What is a web developer?
“A five-year-old could start coding a website. There’s nothing holding you back.”
Meet Will Dages. He’s the manager of web development for Findaway World. Findaway is a digital media company that created one of the largest collections of audio books and devices called Playaways that you can use to listen to them. Findaway also creates digital downloads, like eBooks, apps, videos and more.
Will manages an internal team of web developers at Findaway. They work on their own web pages and product pages as well as work on their e-commerce site. Findaway prefers having their own internal team of web developers working on their sites rather than hire an outside web development company to do the work.
How to get started in web development
Will says it’s super easy to become a web developer. In fact, he pretty much taught himself how to do it. Will originally graduated from college with a degree in video production and was working as a videographer when he stumbled into web development. He pretty much starting reading everything he could about coding and eventually taught himself web development and software e development so he could not only create websites but also apps.
If you want to be a web developer, Will says just start building websites- no matter if they are good or bad. Just start learning and you’ll get better at it. He suggests working on has many projects as you can. If he’s looking to hire someone, he’s going to look for examples of a person’s past work-the websites a person has built.
Advice for future web developers
Will says a big barrier stopping people from going into web development is the fear that they don’t know enough. According to Will, nobody has figured it out, not even your favorite “web development hero.” He says the industry just moves too fast and changes so much, no one person can say he or she knows it all. No web developer feels like he or she knows enough. They just have to figure it out as they go along sometimes. Will says don’t be afraid to embrace that fear, and just learn as much as you can. That’s what he did and it gave him the confidence to go after a job he thought he was not qualified for.
Power of networking
Will says one of the things that really helped encourage him to continue in web development was the support he got from other web developers. He would go to meet-ups for web developers, where he could network and “talk shop” with other developers who would share their knowledge and tools. It also allowed him to make valuable connections with people for future job opportunities. Those meetups and the experience and connections he made there, gave him the confidence to be a web developer.
Changing career paths
Will thought he wanted to go into film making. But his first job out of college ended up changing his entire career path.
Will has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Production from the University of Akron.
(He is self-taught in web and software development)
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