Web Development: Don’t Just Keep Up With Everyone Else


As web developers, it is paramount that we educate ourselves on the latest techniques, trends, software, and coding. If you don’t, you will not achieve being an in demand designer/developer. Your skills will fall behind, and it will reflect in the websites you build. As much as we all like to think we are in some big happy family of designers and developers, we are all competing with each other. Just keeping up is what everyone else is doing, so how do we get ahead?

Web Development: Don’t Just Keep Up With Everyone Else
Image credit: Mikebaird

Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs!

Obviously, there is a ton to read online about the latest and greatest techniques. If you looked at the RSS feeds we all subscribe to, it is probably a good bet that most of us have quite a few in common, like: onextrapixel.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com, net.tutsplus.com, sixrevisions.com, and smashingmagazine.com. If not in your RSS reader, then maybe you just visit them occasionally. They are all a great source of information, but what about the lesser known blogs? The ones you have never heard about, being written by people like you.

Blogs, Blogs, and More Blogs

There are a lot of great tutorials written by people in the web development trenches that don’t get any recognition. How do you get to them or find them though? Easy, just go to the blogs you normally visit, and start clicking on their links in the comment sections. You will be amazed by the quality of tutorials, tips, and general articles written by people you don’t know yet. Don’t just stay focused on the most popular blogs, because everyone else is already doing that. We want to get ahead of them, remember?

Starting your own development blog is also a great way to step it up a notch. Writing your own tutorials will make you not only better at communicating, but give you a better grasp of what you are trying to get across to the reader. It’s hard work for sure, but you will find you are more in tune with what is changing, what is new, and start hunting for things people might not know about. I know I have learned a lot just by doing research for topics to write about on my own blog. Find something you don’t know how to do, learn it, and then write about it. Others might enjoy your article, and you will possibly have gained a skill that puts you slightly ahead of the people you are going up against.

Blogs Are Good, Books Are Great

You say you read tons of blogs already? Great! Now go out and get some books. The web usually only goes so far in teaching you something. Mostly it’s what we need to know right now, or how to do a specific thing. What will set you apart from the next web developer/designer, is a more in-depth know how of what you are doing. Once you have read one on a specific subject, go and get another because you can never know too much. Personally, when I got interested in learning jQuery, I bought 3 books: a reference guide for quick look ups, a book on the basics of JavaScript, and one specific to jQuery. Yes there are great tutorials online, but books are better for the general foundation on what you are trying to learn.

Books
Image credit: Erik

A book also offers something that can be hard to do on the web – a place to take notes, and quickly reference them. Go buy a bunch of post-its, and mark the pages that contain information that is important to you. Don’t forget to write the main topic on the post-it, otherwise you will have a mess on your hands. If you don’t want to do that, fold the corners and heck, write all over the book (assuming it’s yours). By the time you are done with the book, you have all the important parts marked!

Don’t Be a Freeloader, Do It Yourself

Most of us can agree that JavaScript libraries are great, right? jQuery’s motto is “Do more, write less,” and who doesn’t want that? In fact, there are so many plug-ins out there that do what we want, that it almost seems like there isn’t any real point in actually learning it. Just drop in the script, change a parameter, and done! Isn’t that just awesome? It is if you are in a crunch, but we are talking about learning, and how to get better at what we do. Next time you see something that you want to use…don’t.

Freeloader
Image credit: wiseacre photo

One of the best ways of learning something is by doing. Need to create a slider? Find a tutorial on how it is done, and write it yourself. Just in case you are looking for such a thing, this tutorial over at sixrevisions.com is awesome. Grabbing code won’t teach you anything, but doing it will, and not just about what you are trying to accomplish. You might end up learning a whole lot more. If you are just starting out learning a subject, be it CSS, jQuery or other JavaScript library, or whatever, hold off on using someone else’s snippet or plug-in. Find out how they did it instead and write it yourself. That way you will have the knowledge of how to create it, and be more prepared to deal with things when they go wrong.

Self Investment

Go and put some money into yourself and take a course or two, you deserve it! Don’t just get stuck on coding and design classes either, as there are plenty of other areas that come into play in web development. Maybe you are really terrible at public speaking, like having to do a presentation on some up coming project. Well then, there would be a good class to take! What about writing? Anyone that doesn’t have a writing background, but has a blog, knows that it is not as easy as one would think. It’s actually quite hard, as this author has found out.

Investment
Image credit: Zack Ahern

Marketing anyone? There is a subject very closely related to web development, and a topic most of us probably ignore. What else are you doing besides trying to get people to notice your site? We could probably all take a course on this and be better for it. The point is to be ahead of the crowd, so why not take a class that will help improve your skills in other areas?

That’s Great, But What Should I Learn?

Good question. Find an area that you don’t know well, and start from there. Don’t know anything about content management systems? Go do some research on what is available, what is popular and why, and then dive in and start soaking up the knowledge. There are plenty out there: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla just to name a few. Or if you already know one of them, pick another. That way you will have two under your belt and it will look more attractive on your resume.

