Becoming a web developer without a degree is a great way to start a rewarding career in a competitive field. It’s important to note that a degree is not required to become a web developer, and many successful web developers do not have a degree in the field. With the right resources, time, and dedication, anyone can become a successful web developer without a degree. This article will discuss the steps and resources you can use to become a web developer without a degree.
Benefits of Becoming a Web Developer without a Degree
Becoming a web developer without a degree is becoming an increasingly popular career option for those interested in the technical aspects of website development. Whether you’re looking to build your site from scratch or create custom designs for clients, web development can provide opportunities for versatile technical skills and an income stream.
The primary benefit of pursuing web development without obtaining a traditional degree is the cost savings associated with avoiding expensive tuition and fees. Of course, there are other advantages, such as more freedom to learn at your own pace and the potential to pursue online certifications while working full-time. Additionally, learning on your own allows individuals to explore different technologies and develop unique skills that may not be available through traditional college education programs.
Web developers without degrees also have numerous job options, ranging from full-time freelancing gigs at home, remote work with established companies, or even starting their own businesses with the knowledge they’ve gained in pursuit of their career path. Furthermore, salaries for non-degreed web developers can vary significantly based on experience levels and the types of projects undertaken—from entry-level positions making around $50K per year to seasoned developers earning upwards of $90K per year.
Pursuing a web development career without a degree is becoming an increasingly attractive option due to its cost efficiency and potential opportunities, which don’t require investing in an expensive college education. With some dedication and effort, it is possible to unlock an array of rewarding career opportunities right away!
Learn the Basics
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the core building block of the web. HTML tags give structure and meaning to webpages by defining elements such as headings, paragraphs, forms, and lists. When combined with elements such as CSS, which provide styling rules for your page, HTML makes it possible for users to view content in a meaningful way.
Learning HTML is a great starting point for anyone looking to become a web developer or create their own website. Understanding the fundamentals of HTML allows you to appreciate how a web page is structured and grasped from both front-end (what the user sees) and back-end (the code that runs it) perspectives.
If starting from scratch with no experience in Web Development or code-related topics – learners must have patience since this an ever-evolving technology/skill which requires practice and dedication over time while equipping yourself with the necessary resources available online such as tutorials or learning platforms (Udemy Courses, etc.). Knowing where to find help or answers when stuck on unfamiliar topics will also benefit anyone trying out web development, even without a college degree -> using Q&A forums such as Stackoverflow, etc., could go a long way!
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a language used to describe webpages’ presentations. It handles all the visual elements that make a website look attractive and organized. This includes font size and color, layout style, width and height of content areas, and how images are displayed within a web page. When used effectively, CSS streamlines web development by creating consistency across the site, making it easier to add new pages in the future.
At its highest level, CSS is divided into the syntax (the code using which styles are defined) and selector (the part of code which determines which particular elements need to be styled). A basic reading of HTML is essential in learning to be proficient in CSS as they go hand-in-hand; while HTML provides a structure within a webpage, CSS provides visuals. As with any coding language, some properties and concepts must be understood, such as floats, specificity value ranking systems, selectors, and basic box model principles. Mastery of these principles can enable one to create custom websites that have a clean aesthetic look with well-built coding logic.
Get Familiar with Frameworks and Libraries
If you’re trying to become a web developer without a degree, one of the most important things to do is to get familiar with frameworks and libraries. Frameworks and libraries are essential components of web development and can make a job much more efficient and easier to manage. By becoming familiar with frameworks and libraries, you’ll be able to jumpstart your development career, even without having a degree. In this section, let’s talk about frameworks and libraries, their importance, and how you can gain knowledge from them.
React relies heavily on component-based architecture to create encapsulated, sharable bits of user interface functionality. By doing so, React encourages developers to “think in components” when writing code — calling for the definition of individual components that can be reused and combined to create larger-scale components and more robust applications.
React offers performance benefits due to its virtual DOM implementation and well-developed debugging tools like React Developer Tools for Chrome, making it easier for developers to monitor and adjust their applications during development stages and beyond.
Angular extends the existing HTML and CSS syntax to create dynamic components organized in modules and classes. This allows developers to build complex web apps quickly, despite all the complexity involved.
