Web Development Languages to Learn to Get Into the Biz

With so many web development languages and trends, people looking to get into the business have a hard time knowing where to start. The web development industry has several opportunities including database administration, web design and programming. Most people follow one path and dabble in the others. Here are some tips regarding these paths and the languages that you should know to get started.
Programming Languages
If you want to get into front-end or back-end design and programming, you need to know several languages. Most developers choose between open-source and closed-source languages. The most popular open-source language is PHP. PHP runs on Linux servers, so it means you likely need to understand Linux web hosting.
The other option is closed-source programming, which is usually Microsoft .NET. The two languages included in .NET are VB.NET and C#. C# is more popular since Microsoft released its own version of the MVC platform.
PHP and .NET are back-end coding solutions, but you still need to know basic HTML. HTML 5 is recommended for its increasingly popular rich snippet and animation options. JavaScript is also recommended, because this language is used to program client-side functionality.
Web Design
If you prefer creating user-friendly themes and interfaces, you can choose website design. Web designers create the themes, logos and layouts you see on customized websites. Some businesses hire internal web designers for business applications.
Web design is centered around an artistic ability to lay out pages using CSS, HTML and JavaScript. One aspect of web design that's trending is responsive designs. Responsive web designs cater the site layout to the size of the screen. It's mainly used to display pages on mobile devices.
You can also sell themes on several platforms designed for plug-in developers. Web design offers several freelance opportunities where you can customize software such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Blogger. To customize these websites, you'll also need to know some PHP and JavaScript.
Back-End Development
Most dynamic websites use a database server. The two most common server types are Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL. MySQL works natively with PHP, so you should combine some PHP knowledge with MySQL experience. Microsoft .NET works well with SQL Server. Microsoft offers free versions of .NET and SQL Server development, but enterprise versions cost money.
Both platforms run off of the SQL language. MySQL and MSSQL have slight variances in language syntax, but they are generally the same. If you learn one platform, you can easily learn the other.
More advanced database administration comes with understanding how to manage the server processes and optimizing code for faster execution. Poor code execution or table setup can lead to poor performance for any application. Make sure you understand how to properly normalize database tables and set up table indexes.
These languages and trends are a good start in web design and development. As you work in the industry, you'll learn additional languages and techniques that make you a better developer. It's also beneficial to know how to manage either Internet Information Services (IIS) or Apache, which are two common web hosting platforms that control your web presence.

Photo credit: Riebart via Foter.com / CC BY


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