Indecisive
Image credit: MischievousRagDoll

Another good route would be figuring out an ecommerce platform. Magento seems to be all the rage recently. From my own experience, the installation is a snap, but be prepared to spend some time just tooling around in the admin panel to get a handle of it. Then, the next time a client says, “Hey, put my products up there on the website”, you will be prepared to do more than just throw some PayPal buttons on a page. Everyone is getting into selling things on the web, knowing how to set up a store for them will put you ahead.

Nobody can tell you exactly what to learn, only you know what areas you lack in. The important part is that you do pick something and go with it. When you feel like you have a good grasp on what you chose, pick another, and keep going. Clients expect more out of us than just being able to write HTML and CSS. They want to be able to edit their sites themselves, sell their product, have things animated, and a score of other things. Learn how to do them, and you will be closer to landing that job than the next person.

A Never Ending Story

Being in web development means you have to be constantly learning. There is no end, and the minute you stop you might as well call it quits. The good thing is, if you love web development the learning process can be fun. Only you can motivate yourself to do it though, and the ones that do, are the ones that are on top. We don’t want to just keep up with the next person, we want to get ahead and stay there. Now go and do it!

http://www.onextrapixel.com/2010/09/10/web-development-dont-just-keep-up-with-everyone-else/

About these ads

Etiquetado:, , , , , , ,

Cruces, Sol y La Imaginación

Cuando la imaginación y la creatividad suman infinito

MarketingActivo

el mundo del marketing se activa para ti

tranquicomix

fanzine bejarano de historietas hecho en los 80

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

Vinod833's Blog

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Apasionada de las Redes Sociales

Compartir conocimientos 2.0 y Marketing Online

Zona de Promesas

Tecnología - Internet - Redes Sociales - Entrepreneurship - Música - Economía - Innovación

Fortune Tech: Technology blogs, news and analysis from Fortune Magazine

Fortune's tech team offers analysis and perspective on the world's most important developments.

Top Master | Blog

LOS PROGRAMAS DE MBA Y POSTGRADO MAS INFLUYENTES DE TODO EL MUNDO

La realidad alterna

Diario de sueños, cuentos, poesías y una novela en proceso

TechCrunch

Startup and Technology News

Unencumbered by Facts

Taking unsubstantiation to new levels

Carlos Cordero

Blog de tecnología

PsicoEmocions Blog

Un Pont entre la Psique i les Emocions

TEA PTLS NACHO

AUTISMO.TEA..PTLS

Comunicación & Marketing

De Lilian Lanzieri

Xtratexia

Dirección estratégica para la vida

StellarHIRE Partners

Founding Partner, StellarHire Partners - Executive Search Consultants. Recent engagements include Eloqua, SFDC, Tibco and Veeam.

ivanbrunpr's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

BLOGTEC

Noticias de Tecnologia.

Talento en Expansión

Tendencias y Mejores Prácticas en la Gestión de Personas de la Empresa 2.0

Two Leaves Tea SPAIN

Great Organic Tea! ✫✫✫✫✫ Te Organico en Piramides

Escuela de Dinero

El mejor Sitio en Español sobre lo básico para entender el Dinero y sus matemáticas relacionadas.

Intentando dejar huella...

...en cada uno de los visitantes

Ideas Para la Clase.com

Portafolio de experiencias en la clase de español para Middle School.

littlegreybox

Travel & Lifestyle Blog

déborah rueda

Un sitio más pero diferente sobre marketing on line

No solo los 80's

La mejor música de la historia

Molly Balloon's Blog

Identity + Dressing + Colour

El OJO PUBLICO. / Глаз общественности

Ver para contar & contar para ver. / Чтобы рассказать

Think Creative Idea

Marketing, publicidad, web y negocios

Social Media y más

Social Media, Redes Sociales, Marketing, SEO

The Coaching Alliance

El camino hacia el éxito

Luces y sombras de las marcas

Social Media, Marketing y Comunicación

CNN en Español: Ultimas Noticias de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y el Mundo, Opinión y Videos

Ultimas Noticias de Estados Unidos, Latinoamérica y el Mundo, Opinión y Videos

Javier GM Photography - México y más.

“Un fotógrafo tiene que ser auténtico y en sus fotografías, debe expresar emociones, provocar reacciones y despertar pasiones..” ~ Javier García-Moreno E.

Natalia Gómez del Pozuelo

Experta en comunicación y oratoria

aloyn

Alimentación, ocio y negocios, ALOYN, es un Grupo dirigido a Directivos y Propietarios de empresas, interesados en el mundo de la industria de alimentación y bebidas. Tanto por la parte de la industria productora como por la parte de la industria consumidora y/o distribuidora (Distribución Comercial, Horeca, Vending, Venta Directa, etc). También nos interesan las actividades ligadas al agroturismo y el enoturismo como magníficas actividades de promoción y difusión de la cultura gastronómica.

Blog de Jack Moreno

Un blog de Joaquín Moreno sobre recursos, literatura y ciencia ficción

Mashamour

Ensalada de Manjares

Infographic List

For those who love Infographics - www.infographiclist.com

Seguir

Recibe cada nueva publicación en tu buzón de correo electrónico.

Únete a otros 1.652 seguidores

%d personas les gusta esto: