What is Web Development?

Web development is the building and maintenance of websites; it’s the work that happens behind the scenes to make a website look great, work fast and perform well for the best UX. In fact, web developers are like magic little elves – you never see them, but they make *absolutely everything* look nice and work quickly and efficiently.

Web development skills are in high demand and well paid too, making it a great career path! Learn more about becoming a pro with OpenClassrooms’ Bachelor-level diploma.


Wow – But How Do They Do That? 

Web developers, or ‘devs’ in coolspeak, do this by using a variety of coding languages. The languages they use depends on the types of tasks they are doing. Web development is generally broken down into frontend (the client side) and backend development (the server side).

Front-End, Back-End Or Full-Stack? 

A front-end dev takes care of layout, design and interactivity using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. They take an idea from the drawing board and turn it into reality. What you see and what you use, such as the visual aspect of the website, the drop down menus and the text, are all brought together by the front-end dev, who writes a series of programmes to bind and structure the elements, make them look good and add interactivity. These programmes are run through a browser.

The backend developer engineers what is going on behind the scenes. This is where the data is stored, and without this data, there would be no frontend. The backend of the web consists of the server that hosts the website, an application for running it and a database to contain the data. The backend dev uses computer programmes to ensure that the server, the application and the database run smoothly together. They need to analyse what a company’s needs are and provide efficient programming solutions. To do all this amazing stuff they use a variety of server-side languages, like PHP, Ruby, Python and Java.

If you are undecided, you could consider becoming a full-stack dev. Full-stackers take care of both the frontend and the backend, and need to know how the web works on all levels, in order to determine how the client- and server-sides will relate. Naturally working up to this level of expertise will take longer, as there is more to learn.

Whatever aspect of web development attracts you, we have courses and paths that can help you reach your goals.Emily Reese, Web developer and Teacher at OpenClassrooms.

Starting steps
Don’t worry, all this may sound daunting at first, but you don’t need to know everything at once. You can learn web development without going to university.

I have never actually worked with a web developer who studied computer science at university! They all came from different backgrounds – Philosophy, Math, Art History – which results in a very diverse and multifaceted web development eco-system.Emily Reese, Web developer and Teacher at OpenClassrooms.

You should decide which aspect of web development interests you and then start out with one programming language. For example, if you are interested in the front end you can start by learning some HTML and CSS, then start working on projects as soon as you are comfortable with the basics. Meanwhile you can add to your knowledge base by continuing to learn new coding languages such as JavaScript to make your websites interactive and original.


Web DevelopmentJoin us!
There are numerous resources online for learning all aspects of web programming. OpenClassrooms has a variety of free online tutorials and courses to get you started, and career paths that you can also follow if you decide that this is the career for you. You can even earn a Bachelor-level diploma by following our Frontend Web Development path!

“I studied art history and architecture and then decided to become a developer whilst I was working at Kickstarter because I saw how the web could complement creativity in the arts. The same is probably true for your field.” Emily Reese, Web developer and Teacher at OpenClassrooms

It also helps to join a discussion group or community of other web developers, so that you can troubleshoot, discuss ideas and get inspiration. That’s why you become part of the OpenClassrooms community when you join us and follow a path on the site.


The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Web Pro

Web development is a career that pays well in general, and the great news is that it is also one of the most sought after profiles by employers. In fact, web development is the easiest high-paying career to get into – you don’t have to go to uni because the quality of your work speaks for itself. 

Becoming a web professional allows you to participate in absolutely any field, because the web has become universally present in our professional lives. You can be a web developer and specialise in the art world or the automobile industry…Emily Reese, Web developer and Teacher at OpenClassrooms

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