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7 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way as a Junior Web Developer So You Should Not Have To

After working as a web developer in the industry, I have learned a lot of things some of which I am going to share with you in this article. When I first started, I did not know anything. I learned HTML then CSS and then JavaScript and the list keeps on growing. Although it was not easy to get the grasp of things, the ever-growing list of new programming languages, features, platforms, and tools make things even more difficult.

I entered the industry with big dreams but faced numerous challenges which turned my career into a bumpy ride. From platform quirks to compatibility issues, catering to ever-changing requirements from clients to taking care of performance issues, being a web developer is like juggling multiple balls at once.

In this article, I will share seven web development lessons I learned as a junior web developer.

  1. Strike When the Iron Is Hot

Predicting anything in a field that evolves as quickly as web design and development is not easy but if you have been in the industry for years, you can easily see the direction it is heading in the future. Catching the latest trends is critical to make your website stand out from the crowd. A professional web development company always design your website according to the latest trends. 

For instance, if you start learning a new programming language that has just come out and master it by the time others have only heard about it, you can get a competitive advantage over your competitors. I have not jumped on the responsive web design bandwagon for many years. Due to this, I was behind the eight ball while other web developers have mastered responsive web design and gain an edge over web developers who don’t know much about responsive web design.

  1. Keep Learning

As mentioned before, web development is evolving at a fast pace. What was once the industry standard will slowly lose its importance and soon become obsolete technology. This means that what works today will not work tomorrow. If you want to succeed while working in the dynamic web development industry then, you should stay in the learning mode all the time. 

Learn every new technology that comes out. This will increase your worth as a web developer especially if it is related to your work. Newer versions and technologies come with useful features that can also enhance your efficiency and productivity. With the internet on your side, learning a new programming language or mastering new technology, framework or new version of exiting programming language won’t be difficult either. A simple Google search can reveal tons of resources and tutorials.

  1. Don’t Put All Eggs in One Basket

Don’t let a single client dictate terms to you just because they provide you with a major chunk of your business. Try to diversify your web development and design portfolio in such a way that you don’t have to rely on a single client heavily. Once you have a client that contributes a major chunk to your revenue then, you might have to entertain all their request, even if they are outlandish and absurd. Don’t shy away from projects from different industries because even if you don’t do well in those projects, you will learn a lot from them, which will help you advance your web development career in future.

  1. Never Hesitate to Experiment

Most web designers and developers will tell you to stick to the basics and never break the rules. On the contrary, if you are someone who likes to try new things even if that means going against the established conventions then, you should never stop yourself. For instance, you can use a programming language that allows you to reuse code or can use a framework that helps you create a website quickly. It can make a huge difference to the time you take to create a fully functional website.

  1. Test but Don’t Go Overboard

When I graduated from college, I started reading articles about web development. Most of these articles laid a lot of emphasis on testing. As a result, I grew up with the opinion that testing is everything. When I kickstarted my professional career as a web developer, I was expecting companies to spend more time on testing and write test cases. I got an unpleasant surprise when I realized that is not true. Most web development companies spend little time on testing. With tighter deadlines, even that time is shrinking fast. I am not saying that you should not test the websites you create, you should but don’t obsess over testing so much.

  1. Code Quality Matters

Code quality might mean different things to different people. If you think that code quality is all about code formatting and linting or style of coding, then you have got it all wrong like me. Yes, it might be one of the factors that determine how good your code really is but there are other factors such as

  • Extensibility
  • Maintainability
  • Cleanliness

If you want to achieve higher code quality, you should pass your code through coding reviews, perform functional testing of your code and make it easier for other developers to understand it.

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