Becoming a web developer is a tempting perspective. The demand in the market is already high and getting higher every day. However there are many options to choose from. Having a full-time job provides you stability, but working as a freelancer gives you more opportunities. When it comes to web development, costs of starting your own business aren’t that high. You don’t even need an office. You can talk to your clients on Skype or meet them at your local coffee house. All you have to do is get yourself a laptop and remember a few things.

Planning a career in web development - where to startThere’s no portfolio like your portfolio

Before you start looking for contracts online, remember that you need to prepare yourself. Clients won’t judge you on your college degree or your knowledge of the theoretical background of your work. What counts is the final result, namely the website and how it works. In the end the only thing that matters is your portfolio. This means that before you start making money out of web development you might like to prepare few projects for free. This might be a nice way to help your friend, your relative or your favourite restaurant. Great portfolio goes a long way. And it does pay off to get the well-known among local community.

Today your website, tomorrow the world

As some people say, being online is always better than being offline. For marketing reasons this is certainly true. You might want to treat your personal website as a fusion of your business card and portfolio. That’s how clients will perceive it, so do not hesitate to show off when it comes to your website. But do remember not to make your website too complex. The design should be functional and simple. It is also important to place your contact details in a visible place. Nowadays lots of people search the Internet using tablets or smartphones, so make sure that your website looks good not only on a computer screen, but also on a smaller device. You might want to use FitText to make sure that your website works on tablets and phones. Last but not least make sure that it’s easy for Google search engine to find you. When it comes to the latter, help of a professional SEO copywriter might be helpful.

”You’re going to need a bigger boat”

Remember that line from ”Jaws”? You can’t fight a shark, if you haven’t got the right tools. That’s also true for a web developer. Doesn’t matter how well you have mastered your skills, if you have no software. Some of the commonly used text editors are Textmate and Coda. If you’re a Mac user, you might want to try a text editor called Mou, which helps to parse Markdown syntax. Talking about Markdown, that’s another one that might be helpful. It is a text-to-HTML conversion programme. Wamp and Xampp might be useful for establishing a comfortable environment and tools like Evernote, Gliffy, Dropbox or Dropl might highly improve communication with co-workers and clients. Whatever you choose, just remember that you do not want something as prosaic as the lack of tools to stop you from becoming a successful web developer.

Live the life you love

As you are reading this text right now, it is safe to assume that the web development is something you love and want to do more than anything else. You don’t have to wait, you can become active right away. Professional websites are perfect for presenting your projects in front of a large audience and also for exchanging ideas with peers. One of the most popular forums for web developers and web designers is Forrst. That’s the place, where you can get feedback from other people on your projects. HTML 5 Rocks is a website dedicated to web development in HTML 5. If you are looking for a space where you could get in touch with employers or find some projects, you might want to check out or Masterbranch.

Dedicate your time to research and get familiar with the most popular trends in this field. Try some online courses and tutorials. They could be easily found on websites like Udacity or Tuts+. Learn from the best. Get inspired and work on your skills. Become a part of the web development community and use your unique talent to create your own original designs.

There is no right or wrong at the begging of a career. Fortunately almost every place online and offline can be used as a starting point for a new career. So prepare your portfolio, get right tools and start your journey. It’s going to be tough, harsh and challenging. You’ll love it!


Kelly Smith is a dedicated tutor and writer. Currently, she develops her passion at Career FAQs, one of the leading providers of career and educational resources in Australia, where she provides career advice for students and job seekers.