if we could simply download all this information into our brains and start developing web pages, apps and games right away, learning this stuff takes time, practice and persistence.
So whether you’re teaching yourself out of personal interest, or planning to advance your career with coding, don’t try to take it all in at once.
Instead, stick to the few languages that will help you achieve what you want to create. Otherwise, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the different languages and never actually produce anything.