5 Investments You Need to Make to Become a Web Developer

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The whole world relies on web developers to expand and maintain this vast cyberspace that the internet is. It’s one of those occupations that surely won’t go anywhere any time soon. Add job security to a high salary – and you have a very alluring career option.

But if you choose to become a web developer, you’ll have to invest in your future. And it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers.

It’s not just the financial aspect you’ll have to factor in here. Your time and effort should be devoted to this, too – so, make sure you have enough of both.

If you’re a student, you can order a custom research paper from EssayPro to free up some time. If you’re already employed but decided to switch careers, consider giving up your other pastimes for a while – or going part-time if you can afford to.

Of course, your budget still matters the most. So, what expenses should you expect in your path? Let’s break down 5 of them – and 5 things where your time and energy are the main investment, too.

1. Enroll Into a Bootcamp or Degree Program

Skills are everything, of course. And here are your two options for developing them:

  • Online or in-person bootcamps. These are condensed, intense training programs dedicated specifically to web development;
  • Degree programs at colleges and universities. You should opt for a degree in computer science or information technology.

Typically, bootcamps are more affordable than degree programs. For example, a front-end web development bootcamp at General Assembly will cost you $3,950. A full-fledged degree at Indiana State University comes at a price tag of around $10,000 per year for residents.

Plus, they’re also faster. Studying at college or university will take you a couple of years. Most bootcamps, in their turn, will transform you into a ready-for-your-first-job web developer in up to a year.

But What About Free Online Resources?

Yes, the internet is full of articles on the web development skills you’ll need – and free online courses, of course. But self-education won’t cut it here.

That’s because you need someone – a professional – to guide you and provide feedback on your progress. Plus, free online courses are rarely dedicated to the nitty-gritty of the job or any advanced topics.

Still, it’s not a bad idea to enroll in a free online course first. It’ll help you understand whether it’s your cup of tea at all. Here are 5 most popular MOOC platforms worth checking out:

  • edX;
  • Coursera;
  • FutureLearn;
  • Udemy;
  • KhanAcademy.

Plus, here are 4 other free-of-charge websites with web development tutorials:

  • freeCodeCamp;
  • W3Schools;
  • Mozilla Developer;
  • Codecademy.

2. Get Certified

When you’re a newcomer in the field, getting a certification from tech giants like Google or Amazon can go a long way. It’ll be one more competitive advantage in the job market for you. And considering how cutthroat competition can be, it’s always a good idea to have as many of those as possible.

But which certificates are deemed valuable and which ones would be useless? Here’s a short overview of 7 certifications you should look into:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner ($100);
  • Adobe Certified Expert – Adobe Commerce Developer ($225);
  • Adobe XD Credential ($95);
  • Adobe Certified Expert – Adobe Commerce JavaScript Developer ($225);
  • Oracle Certified Professional, Java EE 7 Application Developer Certification ($245);
  • Microsoft’s Exam 70-480: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 ($165);
  • Google’s Associate Cloud Engineer ($125).

3. Have a Decent Laptop/PC

The first two might have been a bit too obvious for investments, but having a good laptop or PC probably wasn’t something you expected to see on this list. Still, it’s no less important. Here are 3 reasons why:

  • Practice. You’ll need to spend hundreds and maybe thousands of hours in front of the computer to polish off your skills.
  • Freelance. If you want to start capitalizing on your skills before landing the first full-time job, your computer will be your main tool.
  • Portfolio. Even if you don’t freelance, you’ll need to build a portfolio before submitting your resume anywhere.

So, if your machine is from the 2000’s and has been operating for years, you’ll need to cash in for a new one.

How much would it cost you? Well, the price will vary depending on the model and brand. It typically falls between $1,000 and $2,000 for a reliable laptop that will have the capacity to run Adobe Creative Cloud apps (Dreamweaver, XD, Photoshop, etc.).

4. Purchase Subscriptions for Essential Tools

While most SDKs, libraries, and code editors are free of charge, not all tools come with this perk. Depending on your future specialization (front-end, back-end, or full-stack web development), you may need to cash in for using the following apps:

  • WordPress (there’s a free plan, but the $5 per month paid plan comes with a free domain and vital features like Google Analytics integration);
  • Adobe Dreamweaver ($20.99 per month; there’s also an Adobe Creative Cloud plan for students that comes with a discount);
  • Adobe Photoshop ($20.99 per month; there’s also an Adobe Creative Cloud plan for students that comes with a discount);
  • Adobe XD ($9.99 per month);
  • Sketch ($9 per month);

5. Apply for Internships

Internships themselves don’t require paying any fees, but there’s a hidden tradeoff you should be prepared for. Most internships are either unpaid or low-paid – but they are equivalent to having a part- or even full-time job.

That means a tradeoff. You’ll be gaining real-world work experience (with the potential of a job offer down the road) – but you won’t have time for a full-time job to pay your bills.

So, here’s a piece of financial advice: have enough savings for three to six months to pay for essentials if you don’t have any other sources of income. If you manage to do this, you’ll be able to afford interning – and venturing into job hunting without worrying about lack of income.

In Conclusion: 5 Time & Effort Investments to Make, Too

As it was mentioned in the introduction, it’s not just financial investments you should get ready for. Becoming a web developer also means investing a lot of time and energy. Basically, most of your free time should be dedicated to polishing off your skills and increasing your employability.

But what time and effort investments should you expect to make? Here are the 5 most crucial ones:

  1. Practice on your own. Even if you enroll in a graduate program, your success will be proportional to how much you practice and improve your skills.
  2. Find a mentor. Feedback is virtually the only way you can learn to write cleaner code. So, find a professional that would agree to take a look at your work.
  3. Work on your portfolio from the beginning. Don’t put it off. The moment you’re more or less confident in your skills, start working on side or passion projects.
  4. Work on your soft skills, too. Collaboration, interpersonal skills, creativity, and analytical thinking are as important for recruiters as JavaScript proficiency.
  5. Volunteer for open-source projects. This is the closest to the field conditions you can get without actually landing a job or internship. So, find the right project – and start contributing.

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