3 Skills to Learn Web Development in Your Free Time

Since many of consumers buy products and services online, the demand for web development skills continues to soar. According to the Government of Canada’s Job Bank, there will be 10,400 new jobs needed in web development from now until 2031.

Becoming a developer allows you to move across industries, start a business, or become a consultant. Whether you’re eyeing a career switch or seeking to enhance your skill set, learning web development can unlock a world of possibilities.

In this article, we’ll explore web development basics and fundamental skills that can kickstart your journey as a web developer, so that you can enter this dynamic field.

Flexibility and convenience

One of the key advantages of becoming a web developer is the flexibility it offers. If you’re just getting started, you can choose between self-paced and structured learning styles.

Self-paced vs. structured learning options


Self-paced learning allows you to set your speed and dive into modules and exercises depending on your schedule. Some options include free online courses and coding resources.

FreeCodeCamp provides a self-paced, hands-on approach to learning web development. Users can access a wealth of coding challenges, projects, and tutorials. They can move through the curriculum based on their preference, master skills, and earn certifications along the way.

Lighthouse Labs even offers a free Introductory course to JavaScript. The course provides a clear introduction to fundamental concepts. You can even create your own web-based chat app similar to Slack or Twitch. Alternatively, you can dive into the essentials of JavaScript, Node.js, and Web Sockets. You’ll build skills to become a web developer as you complete hands-on projects.


Structured courses provide a guided pathway so you can learn essential concepts systematically and on good time.

Universities provide structured web development courses as part of their curriculum. These courses follow a semester-based structure, with set lecture times, assignments, and exams based on a syllabus.

Coding bootcamps like Lighthouse Labs offer structured programs with set timelines and curricula. These intensive courses often span several weeks to a few months with a step-by-step approach to mastering web development. Students follow a preset schedule, attend classes and workshops, and complete assignments within a defined timeframe.

How bootcamps accommodate busy schedules

There are many ways to learn web development. Still, bootcamps are one of the best options for students of all ages with busy schedules.

Bootcamps are designed to condense learning into a shorter time. Some full-time students want to learn as fast as possible which is why they’re best for full-time bootcamps. Meanwhile, those looking to balance their learning with existing work or family commitments can opt for part-time coding bootcamps. Some also have remote learning options.

Lighthouse Labs full-time bootcamp is a 12-week bootcamp with five lectures per week and 50 hours of outside recommended study time per week. Meanwhile, the flex program has a flexible learning schedule that runs for 30 weeks with two weekly classes and 25 hours of additional study time per week.

A closer look at the course content of bootcamps reveals their focus on practical skills and project-based learning. As a result, students can acquire on-demand skills in the job market within the duration.

For example, the Lighthouse Labs’ Web Development Program has lessons on application development, computer science, and software engineering.

Many bootcamps even provide mentorship and support services to offer guidance from experienced instructors or industry professionals. The personalized assistance helps students stay on track with their learning goals.

What three skills to learn in web development

There are a lot of skills involved in web development. We’ve narrowed down the top three that you need to learn to make it seem less intimidating.

1. HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the backbone of web development. It provides the structural foundation for web pages and organizes content hierarchically. In terms of syntax, it is characterized by a system of tags used to collect and format text, images, links, and other content elements.

Beyond the basics, HTML ensures cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility so that content can load across various devices and browsers. It is also the fundamental building block for advanced coding languages like CSS and JavaScript, making it one of the core languages you need to learn.

Here are some practical and real-world applications for HTML:

  • Personal portfolio website: HTML lets you create an essential website with sections for the About Me page, project gallery, and contact information.

  • Blogs: With HTML, you can develop a blog from scratch with images, headings, and categories.

  • SEO optimization: HTML forms the basis for SEO. Understanding HTML’s semantic structure and tags helps optimize content for search engines to improve its visibility and ranking.

  • Accessibility standards: Using proper HTML elements and attributes ensures web content follows accessibility standards for disabled users.

2. CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) complements HTML by integrating creative design elements on the page. Developers can create visually appealing layouts, colour schemes, typography, and responsive designs. More importantly, developers can apply visual styles across multiple website pages for consistency and efficiency.

CSS also supports responsive design. It ensures websites can adapt seamlessly across various screen sizes and devices for optimal viewing experience.

Here are some practical and real-world applications for CSS:

  • Business website: CSS lets you create e-commerce or storefronts with typography, colours, and layouts.
  • Seamless UI/UX: CSS can improve a website's user interface and user experience. Developers proficient in CSS can create visually appealing and intuitive designs.
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: CSS knowledge ensures consistent design and layout across different browsers to enhance visitor experience.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript is a dynamic beginner programming language that adds interactivity and functionality to web pages. Developers can use it to add interactive features such as sliders, forms, games, and dynamic page content to enhance user engagement and experience.

During front-end development, Javascript lets developers change websites dynamically without reloading the entire page. More importantly, it can integrate with external APIs for data retrieval and manipulation, a fundamental skill for creating data-driven web applications.

Here are some practical and real-world applications for Javascript:

  • Interactive forms: JavaScript lets users validate forms and provide real-time feedback about required fields or incorrect input.

  • Creating a photo gallery with filters: You can develop a photo gallery where users can filter images based on categories.

  • Interactive websites: JavaScript lets you add interactive elements and dynamic content to make websites engaging and responsive.

  • API Integration: Understanding JavaScript allows developers to interact with external APIs and enables functionalities like fetching and displaying live data on websites.

Balancing learning with other commitments

Balancing learning web development with other commitments requires effective time management strategies. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.

Time management tips for learners:

  • Set clear goals: Define specific, achievable goals for each study session or week. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable chunks to make progress consistently.
  • Create a schedule: Allocate dedicated time slots for learning and personal commitments like work and family. Consistency is key. Establish a routine that aligns with your schedule and stick to it.
  • Prioritize tasks: Identify high-priority tasks and complete them during peak productivity hours. Focus on completing important assignments first to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Utilize resources efficiently: Leverage free online coding courses, tutorials, and coding resources to optimize learning. Tools like the Pomodoro technique or time-tracking apps can help you stay productive.
  • Practice Regularly: Coding improves with practice, so dedicating time to consistent training is essential. Even short, daily sessions can help you develop your skills.

Web development success stories

Lydia Hallie

Lydia Hallie is a self-taught software engineer specializing in React, TypeScript, and Web Performance. She is the creator behind the @theavocoder, an Instagram page with web development tutorials.

At 19 years old, she became a software developer straight out of high school. Her advice for aspiring web developers is to have side projects to stay motivated. She writes in her Medium article, “Don’t just listen to the course or don’t just read the documentation: actively participate by having your project on the side. Implement every new thing you learn, no matter how small!”

Danny Huang

Danny Huang learned coding by completing the 100 days of code challenge on freeCodeCamp. He practised consistently from 2 to 4 hours daily, made his GitHub profile attractive to employers, and received a job offer on Day 97.

He advised aspiring web developers to make coding a habit. He writes, “Coding a bit every day is more effective than coding occasionally. The best example is Jennifer Dewalt, who made 180 websites in 180 days. Also, when coding is part of your daily routine, you build momentum. Eventually, coding will get easier.”

Career outcomes and opportunities

In web development, there are a wide range of opportunities for professionals with varying skill sets and interests:

Career paths in web development

  • Front-End Developer: They specialize in creating user interfaces and interactive elements using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They focus on how websites look and how users interact with them.

  • Back-End Developer: They create mechanisms for processing data and performing actions on a website. Back-end developers often use languages like Python, Ruby, PHP and frameworks like Node.js.

  • Full-Stack Developer: They are proficient in front-end technologies and back-end development to build web applications. They also possess a comprehensive understanding of various technologies and frameworks.

  • UI/UX Designer: Focuses on the user experience and interface design so that websites are visually appealing, easy to navigate, and intuitive.

  • DevOps Engineer: Handles web application deployment, automation, and maintenance to ensure seamless integration between development and operations.

Job placement support

How to get a job after graduation? Web development boot camps, coding academies, and educational institutions often help graduates find jobs.

Many programs offer career counselling, resume-building workshops, interview preparation and networking events for successful job searches and interviews. More importantly, they partner with companies so graduates can connect with employers. Lighthouse Labs dedicated career services provide personalized guidance for students seeking to enter the job market. These include resume refinement, interview preparation, and networking strategies.

Notably, their connections with industry partners allow students to access employment opportunities and make a career transition. Students can also access exclusive job boards featuring positions tailored to their skill set.

Learn web development

Learning web development in your free time will open up opportunities.

Mastering HTML, CSS, and JavaScript will give you the foundation to create stunning and functional websites. However, you’ll need time management skills and dedication to master fundamental skills for web development.

Lighthouse Labs offers part-time and full-time web development programs. As you venture into this world, remember that it’s not just about learning skills—it’s about embracing the journey of growth, creativity, and endless possibilities in the ever-evolving tech landscape.