Have you ever thought about learning web development? It’s a great side hustle that can grow into a business, help you make extra money, or become your full-time job.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
In the simplest of terms, a web developer makes a website work.
There are 3 main types of web developers: front-end, back-end, and full-stack.
So, you know how you go to your bank’s website, and you type in your username and your password, hit enter, and then your checking account information automagically appears?
A back-end developer is responsible for your checking account information appearing after you hit enter.
In this example, a back-end developer figured out how to take your login information, make sure it’s correct, find your information in the database, and then send it back to the website so that you can view it. And they made sure that all of that happened in a really fast, secure, correct, and logical way.
Back-end developers use tools like PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java, and MySQL.
Full-stack developers have the knowledge and skills to do front-end and back-end work. These developers can make more money and have more opportunities to work because they have both skillsets. They can really help smaller companies that can’t afford to hire front-end and back-end developers.
Where do you get the skills?
Well, just like learning web design, you can spend a boatload of money learning web development. You can find everything from traditional in-person classes, to online classes, to intensive bootcamps that cost thousands.
Consider these questions –
Do you learn best in-person, but you have a limited amount of money?
Then check your local community college for courses.
Do you learn best in-person, can spend some money, and maybe even take some time away from work?
If so, a bootcamp might be a good answer for you. Bootcamps can last for a week or for a few months, but can provide an intense learning environment. With some of them you will learn in a team, and some of them have job placement guarantees.
Since these can get very expensive, be sure to research them considerably. Talk to graduates of the bootcamp if you can.
Or, do you have the discipline for online classes?
If so, then I have some recommendations for you.
Online Web Development Classes
Note – I’m not an affiliate for either of these, so I’m not making any money if you buy the class or not. I just liked both of these and thought it might help you to hear about my experiences with them.
The Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course by Brad Hussey
Here’s the link: www.udemy.com/web-developer-course/
This is a soup-to-nuts course for web development. This is for someone who wants to become a full-stack developer, but I’d recommend this course even if you want to be just a front-end or a back-end developer.
The course also includes over twenty projects for you to work on, so you’ll get plenty of opportunities to try out those skills.
This course was my first in-depth exposure to web development. I liked the instructor, and the way that he presented and taught the information.
I stopped part way through, though, because I realized that I needed more interaction. I needed to talk with the instructor and the other students.
Udemy does have a Q&A section, but that wasn’t enough for me for this subject – I needed more interaction, and I still needed an online course. That led me to –
Here’s the link: www.skillcrush.com
Skillcrush offers online technology classes. Their target market is women, but believe me – their classes are great for any gender.
Skillcrush offers packages of classes with an end career in mind. For example, they offer one for Front End Developer, and one for WordPress Developer, another for Web Designer, etc.
You buy the package – for example Front End Developer – and then take a series of classes over three months.
I signed up for the Front End Developer one, and then I added the WordPress one too. I started with the Front End Developer.
I really liked how the course was laid out. They explained a concept in a short video (usually under 5 minutes), then the next step would be reading more detail, and then you got to try out what you just learned.
They also provided an online area where you could ask questions and get answers from other students and from someone who works at Skillcrush. That was exactly what I needed!
However, I struggled with the time management aspect. For some weeks I had enough time to keep up with the class, and other weeks it was just brutal.
That’s my fault though. Skillcrush will let you go at your own pace.
I stopped, however, when I realized that I enjoyed doing this work in small amounts, but I didn’t want to do web development for forty hours every week.
I was in a bit of bind, though, because I’d already bought the WordPress Developer course. I hadn’t started taking that class yet, so I reached out and explained my situation. The folks at Skillcrush were very nice about it – they asked me to fill out a survey and then provided a refund. I was very thankful for how smoothly they made that refund process!
Your Action Items
- Think about whether you might want to become a web developer
- If you do, decide whether you might want to be a front-end developer, back-end developer, or full-stack developer
- Think about and research your different learning options –
- In-person class
- Online class
- Sign up for the one that’s right for you!
Do you have any questions about the Udemy course or the Skillcrush course? Let me know in the comments below.