Dark blue background with a cutout of a women smiling down at the camera. The cutout is yellow to red gradient framing the photoWe've said it before, and we'll say it again: web development is one of the most in-demand careers of our time and will continue to be so in the coming years. This future-is-now landscape we're living in is also giving rise to the self-taught developer, fostered by the expansion of the internet and the accessibility of development-related knowledge.

While university is still a popular choice for those looking to work in web development, self-education and bootcamps are becoming increasingly popular options for those who don't have four years or the budget for a four-year degree. At the fundamental level, employers are looking for the right tech skills, commitment to the craft, and the ability to work collaboratively. With these competencies down pat, you'll be well on your way to landing that first junior web development job.

How to land that first job

Define your goals and choose a career path

You can research which type of web development you'd like to pursue. This could be front-end, back-end, full-stack web development or specialized areas like UX/UI design or software engineering. If you're not quite sure, it's ok; you can always start and see where your interests lie. You can also enroll in various programs which cover all the introductory skills to test the waters.

The following video breaks down some differences between the various types of developers while also going over how to break into the web development field quickly.

Step by step guide on how to get your first web developer job FAST!

Learn the fundamentals

Begin by acquiring a solid foundation in web development concepts, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You can explore online tutorials, introductory courses like Intro to Web Development or Front-end with JavaScript, interactive coding platforms, or enroll in a Web Development Program to gain the necessary skills.

Build a portfolio

Create a portfolio site to showcase your projects and skills. Include a variety of projects that demonstrate your abilities in different areas of web development. This could include personal projects, open-source contributions, or freelance work. Focus on quality over quantity and ensure your portfolio is well-designed and easy to navigate.

Contribute to open-source projects

Contribute to existing open-source projects on platforms like GitHub. You'll gain practical experience and sharpen your ability to work in a group and contribute to real-world projects. You'll also gain friends and a network within the development community and win some notoriety.

Create an online presence

Establish an online presence through a professional website or blog where you can share your thoughts, tutorials, and insights related to web development. Actively engage with the community through social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, showcasing your knowledge and expertise.

Polish your resume and online profiles

Craft a well-structured resume tailored to the web development industry. Highlight your relevant skills, projects, and experiences. Ensure that your online profiles, such as LinkedIn or GitHub, are up to date and reflect your professional accomplishments.

Prepare for interviews

Practise common web development interview questions and prepare your answers. Be ready to discuss your projects, problem-solving approaches, how you work well in a group, and demonstrate your technical skills. Research the company you're applying to and be prepared to ask questions about their work and culture during the interview.

Apply for jobs and internships

Start applying for web development positions that align with your career goals. Utilize job boards, company websites, and professional networks to find opportunities. Feel free to use your network connections to see if anyone has an in for you at their company. Consider internships or entry-level positions to gain practical experience and build your professional network.

Continuous learning and growth

Web development is a constantly evolving career, so you'll need to continue to learn and grow; this is one element that makes a web development career appealing to many. Ensure you keep up with industry trends, take on challenging projects, and explore opportunities for professional development, such as certifications or advanced courses.

Increase your chances of getting that first role

Expand your knowledge and skills

Stay updated with the latest web development trends and technologies. Explore frameworks, libraries, and online tools commonly used in the industry, such as React, Angular, or Node.js. Continuously learning and expanding your skill set will make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.

Network and engage with the community

Attend local meetups, conferences, and web development events to network with industry professionals. Engage with online communities, participate in forums, and join relevant social media groups to connect with other web developers. Networking can lead to valuable connections, mentorship opportunities, and job openings.

Bolster your online presence

Establish an online presence through a professional website or blog where you can share your thoughts, tutorials, and insights related to web development. Actively engage with the community through social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, showcasing your knowledge and expertise.

Keep your resume and online profiles up to date

As you make your way through the job-hunting process, make sure to continuously update your LinkedIn and GitHub accounts to reflect the progress you've made. Worked on a new project? Put it in there! Earned a new certification? Add it! The more you show employers you can do, the more likely you will earn a spot on their roster.

