In the beginning

Being new to the web development industry, it will be next to impossible to write an informative and challenging blog for all you seasoned developers out there, so I thought I’d write about my experience as a beginner and hopefully evoke a bit of nostalgia on your part. If you are new to this world of wonder yourself, I trust you’ll be able to identify with some of the opinions cited below.

The first word that comes to mind when attempting to describe the initial feeling of entering the world of web development, is “overwhelmed”. There really is no other way to sum up the past couple of months. As the resident noob in the office, my average day is made up of countless questions, many a confused facial expression, copious amounts of coffee (filter or nothing thank you), and bouts of frustration – especially when it comes to cross-browser compatibility issues. I’ve learned that tables are the enemy, lunch is optional, Tenacious D makes for good background tunage whilst working, and that your best friend is not the four legged furball at home, but in fact, Google.

So far, the most challenging and, unfortunately, unavoidable problem I’ve been faced with is the proper placement of three Div elements next to each other. The solution that works in one site won’t necessarily work in another and this issue seems to be a constant catalyst for the use of bad language – well for me anyway.

Another hurdle that I still haven’t been able to clear is the application of “good practice” when coding. So instead of just making something work, you also have to make the code look sexy which in turn will help speed up the site. This sometimes requires you to think a couple of steps ahead, and right now, I’m not thinking any further than the third Div element in the row that doesn’t want to go where I want it to, unless I give it a negative margin. (Negative margins are apparently good friends with tables).
It’s impossible to predict what each day will hold as you’ll encounter fresh and intriguing problems each day. I still remember the day I was given a site to practically build from scratch. It was unnerving at first but as I progressed, an undeniable sense of triumph came over me. I love the fact that solutions to problems can’t be spoon-fed, you’ll need to do the bulk of the figuring-out process all by yourself. It will be frustrating, it will take time, but the end result is unparalleled.
One thing that I’ve learned that stands out is the fact that, whatever the coding problem is that you’re facing, or whatever new and flashy trick you want to add to your site, it CAN be done. I have yet to hear the phrase, “I’m sorry, but that’s not possible.”

But it’s up to you to make it work, and that’s what makes this job absolutely great.

Web development is indeed a seemingly boundless industry and there is so much to learn. Focussing on one thing can be a daunting task. But fear not, help is at your fingertips, and interacting with your knowledgeable colleagues isn’t a bad idea either.

In the end it will all be worth it. Being a web developer is a total blast. If you like the idea of being in an environment where problem solving takes place all day, you’ll love this. I do.
There is unlimited room for you to grow and as long as you keep pushing yourself and are always hungry for more knowledge and insight, you’ll be fine.

Category: Development
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