Here’s a little riddle for you. What do you call someone who loves design and color, but also likes to do really technical, logical work, and learn constantly? In case you didn’t read the title for this post, the answer would be a “front-end developer.”
This versatile job influences what a website looks like as well as some of the basic functions (like what happens when you click a button). And one of the coolest things about front-end development is that there are tons of resources out there so you can learn on your own. No computer science degree necessary.
I know the web can be a scary place, so I’ve done the hard part and found some of the best resources out there so you don’t have to waste your time. No need to spend hours Googling things aimlessly—just check out the 13 essential resources below.
The Basics: Computers are Cool
VeraCode has a handy little infographic A Brief History of Computer Programming Languages. Pretty pictures. Nice.
For a simple breakdown of what web developers do, which coding languages you might want to familiarize yourself with, and other useful resources, check out One Day One Job’s guide to Careers in Software Development.
Jimmy Li has a handy little guide called Learning to Code: The Roadmap I Wish I Had Been Given. If you’re serious about pursuing front-end dev then you won’t necessarily need to do everything he says, but he offers a great outline of the industry on the whole.
Like infographics? Good! Check out the web developer section in this one from Schools.com that highlights The Hottest Careers in Tech. You can read the other parts, too, if you want.
Musicians, English Majors & Front-End Developers (Yes, they do go together!)
Do you need a web-related major to break into the web industry? Short answer: no. For the slightly longer answer, watch this video from Intern Sushi.
For a simple and elegant overview of front-end vs. back-end development, you can’t beat this article, What is Front-End Web Development?, from General Assembly.
It’s easy to picture yourself as a front-end developer when you watch A Day in the Life – Front End Engineer at Edmunds on YouTube.
So you think you’ve got what it takes? Get some tips for pursuing a front-end development career at How To Become a Front-End Developer on BostInno.
If you still think you’re not qualified ‘cause you don’t have a computer science degree (wait—have you even been paying attention?), visit the How did you become a front-end developer? discussion on LinkedIn where people from different backgrounds (music, English, art, and design—to name a few) describe their path to front-end development.
If you want to be able to talk the talk, don’t miss this article on 10 Things You Should Never Say to a Front-End Web Developer from BusinessInsider.
You can easily test the waters to see if coding is for you, thanks to tons of online resources.
For an extremely low-commitment challenge, start with Lifehacker’s Learn How to Code in a Weekend.
If you’re getting serious about learning how to code, there are tons of useful (and free!) resources at Codecademy.
The web can be a lonely place, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out Women Who Code (this one’s specifically for Bay Area ladies, but look for similar groups in your area).
Homework time! Make a few notes about what you’ve seen/heard/read. If something in particular stood to you, what do you need to do to learn more about it?
P.S. Do you have any resources for people interested in front-end dev that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!