Starting out as an entry level developer you will learn a lot in a short amount of time. Something you might not know is that the technology world is in the middle of a huge skills gap crisis, so this is actually the best time to start a career in tech.
People who want to get into the tech industry are mostly worried about not knowing enough, or not knowing the right things when they get hired. To be honest, the skillset you will need highly depends on the type of job you will be doing. You can’t be fully prepared and know everything but there are a few skills you will probably need in general, especially if you are pursuing a career in web development.
The skills listed below are a great starting point if you would like to get into tech and land an entry level job, and we also included some free resources for you.
HTML or hypertext markup language is probably the first thing you will learn as a web developer. It allows you to create the architecture and content of a website, such as headlines, paragraphs, bulleted and numbered lists. Here you can find a basic introduction to HTML for free.
Similarly to HTML, CSS or cascading style sheets is probably the second thing you will learn. It will allow you to take the well-structured HTML and give it a facelift, such as tweaking backgrounds, fonts, colors and adding animations. CSS is crucial when creating website layouts for different devices. You can find insider tricks and solutions on CSS-Tricks and browse through the industry favourite book ‘Learn HTML & CSS’.
FTP or file transfer protocol will enable you to send your website live. Being familiar with FTP will make you understand the way the servers and databases communicate in order to put your code files live on the web. It will be easier to make sense of the bigger picture and making tweaks after the website goes live. There are several free educational videos on YouTube for you to check out on FTP.
Git is a version control system which lets you make changes to the code without losing the work completed beforehand. It is very useful when writing code as a team. GitHub is a community where you can upload and download code and share it with others. Check out these free tutorials on Git and Atlassian.
Often, code can be littered with bugs – broken bits. It’s best that you catch those bugs early and develop a solid system for bug testing at the beginning of your tech career. You can always improve your techniques by learning from others. You might come across the term ‘regression testing’ in job adverts, which is basically searching for bugs and fixing them. Check out this code validator for bug testing.
Media queries is a handy CSS tool to create fully responsive sites. Designing for the mobile web is a must. According to Google’s 2015 algorithm non-responsive sites will be ranked lower in search result. Don’t worry, media queries are easy to pick up. You can learn about media queries from the workshops of Girl Develop It, or Jon Duckett’s book ‘Learn HTML & CSS’.
As a web developer you most likely won’t be expected to create designs, but you will need to make sense of the files you get from the designers on your team. It’s beneficial to understand layers, read dimensions, pull out colors, etc. Tuts+ offers free workshops, or you can always watch free tutorials on YouTube.
In case you can’t get your hands on Photoshop, we listed 6 free online alternatives below so you can get familiar with design programs.
Finally, WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS), where clients can easily make changes to their sites. Company blogs are most likely to use WordPress. Statistics show that in 2014 74 million sites were built on WordPress, which was 20% of all sites on the web. A WordPress developer goes behind the scenes with PHP which is the programming language behind the CMS. You can create custom sites that use the power of WordPress, install, and create custom plugins, themes, etc. WordPress is a highly desired skill. Check out this incredibly useful tutorial which takes you through WordPress in 500+ steps.
With these skills you are more than ready to apply for that junior developer job. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know everything straight away! Our website Antal TECH jobs offers thousands of jobs in technology. Have a browse, you might find your next career!