Starting Programming/Web Development in 2024

Visualwebz
6 min readJan 2, 2024

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Programming and web development basics

Learning to program raises that curiosity in the back of your head about how things work behind the scenes of some of your favorite websites and apps. Whether they’re on your phone, computer, Television, or even gaming system(s). In addition to creating and maintaining useful websites and apps, learning how to program offers many benefits outside of coding, such as honing your logic, reasoning, perseverance, and communication skills. Technology is crucial for our everyday lives, from our phones containing almost anything we need to the Wi-Fi that keeps us all connected.

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Cybersecurity is becoming more critical as reliance on digital devices becomes more prevalent. Many businesses and organizations require good cybersecurity skills to manage and secure applications that protect their data and systems from malware and cyber threats. Though our society revolves around technology, few people know how to write or even read the code that keeps the tech running. So, if you’re a beginner or experienced, you should learn to code for many reasons.

To get the most pressing question out of the way, most computer program jobs do pay well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers had a median pay of $97,800 annually as of May 2022. Remember that this salary may vary depending on the place of work and the position you are applying for, such as an entry-level position. However, since the advancement of technology doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, learning to program can keep you employed and increase your earning potential.

Computer Programming offers many skills you can apply outside programming to other aspects of your life, which looks desirable to potential employers. Skills such as problem-solving, logic, critical thinking, Attention to detail and focus, and Effective communication. Even if you’re in a position that doesn’t require coding, knowing how to write code can be helpful in your back pocket. For instance, you may have a degree in chemistry and work with a research lab. Knowing how to code could allow you to participate in application and software development for your company and other private and government agencies.

What is Programming?

To start coding, you must first learn what programming is. Programming refers to writing instructions in a specific programming language, such as Python, that a computer can understand, compile, and run to do your programmed task. One of the more common uses of programming is web development. Web development refers to building a website through coding. Some common web development coding languages include JavaScript, Java, HTML, Python, and PHP. Google's search engine is built in Java, C++, Golang, Python, and PHP. Another everyday use of programming is in game development, with C++ being one of the more popular languages.

Choosing the Right Programming Language

The next question often asked is, “Which programming language should I use?” The answer will vary depending on the type of project you are working on. For back-end developers, the situation might call for languages like Python, JavaScript, or PHP, while for front-end developers, you might see HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. If you want to create a video game, C++ or C# are the best options. C++ is a prevalent language because of its speed, power, and flexibility.

Many popular game engines such as Unreal Engine, CryEngine, and Source use C++ to build their engines. The popular game engine Unity uses the language C#, a simpler and more accessible alternative to C++. The language is designed to be high-level, easy to understand, and encourages code reusability. The high level of C#, along with its convenient code reusability, is used as a video scripting language. The purpose of scripting languages is to build the mechanics of the game you are coding and to tell the computer what to do as the game progresses. The point is that several languages are used to develop many of the online aspects we see today, and a lot of understanding goes into web development. Yet it does not mean you have to understand everything.

HTML

HTML is a markup language often used in the structuring aspect of web pages. Developers use HTML and its various elements to convey a page's characteristics easily. Things like page titles, headings, links, and content can show on your screen due to HTML. Many of the elements in HTML are known as “tags,” and the main ones we look at are the HTML, body, heading, and paragraph tags. Examples of these tags can be seen in the list below.

HTML tags: <html> , </html>

Body tags: <body> , </body>

Heading tags: <h1> , </h1>

Paragraph tags: <p> , </p>

One key thing to notice is that each has a start and end tag. The HTML tags define the whole document type. The body tags define the document's body, where you will find the heading and paragraph tags. The heading and paragraph tags define the content in their respective context. Many HTML elements are nested inside each other to form a webpage and can get confusing when all is said and done. Spacing can be a crucial element in coding and is often very beneficial. Example 1 shows how these elements are nested and a form of spacing that offers a level of organization to benefit the web developer in readability when it comes time to debug or alter the content and how it would be displayed on a page.

Many different elements of HTML offer a wide range of structuring and formatting of a document or page. If you want to look further into the realm of HTML, look at the information w3schools has to offer.

CSS

The coding language CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is used to define web page styles, including the design, layout, and variations in display for different devices and screen sizes. CSS was created to save the work that HTML demands. When tags were introduced into HTML, it created a problem where developing large websites with fonts and color information on every page became a tedious and time-consuming process. CSS fixes that issue by removing the style formatting from the HTML page. CSS can manage the design of multiple web pages simultaneously.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a coding language that is primarily used for web development. It allows you to implement complex features on a web page. While coding languages such as HTML and CSS are used for structure and style, JavaScript creates dynamically updating content. This can include things such as controlling multimedia, animating images, and a lot of other things. It is a language that can be run on both the client and server sides. There is server-side code, and there is client-side code.

Client-side code is code that is run on the user's computer. For example, When a web page is viewed, the page’s client-side code is downloaded, then run and displayed by the browser. On the other side, server-side code is run on the server. This means JavaScript can be used for the user’s browser and server. It would help if you had the <script> element to incorporate it into your website. JavaScript can act like clicking a button or dragging and dropping an item.

Using APIs can provide extra functionality in JavaScript code. APIs are premade blocks of code that developers can use to implement programs in a convenient way that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do. When coding in Java, you can use functions, a reusable part of code that returns a value, like what an API does. You give your function a name and then put your code inside it. When you want to call your function, you would call it by its name in the code. You can also have parameters for the function. An example of a Java function would be:

public void sayHello()

{

System.out.println(“Hello, world!”);

}

sayHello();

Frameworks

A Web Development Framework, or WDF for short, is a set of tools and resources that software developers use to build and manage web applications, web services, and websites and develop APIs, otherwise known as Application Programming Interfaces. They are also known as web application frameworks, or more simply put, web frameworks. Web Development Frameworks allow developers to create applications that can run on technology such as the Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP stack.

Takeaway

These are all the fundamentals that you will need to learn to start coding. You can become a better and more successful programmer with this newfound knowledge, such as knowing what languages serve what purpose and what jobs you can get from coding.

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Visualwebz

A Seattle web design and online marketing agency that delivers high-end websites. A passion for web development and SEO.