Thoughts on learning to become a web developer

I was recently asked by a friend for advice on a career change; he wants to get into web development and wasn’t quite sure the best place to start.


  • Where do I start??
  • How do I decide between being a front end or back end developer?
  • Attend a course with an instructor or self-learning online?

My thoughts on learning to become a developer

Instructor-led courses or workshops are great for intense, short, periods of studying, where you can ask questions to get explanations for things you may not have understood. I sometimes teach via and love how I can focus on whatever areas the attendees want me to; I’ve previously taught an Advanced MVC5 course, but it morphed into an Advanced MVC5/6 course with a focus on security.

I would suggest starting with Pluralsight – you get a free trial of something like 10 days or 200 minutes’ worth, then if you stick with it you pay either $30 or $50 a month for unlimited access to the excellent training videos (and coursework if you pay the $50); I use this all the time to seriously cram before I train a course – usually watching it at double speed!

Pluralsight is extremely well respected as a learning resource for all levels of ability. There are fantastic beginner courses – and even courses for teaching kids to program! I’d suggest checking out the Learning to Program Part 1 and 2 by Scott Allen – his stuff is usually great.

Personally I prefer to use pluralsight to an in-person course, but that’s just how I best learn. You may be different and want to get some in-person help as well.

Check out for angularjs (popular javascript framework) videos; again, some free, some paid.

As for Back End vs Front End; just learn the basic concepts, then work out what you prefer.

So. How does that sound to you? Any suggestions?