Learning web development is intimidating. There are so many resources and tutorials that it can quickly seem overwhelming. It’s often difficult for beginners to web development to learn the best practices and technologies to focus on. So we’re going to examine six common mistakes that beginners make and how they can be avoided.
By learning how to avoid these six mistakes, you’ll be on the road to impressing potential employers and getting your first job.
Bootstrap is a UI framework for building websites. Many developers starting out view Bootstrap as an easy way to style a web application. But in actuality, relying on Bootstrap is a huge hinderance in the eyes of employers because it shows a lack of knowledge about performance and CSS basics.
Including Bootstrap in small web applications has performance implications. It’s much easier on load-time to write the CSS code yourself. Employers would much rather see your knowledge of CSS than any UI framework.
Recommendation: Learn CSS Flexbox and Grid for a responsive layout, learn fundamentals of CSS and once you master that, learn Sass. If you have trouble designing your app, head over to dribbble for some design inspiration, or check out the templates on Wix or Squarespace.
One thing I often see when reviewing candidates’ portfolios and projects is the over-use of
<span>. You should always be using semantic HTML5 elements. Why? Because it’s accessible.
Recommendation: Really get to know the semantic elements you have available to you. Learn how to create a markup hierarchy. Additionally, learning about web accessibility is a great skill and can impress potential employers.
If you’re beginning your web development journey, responsive design skills are a must. The majority of web surfing is done on mobile devices and tablets, thus our sites must be able to respond to different screen sizes.
Recommendation: Take a course or two on responsive design. Learn how to use media queries to style your application differently. Learning Flexbox and CSS Grid will also be very useful. You might even want to take a mobile-firstapproach.
I hope these tips have helped clarify some common misconceptions. Just remember that we all started somewhere, and it will get easier over time.