Features of Angular include:
- Two-way data binding ensures that changes made in the view layer are reflected in the model layer and vice versa.
- Dependency injection reduces a lot of code clutter by allowing objects to be created outside their class definition and shared across application parts.
- Structural Directives like *ngIf, *ngFor, etc., shape an app’s View layer according to its model data.
- Componentization allows developers to write components as reusable pieces of functionality, which can then be shared across different applications or projects.
- For those just getting started with web development without a degree, Angular is definitely worth looking into, as it offers ease and simplicity when creating small and large-scale websites.
Vue leverages virtual DOM technology, allowing developers to create interactive single-page applications (SPAs) quickly. It is designed to give developers a jump start on their projects and an efficient way to build complex web applications. With its simple API, Vue has become firmly established as one of the top front-end development tools.
Vue provides an ecosystem of libraries and tools through its CLI (Command Line Interface). This suite can be used to build complex systems, such as reactive components on top of existing libraries, or create custom builds tailored to specific needs. Vue Router allows developers to easily manage routes using simpler bindings than some frameworks like React. Lastly, Vuex enables state management for more complex applications requiring multiple resources managing different components within an app.
Learn Server-Side Languages
To become a web developer without a degree, you must first understand the basic concepts of server-side languages. These languages will be the building blocks of web applications and web pages. They will be responsible for all the data transmitted over the internet and the back-end processes that help deliver dynamic content to the user. Knowing these languages will give you a solid foundation to start building your own web applications. Let’s look at some server-side languages and their value for web development.
PHP includes features like session control and database connection libraries that make it easier to develop powerful applications quickly with minimal coding required. Its code is also faster than HTML due to the way it compiles and executes code from the application server itself – making it ideal for website creation or maintenance with large amounts of data being processed. Furthermore, PHP’s compatibility with various web servers makes deployment quick and easy.
In addition to its core features, what makes PHP attractive to developers is that many frameworks are available that help simplifies development tasks by providing higher levels of abstraction and ready-made functions which allow you to develop sophisticated applications without having to write long lines of code from scratch every time. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer looking for the latest tricks and tools, PHP has plenty of online resources offering support through online forums and tutorials.
Node.js also provides access to an extensive library of open-source components, making it easy for developers to quickly build powerful web applications or networks without reinventing the wheel or writing their own code from scratch each time they need something new added or changed in their projects. With appealing aspects such as asynchronous programming capabilities (aka event-driven programming), efficient performance due to nonblocking input/output operations, and push notifications support, Node.js can become an invaluable tool along your path toward becoming a full-stack web developer!
Python is a high-level, interpreted, and general-purpose dynamically typed programming language. It has become very popular among software developers due to its easy-to-learn syntax and a large library of third-party modules. Python is an excellent choice for writing desktop applications and developing applications for the web.
Python’s code readability and compact syntax set it apart from other languages making it a great choice for web development. Python supports various frameworks such as Django, Pyramid, Flask, Web2py, and many more that provide various kinds of requirement coverage for developing an application on the web. Python also has robust libraries, which can be used to extend the functionalities of a website or create content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal. Python also simplifies the current coding techniques, making the development process much faster and easier than before while keeping it simultaneously efficient.
Unlike server-side languages like Java, Node, or PHP, which are restricted to specific server types (e.g, Apache), Python code can run inside any web server environment, such as IIS or Nginx. This makes it very portable across different hosting providers and makes it easier to install by either copy-pasting code into a directory or running simple commands which take only a few minutes to set up without manual configurations involved.
Therefore its extensive set of libraries covering almost any requirement for the web under one roof, coupled with more direct access over certain functions and less manual debugging work needed compared to competitive languages, makes python ideal in current day popularly adopted user-facing websites such as Google Translate, Dropbox & Spotify, etc.
Master Database Technologies
Understanding and utilizing database technologies is essential to becoming a web developer without a degree. This includes knowing how to install, configure, and access databases like MySQL and MongoDB. A deep understanding of the various database query languages and schema designs can be especially helpful. To master this field, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to extensive learning and practice of database technologies.
Although modern web development uses a range of database technologies, traditionally, MySQL has been recommended for web developers because it is easy to use and relatively fast. Typically, web developers will integrate MySQL into their programming languages, such as PHP, allowing users more versatility when working with SQL databases.
