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How to get started as a developer...

 

 Being a web developer comes with its own set of challenges and frustrations. However, when you ‘finally’ fix that bug, build that website or make that game, it can bring an incredible sense of achievement and joy.

 

When we work with the local Universities and schools we are often asked about the best ways to get started as a developer. So we have put together a small how-to-guide for anyone considering going into the developer profession.

 

What kind of developer do you want to be?

 

This is the first question to ask yourself. Do some research into the different areas that you can go into as a developer. Here are a few to get you started:

 

Front end/web developer

This is the most common developer job and where most start. They will mainly focus on how websites look and feel as well as developing some web apps.

 

Things to know:

  • Code you'll need to learn:html, css and js.
  • Average salary: £29,859
  • Typical day to day: Fixing bugs in websites and web apps
  • Basic design for websites.

 

How to get started: Hone your skills by building a simple 3-page website.

 

App developer

This job role will focus on functionality of native apps on mobile phones. Typically they will specialise in IOS (iPhone) or Android (Most other phones). However, if you can do both you will stick out.

 

Things to know:

  • Code you’ll need to learn: Swift/ objective C (IOS) or Java (android)
  • Average salary: £30,071
  • Equipment: You will need an iPhone and a Mac to develop for IOS: You can develop for android on either a Mac or a PC with an android phone.
  • Typical day to day: Fixing bugs for apps, building apps and keeping up to date with all the changes Apple and Google come out with that will affect your apps.

 

How to get started: Set your first task to build a hello world app and run it on your phone/tablet.

 

Backend developer

This job role will focus on databases, security and cms (content management systems) care.

 

Things to know:

  • Code you’ll need to learn: PHP, MySql
  • Average salary: £28,363
  • Typical day to day: fixing server errors, doing data migrations and running database queries.

 

How to get started: Set your first task to connect a php file to a database and pull information from it.

 

Game developer

If you LOVE knowing how games are made this is for you. To become a games’ developer, you’ll need to have a good understanding of mathematics, 3d physics and science. Bear in mind, you can build games as a frontend developer but they will mostly be 2d and less complex than a 3d world.

 

Things to know:

  • Code you’ll need to learn: c++/c#
  • Average salary: £35,000
  • Typical day to day: Working with 3d artists, making characters move, setting up the physics of a gun shooting for example you’d need to code the fire rate, recall and reload. Also moving the physical world (rocks falling etc).

 

How to get started: Your first task should be getting familiar with 3d programs such as Unity or Unreal.

 

Do you need to have a degree to become a web developer?

 

You don't necessarily have to have a degree to become a developer, but we’d recommend it. If you do decide to go the non-university route, building up your experience will be key.

 

What should you do next?

 

Still not sure which career-path to take? Our advice would be to try all of them and then go with the one that gives you the most joy.

 

Whichever route you take, check out some of the websites below for some tips to get your started. Failing that, YouTube has some great tutorials to help you get to grips with the basics.

 

Code Academy 

Linda

Codrops

CodePen

CSS-Tricks

Stack Overflow

Unreal Engine

Unity

GitHub

 

At FINALLY, we’re always on the lookout for new talent. If you’d like to join our web development team, contact jobs@wearefinally.co.uk