The web development industry is expected to grow by more than 20% in the next 10 year. Web developers will continue to be in high demand.
You may be wondering what languages you should learn if you are interested in a career as a web developer.
Most importantly, the languages you learn will depend on whether you are interested in frontend web development or backend web development.
We’ll begin by explaining how modern websites work, and how different languages serve different needs of web developers to help you make a decision.
Let’s start with Website 101. Let’s begin by understanding how information is displayed on a website’s screen. HTML is used to display the content of a website’s structure. HTML (Hypertext markup language) can be thought of as the basic structure of a website. This was how most websites worked in the early days. If the web developer wanted to add new information to the website, a static HTML file would need to be updated. Developers had to constantly rework HTML files to display new information to the user’s screen.
This seems like a good idea at first. After all, how often do we need to update our websites anyway? Maybe a couple of times per week? This method is great for websites with little information and frequent updates. But what about websites like www.nytimes.com
The New York Times published 350 stories in 2013, generating 17,000,000 page views each day! Imagine creating 350 new files every day with a different article. It sounds a lot of work, doesn’t you think?
The New York Times does not publish new articles on individual pages. Instead, it creates a template in which data (in this instance, news articles) can then be added to the appropriate sections of the webpage.
If we don’t include the actual articles in the HTML files then how can we store our data? This is where you can tell the difference between static and dynamic websites.
A dynamic website will use a database to store all articles in text and an HTML file to display the information from the database. These two entities can be referred to as the back-end or front-end of a website. HTML cannot retrieve information from a database. To retrieve that information, we need to use a server side language and then feed it into our HTML files.
PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext pre-processor. It is one of the most widely used server-side programming languages today.
Here’s a look at the progress so far.
Our database contains news articles
PHP Code to grab information
HTML for our webpage to display
This is where we can see a linear progression. Our database holds all our information. -PHP pulls that information from our database. -HTML displays the information on our screen. This is how most modern websites operate. Developers can focus more on optimizing the “look and feel” of the website by not having to store all of the information. Web development can be divided into two main categories: front-end and back-end.
Front-End Web Development
Let’s now take a look at front end web development. What is the role and daily programming tasks of a front-end web developer?
We can think of CSS (Cascading style sheets) as clothing that a person might wear. CSS allows people to express their fashion preferences in their own way. We can pre-define certain sections of a website as a particular style.
It’s as simple as this: We typically wear a shirt, pants, and shoes (the simplest outfit I know). You can make the “shirt” or a section of the webpage (let’s say, the news article body) a particular color. These colors can be defined in our CSS file and included at the top of our HTML files.