An important aspect of MySQL is the security factor. It provides advanced encryption techniques that allow users to protect sensitive data and access control measures that limit how long users can access restricted information. Furthermore, configuring a secure environment to work with MySQL requires knowledge of information technology principles such as database normalization and optimization techniques.
Overall, understanding MySQL can be easy or difficult, depending on your level of experience with database technology and the type of project you want to develop in web development. A good starting point would be to take a look at SQL tutorials available online, which will give you an understanding of common features included in all types of relational databases, such as search syntaxes or basic design principles for storing large datasets. Once these concepts have been mastered, it should be possible for any developer to create secure and functional applications with vendor-specific server implementations such as MariaDB or Percona Server for MySQL on any platform, including Windows, Linux, or macOS.
MongoDB is an open-source, document-oriented database program. It falls into the NoSQL family of databases and stores data in JSON-like documents with schemas. It is commonly used for web applications and other big data platforms to store, search, analyze and use large amounts of data.
MongoDB is a highly scalable, high-performance database that helps organizations manage large datasets over clustered systems. Due to its inherent scalability and flexible data model, it’s widely used by web developers to develop applications with complex datasets quickly. It also offers full support for JSON-based documents, making it a go-to choice for modern application development on the web. MongoDB organizes data into collections rather than tables so developers can store their documents in the form they need them to be stored to optimize query performance.
MongoDB offers various features such as indexing, sharding, security, and replication that can help developers design better architectures while creating applications with dynamic scalability capabilities. MongoDB provides low latency responses because its document structures allow searches using text strings or numerical ranges as search criteria, making it extremely useful for dealing with large datasets efficiently without sacrificing performance.
PostgreSQL is an open-source, Object-Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS) that developers worldwide widely use. PostgreSQL supports many advanced features, such as triggers, anonymous blocks, cursors, structures, and other data types. It can be used to manage a wide variety of data, including OLTP (Online Transaction Processing).
PostgreSQL stores data in tables that can be linked and manipulated using Structured Query Language (SQL). A database schema defines the structure of the database, while transaction controls allow you to lock data. This makes it suitable for use in mission-critical applications. PostgreSQL supports Windows and Unix operating systems and has a range of language interfaces, including C/C++, PHP, Perl, Java, and Python. It also supports geographic information system (GIS) applications such as PostGIS. PostgreSQL was developed based on the open-source software Berkeley DB which is closely related to the commercial Unbreakable Oracle Database solution.
In addition to its relational database capabilities, Postgres includes many features, such as support for stored procedures, triggers, and user-defined functions (UDF). It also keeps track of changes made to objects such as tables or functions with its robust logging system called Write Ahead Logging (WAL). This helps prevent unexpected problems from occurring when making changes to an existing database schema.
Postgres offers enterprise-class reliability with a high level of scalability that allows for upscaling applications without major modifications in architecture or codebase. It also offers excellent performance characteristics, which make it suitable for large-scale systems where maintaining consistent uptime is critical. Additionally, it provides security features such as row-level security controls, which can help maintain data integrity in highly regulated environments such as financial institutions or government agencies
Developing projects is one of the best ways for someone to become a web developer without a degree. By working on projects, you can hone your skills in web development, build a portfolio of work, and get hands-on experience that will help you to stand out from the competition.
Additionally, by finishing projects, you’ll be able to demonstrate your skills to potential employers, which can help you land that dream job. Let’s discuss the best strategies for developing web projects.
Build a Personal Website
Building a personal website is an excellent way to introduce yourself or your projects to potential employers, clients, or colleagues. A professionally constructed website is also a great way to showcase your skills, share projects, and document your experiences.
When building a personal website, it is important to consider the type of website you want to create. Some include portfolios, blogs, resumes, and even informational websites about yourself. Once you decide on the type of site you want to create, research different web-building software options and choose one that meets your needs regarding ease of use and features offered.