Collaborate on group projects

Join or initiate group projects where you can work with other web developers. Collaborating on projects can help you learn from others, improve your teamwork skills, and demonstrate your ability to work in a team. It also allows you to showcase your contributions when discussing your experience in interviews.

Participate in coding challenges and hackathons

Engage in coding challenges on platforms like HackerRank or LeetCode to sharpen your problem-solving skills. Participating in hackathons allows you to work on time-bound projects, collaborate with others, and demonstrate your ability to deliver results under pressure.

Seek mentorship and guidance

Look for experienced web developers who can provide mentorship and guidance. They can offer valuable insights, advice, and industry connections. Mentors can also provide feedback on your portfolio, resume, and interview preparation, helping refine your approach.

How do I get a job in web development with no experience?

Personal projects and self-learning

Undertake personal projects that challenge you and allow you to explore different aspects of web development like writing code. This could involve building a personal website, creating a web application, or developing a small tool. Engage in self-learning by following online tutorials, taking courses, creating your own projects, and reading books to expand your knowledge and skills. Document and showcase these personal projects in your portfolio.

Freelance or volunteer work

Seek out opportunities to gain practical experience through freelance projects or volunteer work. Offer your services to local businesses, non-profit organizations, or individuals needing web development assistance. While these may be unpaid or low-paying initially, they provide valuable experience, allow you to apply your skills in real-world scenarios, and can lead to referrals and testimonials. Keep upgrading your skills and demonstrate your dedication to continuous learning in your portfolio, resume, and online profiles.

Internships or apprenticeships

Consider applying for internships or apprenticeship programs that cater to individuals who need more professional experience. These opportunities provide structured learning environments and hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced professionals and help you put your new skills into practise. While they may not be permanent positions, they can be stepping stones to gain practical experience and make valuable industry connections.

Take a bootcamp

The quickest way to a tech career without any experience is to take a bootcamp. Many are online and provide you with the fundamental information you need to be job ready in a matter of months. This style can be challenging as the learning models are condensed into a shorter timeline so you can start the job hunt as quickly as possible. They also come with a heftier price tag, so you should research and ensure this is the right path for you. However, once you're settled on taking a bootcamp, the outcomes are usually worth the effort.

In the video below, James Cross discusses how he found work as a self-taught web developer building a killer portfolio and what he wished he knew while starting out.

Learn Web Development

Lighthouse Labs' Web Development Program also has many of the above advantages woven into the program. While you'll learn the right tech stacks, programming languages, problem-solving skills, and debugging techniques, you'll also leave with the necessary soft skills to succeed in the long term. Throughout your education journey, you'll work collaboratively with your peers on midterm and final projects.

You'll also have access to on-demand mentors who can help you through tough technical questions and act as crucial first contacts in building your network. Best of all, you'll have access to our Career Services team FOR LIFE. During your program, the team will match you with the best potential hiring managers according to your career goals. Even years after graduation, you can keep coming back for relevant career advice for tips on moving up the ladder, switching companies, or how to keep up in an evolving tech market.

Is it hard to get a job in web development?

Any in-demand job can be hard to get depending on your location, experience, education, and the calibre of other competing candidates. However, following the above advice, building your portfolio and demonstrating your capabilities increases your chances of landing a job.

Check out James Cross's take on how to succeed in web development and which skills to focus on to help you stand out.

Learn Web Development and Actually Get a Job

As for job outlook, web developers are expected to be in demand over the coming years. The Canadian Occupational Projection System reports that positions in the web development field will most likely grow at a higher rate than the average of all occupations. It also predicts a shortage of computer programmers over the 2022-2031 period. Searches on job boards such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor bring up hundreds, if not thousands, of results for developer-related positions.

Another advantage of becoming a web developer is that you are not limited to jobs in the tech industry. Nearly every company needs someone to build websites, design apps, and upkeep the infrastructure of their web pages. This gives you a wide range of areas to choose from and, knowing that web development skills are largely transferable, more job security as you can more easily switch from one domain to another.

Ready to dive in and launch your own web developer career? The team behind Lighthouse Labs' Web Development Program works together for your betterment with an industry-aligned curriculum, experienced instructors and mentors, and lifelong career services.