Essentials for every Web Developer

If you are a web developer who wants to advance in the tech industry, then you know that there are a number of avenues that you can take. The industry is always bringing in new advancements and if you want to secure a job in Google or Microsoft, you have to keep yourself active with the recent developments. Web development is a very lucrative aspect which is in motion in the tech industry. There can be several kinds of web developers, but we will be talking about front-end developers — the individuals who code websites using building blocks like CSS and HTML. Web developers are growing in number and are in high demand, and that’s the reason why you need to be especially skilful to get hired by a company. Here are some of the essentials necessary for learning web development:

1. HTML and CSS

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These are the first and MOST ESSENTIAL requirements if you are entering web learning. HTML or HyperText Markup Language is a markup language which is used to develop websites. However, while the foundation is built upon HTML, you need to look into the aspect of font, color and style of webpage. It’s here that the Cascading Style Sheets or CSS comes in to help your design a web page. Without the knowledge of CSS and HTML, web development is quite difficult.

2. JavaScript and JQuery

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With HTML and CSS, you handled the presentation of the page but how is the sheet going to work? Well, JavaScript is a programming language which helps you implement audio, video or games in your website and provides the tools to make the webpage ‘work’. JQuery is a collection of extensions and plugins which make it much easier for you to work with JavaScript and implement it on a webpage.

3. JavaScript and CSS Frameworks

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Even though we have mentioned both JavaScript and CSS, we have not mentioned JavaScript and CSS frameworks. Frameworks are JS and CSS files which have their work done and provide you with some boilerplate code so that you do not have to start from scratch. Of course, there are many choices and you need to choose the best according to the use case. For example, some frameworks are great for complex web pages and others can be great for simple but decorated webpages. You can even combine frameworks too — many use Bootstrap and pair it with JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS.

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4. CSS Preprocessing

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There are times when CSS itself can be limiting — especially with regards to defining functions and variables. The problem multiplies if you are expanding. Hence, it is during these cases that this CSS preprocessors like Sass, LESS, or Stylus can be used. Here you can write code in the preprocessor’s language which the preprocessor can then convert into CSS-style code. It will make your job so much easier.

5. Version Control or Git

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After all the hard work of presentation through HTML and CSS and programming using JS, you don’t want to start from scratch if you make a mistake. But if you there is an accidental mistake, you have to tear the whole thing down and start again. Unless, you are using Version Control like Git. Version controls tracks all your changes and if you make a mistake, you can go back to a previous version and make the corrections. With Git, you can create a “repository” with a hosting tool and then clone the repository. You can push the changes to your master branch. Since you are human, you can make mistakes. With Git, you can solve your errors easily.

6. Responsive Design

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Nowadays, we are using several platforms to open the webpage — computers, mobiles and now Smart TVs are entering the market. Webpages are not shown in the same way in a mobile and a computer. The adjustments happen due to responsive design. Responsive design is intrinsic to CSS but you have to learn it to be a master of how it can be implemented properly. You can use media queries to which will block certain CSS properties if certain conditions are true. Like for example, setting a browser window screen size and adjusting colour along with that.

7. Testing and Debugging

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You cannot just launch a web page without testing it first. There might be a number of bugs presents and so, you have to enter the process of debugging. There are two ways of testing: Functional testing tests the functionality of the webpage while unit testing tests every code bit. For developing a web page, testing is mandatory but the good news is, you can use programs like Jasmine or Mocha to simplify the process.

8. Browser Developer Tools

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People will come to your website to interact with it and how your browser presents the website is very important. Browser Developer Tools are tools that are used to finetune your pages into the browser so that it has a seamless integration. Browser Developer Tools differ from browser to browser but mostly, they have a JavaScript console and an inspector working for this factor.

9. Building and Automation Tools and Web Performance

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Web Performance is the time it takes for your webpage to load. If your web page takes a lot of time to load, then chances are that the user will leave before interacting with your webpage and all your work will go to waste. You can use different ways to minimize the time taken to load webpages. By scaling images or by removing unnecessary complex coding in JavaScript and CSS, you can do the work easily. However, you can make the work easier by using programs like gulp and Grunt too.

10. Command Line

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With GUI becoming the trend, learning command-line skills seems unnecessary. But this skill can really bring a difference to your skillset by giving you extra polish. While GUI will show you everything you can work with on the surface, typing out a command line by opening the computer terminal will be liking finding hidden items by digging into the surface. Command lines are still important in this period and gaining mastery in this area will make your web page development activity worth it.

So, learn these essentials of web development and become a tech master with a massive skillset behind your belt. Best of luck.

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