Coding 101 Series: What Is Coding?
Programming for the Web, known as Web development, is a form of development that differs from other forms of coding. While desktop programming creates applications, and Web design creates a user interface, Web development focuses on the code behind the user interface and creating portions of the interface that are dynamic.
While Web programming requires greater skill than straight Web design, it is not substantially more difficult and is possibly the easiest form of development. It comes with an array of languages that are mostly near-English and a tremendous amount of user support and online training.
Common Coding Languages for Web Development
Some Web design languages are the same or revised versions of languages used in straight development, but others are specific to the Web. These include:
- MySQL/SQL Server
- .NET eg C#, ASP
- PHP (laravel as a favorite framework)
- Ruby/Ruby on Rails
Why Get started in Web Development?
Due to its high visibility and relative ease of entry, a lot of people get into Web development because they want to be able to create a site that rivals some of the Web’s giants. Google, Facebook, and YouTube are extremely popular sites that started with an idea and unique and powerful web design. At times, php or python are used to create online web based applications. Saas companies like Dropbox use Python as the language of choice to developer their server application but use php as the frontend interface you and I see.
Web design also offers the benefit of giving instant results as well. With desktop development, you may work on only one part of a program, and it may take years to see results. Web design is almost instant gratification. Any changes you make are as instant as you want them to be and they show in the user interface.
Front End Development
A developer is said to be a front-end developer when they work on the graphical interface, or client side, of web design. It is the content and how a user interacts with it. Much attention needs to be paid to this area as user interface design may be somewhat intuitive but it is the nuances of the design and how people interact with a Web application that can make or break a Web application. For instance, think of the last change that was made to Google or Facebook and how it affected how you used the program. Did a website move content and now you can’t find it easily?
Back End Development
This is the side of the Web that happens on the server-side. It can include Server Side Includes, which was an early form of HTML redirection, as well as newer technologies such as Node.js, Python, Ruby and Ruby on Rails, and ASP or Active Server Pages. SQL also plays a role as a relational database that stores the session information for most of the languages used.
Back-end programming allows changes to occur in Web pages as well. For instance, your Twitter feed is not sitting around pre-created on the Web just for you. You access the feed, and the programming on the Server fetches the posts from everyone you subscribe to, displaying it in reverse chronological order. Back-end programming has reduced or eliminated for a lot of companies the tedious updates that would be necessary any time a product specification document was changed or a calendar or schedule needed updating. Now, the updates are automatic and dynamic.
There is no problem with being a developer that can handle both ends of the house. We refer to that as a Full-stack programmer—someone who is just as comfortable writing SQL queries as updating HTML and possibly even going so far as handling the graphical design of a website. Such programmers may have extremely varied duties, but being able to handle both client and server-side programming is a good way to make yourself more likely to find a career, and have both lateral and upward mobility. Full-stack programmers can typically command higher salaries due to their capabilities, especially if they are willing to do tasks in both areas.
Learning Web Development
Web Development on the client side is relatively easy when compared to hard technologies like desktop or server-side coding, but it is still the stuff a four-year degree and further study are made of for most people. Likewise, most server side programmers come from a similar program where they took elective courses in specific tenets of Web development. However, a four-year program or more is not necessarily a mandate. Many people, including many of the founding developers of the Internet itself, learned to code on their own. Due to the open nature of Internet technology, and the abundance of resources, one can look to the places that produce what they want to get help.
Web Based Training