Once you have chosen a web-building platform and created a content plan, decide on how to host your website (e.g., use a hosting service or host from your own computer). After this step is completed, it’s time for the actual development work— working with HTML/CSS technologies, creating content for the website pages (text/graphics/etc.), linking pages together with hyperlinks, connecting any databases that are used for dynamic web content manipulation, etc. Once your web project is complete, make sure all changes are saved, then test it out on all major browsers, including Chrome/Firefox/Opera, and on mobile devices if necessary. Finally, publish it online, where people can view it and take full advantage of its usage!
Create an App
Develop a Game
Developing a game is a great way to become more familiar with web development. Simple game designing can help you take your web development skills to the next level, even if you’re not a skilled programmer. Once you complete your game or project, you can use it as an example for potential employers and connect with other developers in the industry who may be interested in your work.
- Phaser: A fast and feature-packed 2D HTML5 game framework created by Photon Storm Games
- RPG Maker MV: This plugin helps to design 2D role-playing games
- Unity: Helps in building realistic 3D games for both desktop and mobile platforms
- PlayCanvas: An end-to-end solution for creating vibrant 3D content on the web
It is recommended that beginner developers start with simpler projects like creating online quizzes or simple card games before attempting more complex projects such as designing massive multiplayer online (MMO) games. When beginning any coding project, it is important to break down the requirements into smaller tasks and create interactive prototypes of the finished product. This will allow you to identify any errors early on before starting to craft your full code scripts. Web development can be challenging yet rewarding—creating a game offers an exciting way to experience the joy of successful coding!
Network and Get Experience
Networking and getting experience is one of the best ways to become a web developer without a degree. You can reach out to people in your network and ask for advice or even for job opportunities. You can also use online resources to get experiences, such as volunteer projects and internships. Take the time to build up your skills, and you’ll be able to land a job in no time.
Attending conferences is a great way to network, gain knowledge and experience in web development, and discover how the professional industry works. Many conferences are hosted on the weekends and usually address issues and technological advancements in the field. Conference tickets typically include attendance at workshops where you can learn more advanced technical skills from experienced professionals. Many offer mentorship programs, which allow new web developers to get feedback on their projects from experienced industry members. Even if you’re not looking for employment in the field of web development, attending such events can help broaden your understanding of this field and enhance your career prospects.
Join Online Communities
Joining online communities is a great way to network and get experience without going through the formal route of a college education. Online forums and social media sites such as Twitter help communicate with many developers worldwide. Not only can you ask questions, but you can also receive feedback and input on your work. Doing this will help increase your exposure to what’s happening in web development and ultimately open up more opportunities for you in this field.
Creating accounts on sites like GitHub or BitBucket gives developers a platform to showcase their projects and build portfolios. These can then be used when applying for jobs or pursuing freelancing opportunities, as they offer potential employers a way to see exactly what work you can produce.
On top of this, numerous online courses are available that teach various coding concepts from basic HTML & CSS to more advanced technologies, such as SQL databases and AJAX programming. Coursera, Udemy, and Codecademy are just some of the vast number of popular sites that provide instruction from professionals in the industry without having an official degree attached.
Freelancing can often be a great way to gain experience, even without a degree or formal education in web development. Most employers are looking for projects you’ve worked on that demonstrate your skills. Therefore, freelancing is a great way to build a professional portfolio.
If you’re looking to take on freelance web development projects, there are numerous platforms available where you can connect with customers or companies who need the help of developers. A few of the most widely used platforms include Upwork and Freelancer.com, which provide access to hundreds of programming jobs daily. Focusing your efforts on jobs you know are within your capabilities is important. Finding yourself out of your depth when working on freelance projects may indicate that more training or experience is needed before diving into such projects again!
When joining any online platform that specializes in freelance work, it is important to take the time to create an appealing profile that allows potential customers to get an idea of what sort of web-developing skills and levels of experience you have gained so far. You should also ensure that the portfolio section contains relevant work samples and details about what services are offered by yours truly. Although having zero actual project works listed might not seem very promising for some clients firing up initial research about potential service providers out there. Having leads from previous customers providing details about their satisfaction with the project makes this task easier for both parties involved – thus leading to new business partnerships in no time!
Ready To Become a Web Developer?
So, if you want to become a web developer but don’t have the time or money to get a degree, don’t worry. With some hard work and determination, you can still make it happen. And we’re here to help! Check out our courses and tutorials on how to start learning to code today.