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How long Does it Take To Learn Web Development to Create a Website from Scratch?

Due to the march break and the covid-19 outbreak, I have a lot of time on my hands, of which I want to utilize cultivating a new skill. I am planning on investing most of my time learning web development. The reason why I asked this question is that I hope to gain a co-op position in a few months or so, mainly as high school credit. While most of the placement and interview is set up for me, I would need prior experience if I wanted to work at a company developing websites. Any input from professionals in the field would be appreciated. #technology #internship #career #computer-science #web-development #programming #covid-19


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David A.’s Answer

It really depends on what kind of web development you want to do. Almost anything can be a web app now, so there’s front end/back end/ and database needs that are all still part of web development. If you’re looking for something that contains all 3, c# / .net mvc is a great way to do web applications. Microsoft, tutorialspoint.com both have a lot that go over the c# side and database (sql) side.

If you’re looking for more traditional web, or front end / user interface side of things, w3schools.com has a lot of examples, and small demonstrations of how things work. Tutorialspoint.com does as well. Otherwise YouTube, codeacademy, sololearn, are all great places to start. JavaScript is another crucial part of the user side.

I think the most important thing is to just start, and see where it goes. There’s almost too much information available , and it can be overwhelming and make it hard to know where to begin. So start somewhere, make mistakes, learn from them, and change to something else if you don’t enjoy it.

As far as how long, it really depends on the content, the person, and how in depth you want to go. Professional developers still learn new stuff all the time; with how fast technology changes, it’s a path where you’ll never stop learning.

Most classes that teach HTML for example in college would be 14 weeks, 3 hours per class. So 42 hours, with a teacher showing you how, and then homework to practice it, another 80 hours. On your own it may take longer.

One hard thing for me is picking something to work on to practice skills. You may find it useful to lookup good example projects, or think of a website that you would like to do for yourself. It’s easier to learn specific things if you have a reason to do it.

Good luck!

Thank you for your answer! I have heard that project-based learning is the best way to go to quickly learn web development and to understand the concepts. I will also definitely check some of the resources out, as I haven't heard of some of them. Also, I am focusing on front-end right now, however full-stack seems pretty interesting to me as well. Overall, I appreciate the response. All the best! Aun M.

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Dexter’s Answer

Hello! I think it's great that you're thinking about spending this time learning a valuable tool like web development.

Just to set context, I never formally learned web development, but ended up transferring from a desktop support IT role to a web development role, and I've worked in this field since then (14 years). When I was learning, I think books were essential, but now, I feel that you can learn a lot through tutorials online and through free resources, like Khan Academy.

I'm not sure how long it'll take, but I think you can understand the core basics of web development and understand the basics of HTML and CSS to create website from scratch in less than a day. But to learn a scripting language(s) and use it well (javascript, python, php, etc) in conjunction with HTML/CSS, it'll take you a month or two. To master it, it'll take you years.

You don't need to master it to get a job though. To get a job, all you need to do is show mastery by examples of what you've done.

Once you feel comfortable creating webpages and understand the basics of it, I suggest you go look at some open source projects that you feel passionate about. Then work with the maintainers to improve that open source projects web pages in a meaningful way (lots of open source projects need help to improve their documentation). I personally believe that interacting with and contributing to open source is a great way to build up your portfolio and to learn how to code properly.

Thanks for the answer! That was really reassuring, as I was thinking of doing co-op in July, but I would need to have a few projects showing that I actually know how to code websites (a simple understanding). I like this style, and I will definitely utilize these few weeks to hopefully learn a few skills, so I can start projects when school actually starts (which is hopefully April 5). I really like your idea of contributing to open source projects, that seems like an amazing idea! If you're at all interested, I'll update you on my progress in the coming weeks about how much I've progressed! All the best! Aun M.

I'd love to hear about the progress that you're making. :) Dexter Arver

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Dan’s Answer

All of the other answers are great, I would add this:

Sign up at GitHub and start writing. Every time you work through a tutorial write down what you learned and code snippets. Keep these notes in GitHub so you always have them and you can easily share them with other people (like the company you want to co op with). I have tons of notes in emails and old pre-GitHub repositories from the past 25 years and I refer back to them when I, or someone else, need an example.

Thank you, Dan! That's a great idea! I should've definitely tried this earlier because I also believe that it would provide as motivation to continue going as a result of the progress I've obtained! I cannot express the appreciation I have for this community and the little insights that will help save me a lot of time! Aun M.

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Aaron’s Answer

Agree with other answers here, and teach at bootcamp part time with many of the same resources already mentioned. For my classes I try to get students to understand the fundamentals as part of the work projects and exercises. Understanding the underlying principles and concepts will help you pick up other languages and technologies as you progress.

Typical course for the bootcamp is 4 weeks long. Each day you are expected to do between 4-6 hours of exercises and self study. We have a 4 hour in person workshop on the weekends to work on weekly projects together collaboratively. This schedule is usually just enough to scratch the surface and get people used to coding.

Thank you for your answer! I actually bought a popular course online called "The web developer Bootcamp" by Colt Steele. I'll be going through the entire course over a month or two, and try to build projects as I go. I feel like if I can obtain the co-op position in July, that I will definitely hone in on beginner concepts that are hard to grasp, as well as find a workflow that I'm comfortable with. Overall, I'm really excited about this journey, I understand that I may encounter immense frustration, but I am more determined than I have ever been. All the best! Aun M.

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Pablo’s Answer

It depends how complex is your website.
If it has only static content like a blog or gallery you will need to know HTML, CSS and a little of Javascript. In a week you can learn it from scratch.
If the website will have state like registered users with preferences or items to be sell online, you have to learn databases, and server side technologies. That demands more time, maybe two months.
My suggestion is to look for an example and use it as a first step and then add or modify functionality.


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Yasith’s Answer

I believe you have some basic idea of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. If not, please start there since that's the basics of web development.

Then you can follow one of the online video tutorial to complete a project. There are plenty of resources available and Pluralsight and Linkedin learning are my favorites.
If you are familiar with C# programming language and and .Net stack, you can follow the tutorials available in https://dotnet.microsoft.com/
There are some basics web application development such as To do list can be completed within few weeks. And you can download the Visual Studio Community Edition for free with lot of inbuilt project templates.

If you are not a fan of Microsoft or .Net, you better master your JavaScript knowledge and start a project using one of the Front end development framework (Angular, React or Vue).
Regarding the timeline, don't worry too much about the timeline since you are doing this for learning purpose. You can start a very basic site at the start, then slowly add more features to it.

Good luck!

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