ad collaborative post // The phrase “learn to code” has become popular among employers in many industries for good reason. The demand for coders and website developers has never been greater and will continue to grow due to the migration toward a more digital world. A career path in these fields is a fantastic choice, but you must know where to start.

Follow these five tips to gain quick momentum in your new career and set yourself apart from the competition:

1. Take Online Courses

Although a college education is desirable, you don’t need one to become a coding professional. Besides, why spend money on a dormitory and textbooks when all your work takes place on the computer? There are hundreds of legitimate online classes with constantly updated course materials.

Here are some of the most comprehensive classes you can take:

  • Full-Stack Web Development by Coding Ninjas (Free)
  • Learn Web Development by Mozilla
  • Web Development w/JavaScript by MITxPRO
  • Web Development by Codecademy
  • Web Development Course by Simplilearn

Online class environments also tend to be small, allowing for more individualized learning. Some are even self-paced, letting you digest the material at your discretion. With just a handful of courses, you can quickly learn the fundamentals of web development and build a solid foundation in multiple coding languages.

2. Collect Practice Tools and Study Materials

You might not need textbooks, but you do need some practice tools and other study materials. Online coding platforms like Codepen, Github and MDM enable you to do all kinds of important training tasks:

  • Develop your own code and share it with others
  • Study and learn from other people’s coding projects
  • Collaborate with other up-and-coming web developers
  • Get your code reviewed by professionals
  • Participate in discussion forums

There are also reference websites for every coding language that contain all existing tags and commands. Even experienced coders fall back on these websites for refreshers sometimes.

You can also find amazing video tutorials on YouTube made by web developers from different backgrounds. Although coding is a highly technical field, creativity is still important. You need a wide range of perspectives to fully grasp the languages.

3. Learn to Talk Code

One of the hardest parts of being a developer is “talking” in code. It can be challenging to explain a computer language problem with human language. Phrases like “this code needs fixed” that might pass for productive communication in other work environments are too vague and generic for coders to understand.

You must learn to speak in actionable specifics so your classmates and colleagues can turn the action into a singular outcome. Coders are also notoriously hard on themselves, so you must keep the atmosphere positive with supportive language. When one person makes a mistake, the whole team must take accountability and tackle the problem together.

4. Get a Proper Code Editor

Every web developer needs an efficient code editor. It will make your life much easier and help you navigate your most complex projects, which is almost impossible without technical assistance. Plus, many editors are free to use, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. These free editors are highly popular among coding enthusiasts:

  • Atom
  • Brackets
  • Sublime Text
  • Visual Studio Code

Experiment with different editors to see which format you like the most. Every developer has their favorite, but you should know the basics of at least a handful to avoid confusion with colleagues.

5. Build a Network

As with any other career path, you must build a network within the industry. Follow other developers, software companies and coding discussion groups on social media. Start interacting and making connections with like-minded people. A job opportunity could fall into your lap if you meet the right person.

Jumpstart Your Career in Web Development

You don’t need to be a math or computer science genius to be successful in web development. You just need a strong work ethic, creativity and a willingness to learn. Follow these five steps to jumpstart your career and show potential employers what you can do.

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