Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Full Stack Web Developer

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 18, 2018

Oct 18, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

If you're looking for a new, high-paying job, you might want to consider becoming a full stack web developer. After all, the average salary for such a role is $65,192.

But if you don't consider yourself to be tech-savvy, you might feel intimidated by the idea of taking on such a role. Thankfully, you don't need to be a tech whizz kid, to be a developer.

Keep reading and you'll learn how you can become a highly skilled web developer. By the time you're finished, you'll know exactly what you need to do to change the course of your life and engage in this new career.

Let's begin!

What Is a Full Stack Web Developer?

Web development is generally made up of two specific roles. Front-end development and back-end development.

Front-end development focuses on the part of a website that people actually see.

The goal of a front-end developer is to make the website easy to interact with and to create a good user experience.

People who are working with the front end of a website generally need to learn three specific languages. HTML, CSS and Javascript. These are the coding languages that will help a front-end developer build the things they need to.

Back-end developers are working on the stuff that powers the website.

The person working on the back end of a website will also need to learn a wide variety of languages. The most common languages a back-end developer will come across are Python, PHP, and Ruby. Sometimes there will also be a need for PHP and .Net.

Once you understand a few languages it's not hard to learn how the other languages work. It's hard to say what languages you're going to need specifically because different jobs will need the use of different languages. Only once you're working on a project, will you know what language is needed.

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Learning the Languages

Perhaps the hardest part of this process is learning the languages required. Fortunately, you don't need to attend an expensive college to learn these languages.

You'll find there are many online courses you can take, that'll help you understand how to become a web developer. These courses don't cost a lot of money. Plus, when you compare how much you can earn as a web developer, the return on investment can be significant.

If you can't afford the money for these courses, you'll find that there are plenty of YouTube videos that'll teach you how to become a web developer. These videos might not be as polished as some of these courses, but they'll help you get started.

Learning About Frameworks

When you're a developer, you'll find that there are certain forms of coding that you need to use repeatedly, for different kinds of projects. In a situation like this, frameworks can be of help.

Frameworks help you complete projects in a much shorter amount of time. You don't need to build things from scratch because the framework is going to provide you with the coding foundation you need to build your project.

With that said, you still need to learn how these frameworks operate. You'll find that there are frameworks dedicated to specific programming languages.

For instance, there is a framework known as 'jQuery' of which helps people working with Javascript. For people working with languages like Ruby rails framework can help them complete projects in shorter periods of time. Django can help individuals that need to make projects that use the Python programming language.

Courses teaching web development will provide you with some education on frameworks. If this isn't the case, you need to make sure you put some time aside to learn how these frameworks can help you.

If you're not able to do this, you might run into problems when you're working. Without frameworks, projects are going to take longer than usual and this can mean you run into problems with meeting deadlines.

Building Projects of Your Own

Like anything, your web developer skills aren't going to amazing at the start of your journey. Because of this, it helps to build some projects of your own, to help you refine your skills.

Later on down the line, you can also showcase these projects to potential employers, allowing you to highlight your skills. This is especially helpful if you don't have any past working experience that you can provide a potential employer with.

If you're stuck on what you should build, just think about things you'd like to have. Odds are there's a website you'd like to use, but can't, because it doesn't exist. Why not build this website? At worst you'll end up with a website that you enjoy using.

You may even want to build some tools to help highlight your backend programming skills. Think about the way you use a computer. Are there any tasks that you'd like to make easier? Why not build a tool to shortcut the process for these tasks?

If you can, build projects that are very challenging. This will give you the chance to get a sense of where your skills are. Once you've taken on a difficult project, you'll know where your skills are lacking and where they are strong.

You'll then know what you need to do improve your capacity as a full stack web developer.

Finding a Paying Opportunity

Once you've learned the necessary 'languages' and you've built some projects of your own, you'll then be ready to find a paying job.

You can either become a freelancer or you can work as a full-time employee.

The benefit of being a freelancer is that you're going to have a lot of freedom. You'll be able to work from anywhere in the world and you'll also be able to work on your own terms. As long as you're able to meet the deadlines set by the company that's paying you, everything will be okay.

The problem, though, is that freelancing can be quite lonely. You won't be working in a traditional office and for some people, this is not ideal. You also have a lot less job security as a freelancer.

Now, something we should mention here is that there's a lot of demand for full stack web developers. You shouldn't find it too hard to find a new opportunity, once your existing project runs its course.

If you're a full-time employee, you might not enjoy as high a wage as what you'd expect as a freelancer. But you'll have the job security that comes with this style of employment.

A lot of full stack web developer roles are often located in major cities. Because of this, employers looking for such developers often pay well, so that people can live in these large, expensive cities.

So while you may earn less as a full-time employee, you'll still earn enough to live comfortably.

Developing Your Skills over Time

The world of IT is constantly changing. Web development is not immune to this and you are always in competition with other people for roles that pay better wages.

You need to make sure your skillset remains competitive if you want to be in with a chance of landing these high paying roles. If your skill set isn't kept up to date, you'll struggle to experience an improvement in your earnings as time goes on.

It's often a good idea to learn new languages as soon as you can. If you know how to work with a new programming language, you're one of few people. This, of course, raises your value and puts you in a position to demand higher levels of pay.

The people in charge of your department will respect your skills and so will reward you appropriately.

Think about how you can stay on top of changes in the world of development. Sign up to websites that release news about web development. Also, create some Google alerts so that you're notified of any updates in the web development arena.

Ready to Become a Full Stack Web Developer?

If you're sick of your current job, you might want to consider making a change. One option is to become a full stack web developer, a role that's increasingly growing in demand.

You can learn how to become a developer from the comfort of your home and there are many sites that provide developer courses. These courses are relatively inexpensive, which makes them even more appealing.

At the start of your journey, it can feel like there's a lot you need to learn. This can be scary if you're someone that didn't do that well at school.

But whilst there's a lot to learn, it's also worth remembering that the more you learn, the more you will be able to earn. Plus, if you can learn programming languages that not a lot of others know, you'll be able to earn even more. This is because your skills will be more in demand.

You don't have to rush into things and you can go into this at your own pace. But if you start now, there's no telling how much your future will change a year from now, thanks to your newfound web developer skills.

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