Five Tips To Jump Start Your Web Development Career

Web design and development is a growing industry and will continue to grow as the world becomes increasingly digital. If you are ready to grab a piece of the digital slice, you may have googled, “how to get a web developer job without experience”. If you have, you would have landed on this article:
How to Land a Job as a Junior Web Developer”. Honestly, I didn’t even know that a junior web developer was even a thing. As of today, there were 3,389 jobs listed on as a junior web developer. So yeah, it’s a thing.

After reading the article mentioned above, it gave twelve suggestions on how achievable a career was even when you are just starting out in the industry. Below are my five key takeaways from the article.

GitHub is the Holy Grail

Since my time in my web design program, GitHub is very often being mentioned. Whether it is in a video, article or a local meetup, someone will always mention GitHub. This article is just one of the many references. I have yet to jump into that world but I know that my chances of landing a job in the web development world is probably slim if I continue to stay in the dark about it. GitHub is a website where developers can show off their coding skills. If you are more design-oriented, Dribble may be a good place to showcase your designs. It’s like a Pinterest for designers.

Rub Elbows with the Experts

Another constant theme I hear is to go to networking events, like meetup and meet with professionals in your area. Showing up and being seen will give you the opportunity to learn from experts in the community. Sometimes landing an interview could be all about who you know.

Prepare a Portfolio

Future employers no doubt want to see that you have the skills to back you up. If you are just starting out, it’s important to be able to show that you have a good understanding of the basics. Having an online portfolio shows the interviewer that you have spent some serious time tackling a project from beginning to end, even if it is a website for a made up company.

Pro Bono Pro Future Career

Consider taking on some freelance work for local companies who are willing to work with someone just starting out. In some cases, that may mean that you will work for free just to gain the experience, but the experience will be worthwhile if it means landing the job of your dreams.

Always Be Learning

The web design industry has exploded exponentially in the past thirty years and the advancements never end. To be competitive, you have to be able to hold on for the ride. That means that you have to always be learning. Just because you land a job, doesn’t mean your learning is over. It’s just the beginning. Follow industry news through newsletters and social media, especially Twitter. Stay on top of the learning curve to keep you competitive in your job hunt.

Here’s a bit of my own advice, always take each interview as a learning experience. Whether or not you are fully prepared for the job in question, at least each interview will give the stepping stones to know what is expected in the web developer profession. This experience will help you hone your skills into a better presentation and in turn will make you a better developer.