How to Become a Self-Taught Web Developer: Resume, Education, Job Hunting, and More

November 28, 2023
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Lucrative career path, flexible working environment, and fulfilling work…what’s not to love about being a web developer? 

The best part is that you don’t necessarily need formal education for jr web developer jobs. You can teach yourself via online resources and hit the ground running fast.

But, the road ahead is paved with uncertainty and complexion. Whether you don’t know where to start learning or you’re trying to perfect your self-taught web developer resume, you’ve come to the right place. 

At Debug Academy we’re the most trusted source for Drupal training. We have a variety of courses to help you jumpstart your career, from our free Drupal training to our robust Drupal bootcamp. These courses are the best ways to get started on the right foot.

We’re going to walk you through how to become a self-taught web developer in this detailed guide to empower you along this journey. You’ll feel confident in your next steps by the time you finish reading below!

Can You Be a Self-Taught Web Developer?

First things first…is this even possible? Can you be a self-taught web developer, or are you going to have to invest in formal education? Let’s provide a bit more context for this conversation to help you set your expectations.

What Does it Mean to be Self-Taught?

What exactly do we mean when using the term “self-taught”? Being self-taught in web development means charting your own course through the vast ocean of coding knowledge. 

It's about choosing what, when, and how you learn, tailoring your education to fit your personal goals and interests. This approach fosters a deep, hands-on understanding of web development, as it encourages exploring real-world problems and finding unique solutions. 

It’s a stark contrast from the traditional approach to education as you’ll discover below…

How the Self-Taught Developer Path Compares to Other Routes

Unlike structured academic paths or bootcamps, the self-taught journey offers unparalleled flexibility and independence. 

You aren’t confined to a set curriculum. Instead, you have the freedom to focus on areas like Drupal, a key expertise area at Debug Academy. This route, while demanding self-discipline and motivation, can lead to a highly personalized skill set. 

However, it's crucial to seek out quality resources and communities to ensure your learning is both comprehensive and industry-relevant, like those provided by Debug Academy. 

This blend of self-directed learning with expert guidance is what sets successful self-taught developers apart in the competitive tech landscape. So, buckle up as we walk you through how to become a self-taught web developer below!

How to Become a Self-Taught Web Developer: Learning the Skills Necessary to Code

No matter what types of web development interest you, learning how to become a self-taught dev is fairly simple and straightforward. It’s as simple as planning your path, learning, building your self-taught web developer resume, and finding work.

You can follow the blueprint below to take a leap of faith into this lucrative, exciting career path - starting with choosing the best specializations in web development.

Picking a Niche in Web Development

The first step in your self-taught journey is choosing a niche. Web development encompasses various fields, from front-end design, focused on creating engaging user interfaces, to back-end development, dealing with server-side logic and database interactions.

Drupal emerges among these as a standout choice due to its robust functionality and scalability, making it ideal for building complex, high-traffic websites. 

But what is Drupal? More importantly, is Drupal still relevant

This CMS is trusted by the White House, NBC, Tesla, and countless other industry leaders. It’s one of the best specializations for the self-taught dev. Drupal’s flexibility and extensive global community support make it a preferred choice for many developers. 

We’ve compared Drupal vs Sharepoint, Drupal vs Joomla, and Drupal vs Wordpress if you want to learn more. But at a certain point, you need to land on a niche and dive deep into education.

Finding Structured Learning Resources

The internet is flooded with learning resources, ranging from free online tutorials to more structured educational courses. However, sifting through these to find quality content can be challenging. Not only that, but this approach can be really time-consuming. 

That’s why you should invest in structured resources that essentially speed up the learning curve, helping you get a solid grasp on the principles faster. After all, the quicker you learn, the quicker you can get paid!

And, if you’re interested in figuring out how to learn Drupal as quickly as possible, your search ends here at Debug Academy. We’ve empowered countless self-taught developers to master this CMS and make a lucrative living along the way.

Our courses are designed to cater to individual strengths and interests - whether you’re interested in a simple Drupal training for beginners or you want to embark on Drupal certification.

Our students work on live projects, gaining real-world experience that allows you to seamlessly integrate into the workforce, feeling confident when given the reigns on that first project. The curriculum is customized each semester, reflecting the unique goals of our students. 

