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From Newbie to Pro: How to Become a Web Developer with No Previous Experience

So, you want to be a web developer? No surprise there. Web developers rank #3 in Best Technology Jobs, according to U.S. News & World Report1. In fact, the benefits of pursuing a career in web development speak for themselves:  

  • The job market is growing
  • Your earning potential is strong
  • You can work from anywhere, while enjoying the benefits of a highly connected tech community
  • It’s a constantly evolving field
  • Many career paths are available to you

Now that you’ve taken the first step and identified the job you want, let’s talk about HOW you can achieve your goals.

Further Your Education

One of the best ways to break into web development is by taking classes taught by experienced instructors. While some developers are self-taught, many believe it’s important to pursue a formal education. According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, “Nearly 85% of the respondents that are professional developers feel that formal education is at least somewhat important, which is contrary to the popular idiom that you don’t need formal education to become a developer.”2 But “formal education” doesn’t automatically mean you must enroll in an associate’s or bachelor’s program. There are many alternatives that are not only more cost effective, but also less time intensive, such as certificate programs.

Build Your Portfolio

The more applications you write, the more work you can show potential employers – and a strong portfolio goes a long way. A good web development program will give you the tools to complete projects from start to finish, but if you’re looking for a way to get more practice under your belt, there are plenty of freelancing websites that allow you to create projects for your portfolio, including:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Freelancer.com
  • Toptal
  • Guru

Earn Industry Certifications

Potential employers want to know that you can do more than talk the talk, which is why it’s valuable to possess industry certifications to prove that your skills are tried and true. These are just a few of the top certifications you should consider pursuing:

  • Microsoft Exam: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3: “Candidates for this exam are developers with at least one year of experience developing with HTML in an object-based, event-driven programming model, and programming essential business logic for a variety of application types, hardware, and software platforms using JavaScript.”
  • Python Institute Exam: PCAP – Certified Associate in Python Programming: This “certification is a professional credential that measures your ability to accomplish coding tasks related to the basics of programming in the Python language and the fundamental notions and techniques used in object-oriented programming.”

  • The Linux Foundation: OpenJS Node.js Application Developer: This “two-hour exam tests your skills from debugging Node.js to managing asynchronous operations to controlling processes. It tests knowledge and skills that an experienced Node.js application developer would be expected to possess. The exam is performance-based and includes items simulating on-the-job scenarios.”

  • W3schools: SQL Developer: “SQL is a standard language for storing, manipulating and retrieving data in databases. The SQL Developer Certificate proves fundamental knowledge of querying a database using SQL.”

Many web development programs prepare you for these exams, including Computer Systems Institute’s (CSI) Networking Career Program, Concentration in Web Development. This program will provide you with the core skills required to support the whole process of developing a web application, while preparing you for a variety of certification exams. The best part? No previous coding knowledge is required, and you will graduate with experience solving real-world web development problems.

Learn More

Filled with anticipation and excitement for your future in web development? Move full steam ahead toward your goals by learning more about CSI’s 12-month web development concentration! To speak directly with a member of our knowledgeable and friendly admissions team, fill out the form on this page, call us at 1-888-910-5060, or email admissions@csinow.com.


1 “Best Technology Jobs of 2020.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 2020, https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-technology-jobs.  

2 “Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020.” Stack Overflow, 2020, https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2020.

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