Career, Circular economy

How does Web development work? (Part 2)

You will find Part one here.

As we have seen previously, web development offers multi-layered opportunities for work. It seamlessly mixes engineering, visual arts, computing, marketing and business studies. Let’s look at the practical aspects of starting in the field.

Don’t work. Build!

How do you work in Web development?

The answer is: Build, build, build.

Build a website to showcase your Front-end code. Build a use-case application or a bogus CMS to showcase your back-end code. Build small simple, then build medium and slightly complex, and build big and more complex.

Basic technical skills for web developers.
Standardised skill sets for web developers.

Build an online database for products and build an interface from which you can CRUD the data. Then build a website that integrates this database and get some feedback to add/remove functionalities. Once the website is up and running, do the maintenance work/testing/refining around it.

Still, never expect yourself to cruise through any task, but take the time to UNDERSTAND what you are doing inside-out. Don’t be a code monkey for a few bucks. Don’t ditch your creativity.

Going the extra mile

A lot of online courses are about building snippets and showcasing your ability to follow instructions while using a single stack. The reality is that, until you have put together all these components into a BIG project, you don’t really understand web development.

Web developer's workflow.
Daily operations of a creative web developer.

This is because web development is about building for a real-life purpose. Working with a client on an e-commerce website is a radically different experience from making the existing website of a start-up SEO-friendly. Each project had different deadlines, pay checks, users and technologies to keep in mind.

And no, building one project is not the bottom line. If left unchecked, your tendency to work within your comfort zone of familiar technologies will eventually kill your creative spirit. There are always more projects to build for/from, but you will need to seek them and make them work for your personal interests.

More than “work”, a career in web development is a vocation in which you start with learnt practical skills that you refine and personalise over time. Just keep building and enjoy the engineering!