want to

be a Web Developer?

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Enlighten logo
Me: Mike Behnke
Twitter: @LocalPCGuy
Work: @EnlightenAgency

My path

Printer at Ann Arbor News

  • Freelance developer, computer repair
  • INP Program while working

Web Industry

  • Associate Software Engineer (Entry Level Front End Developer)
  • Software Engineer

Getting Hired - What you need to know

Bare Minimum

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • What about jQuery?

What you need to know

Helpful extras

  • Setting up a dev environment (in Linux and Windows)
  • Some Version Control experience (git is popular now)
  • Familiarity with one or more server side languages (PHP, ASP.Net (C#), Python, Node)

Getting experience

  • Side projects
  • Open source projects
  • Volunteering
  • Charity
  • Freelance
  • Interning

Day in the life

  • Flexible hours - in between 8:30 to 10
  • Get coffee, check email, Twitter/Email lists/RSS for new stuff
  • First hour of work is generally fairly productive
  • Meetings as scheduled (ugh!), interruptions during day can kill momentum/productivity
  • 4-7 is often most productive time personally (different for everyone)
  • Often out around 7

Mostly self-directed. You estimate project timeframes (in a team usually), and then have the responsibility to deliver or raise the red flag that the project is falling behind.

Stuff I use

Advice for Aspiring Web Developers

  • Code! Code More! Books/classes only go so far
  • Learn as you go. Schedule time in your estimates for learning things
  • Learn about things you may never use.
  • Have fun with things!

From: 12 Great Advice for Aspiring Web Developers

Keeping up with the industry

  • Twitter - selectively follow industry leaders. Put them in a list of their own
  • Newsletters - Cooper Press
  • RSS to follow blogs of industry leaders (yup, it's not dead)
  • Conferences (or the videos posted from conferences after the fact)
  • Local User groups & meetups
  • PodCasts

Contributing back to Open Source

Mostly through GitHub

We use open source software every day. The web industry was built with open source software. When you get the chance, please consider giving back to open source projects, through bug fixes, reporting problems, or releasing your own code as open source.

Cool Stuff