Our smaller class sizes and personalized curriculum led by industry experts ensure an in-depth learning experience. This hands-on experience is complemented by career prep focus, ensuring our students are job-ready. We can even help with job placement in some cases!

The effectiveness of our approach is evident in the success of our graduates. On average, salaries increase by about 40% post-completion of our courses. 

We also provide ongoing support, helping motivated graduates find interviews and paid work, emphasizing our commitment to their long-term success. From helping you with Drupal interview questions to assisting you in building your self-taught web developer resume, you can count on us as an ally in this journey. 

But eventually, you need to put your skills to the test on your own…

Building Real-World Experience on Your Own

Building real-world experience as a self-taught dev is a critical step in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. This phase is where you transform from a learner to a doer, applying the skills you’ve acquired in real-life scenarios.

Start by identifying small, manageable projects that align with your skills and interests. This could be as simple as building a personal website, creating a blog, or developing a small application. 

Each project you undertake consolidates your learning, hones your problem-solving skills, and enhances your understanding of web development concepts in practice.

Open-source contributions are another excellent way to gain experience. Engaging with the open-source community not only helps you apply your skills to actual projects but also connects you with other developers, offering insights into collaborative development processes. 

Platforms like GitHub are teeming with open-source projects where you can contribute, learn from others’ code, and even get constructive feedback on your work.

Document your projects meticulously as you build your portfolio. Showcase your work on platforms like GitHub or a personal website. This not only serves as proof of your capabilities to potential employers or clients but also demonstrates your journey and growth as a developer.

Remember, each project you work on is an opportunity to learn something new. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new technologies or methodologies. The tech world is constantly evolving, and staying adaptable is key.

The Importance of Your Self-Taught Web Developer Resume

Your resume as a self-taught dev is a narrative of your journey and capabilities. It's crucial because it's often your first point of contact with potential employers or clients. 

And because you don’t have a degree you can point to, showing that you’ve completed some form of education and even some real-world projects you’ve built is paramount.

Your self-taught web developer resume needs to not just list your skills, but also tell the story of a dedicated, self-motivated learner who has gone above and beyond to acquire web development expertise. We’ll offer some tips on perfecting it below to impress potential employers.

Tips on Perfecting Your Self-Taught Web Developer Resume

  • Highlight Projects and Practical Experience: Your practical experience speaks volumes as a self-taught developer. Include links to websites, applications, or contributions to open-source projects. This showcases not just your technical skills, but also your initiative and commitment to real-world application of your learning.
  • Emphasize Continuous Learning: Demonstrate your commitment to staying updated with the latest technologies and trends in web development. Mention any online courses, workshops, and webinars you’ve attended, especially those that are well-recognized in the industry.
  • Include Soft Skills: You likely possess strong problem-solving skills, resilience, and the ability to learn independently as a self-taught dev. These are highly valued in the tech industry, so make sure they are highlighted in your resume.
  • Tailor Your Resume for Each Opportunity: Customize your resume to align with the specific requirements of each job you apply for. This shows that you have taken the time to understand what the employer is looking for and that you believe your skills and experiences are a good fit.
  • Get Feedback: Have mentors, peers, or professionals in the industry review your resume. Their insights can help you refine and improve it.

Advice on Finding and Landing That First Job

You may be wondering…is it hard to get a web developer job with a self-taught background? Not if you follow the advice we’ve laid out thus far! 

Unlike most careers that require a degree, web development is more inclusive of other forms of education. And, we’ve got more tips on finding and landing that first job below.

  • Begin by leveraging your self-taught skills and projects. Create a compelling online presence on platforms like LinkedIn and GitHub, showcasing your projects and skills. 
  • Networking plays a crucial role, too. Attend industry meetups, webinars, and join online communities to connect with professionals. 
  • Tailor your job applications, emphasizing how your self-taught journey makes you a unique and valuable candidate. 
  • Prepare for interviews by understanding common questions and practicing your responses, focusing on how you’ve applied your skills in real-world scenarios.

Long-Term Career Growth and Learning

The field of web development is ever-evolving, making continuous learning and adaptability key to long-term career growth. If you aren’t progressing, you’re falling behind. 

Stay abreast of the latest trends and technologies through online courses, workshops, and industry publications. Seek mentorship and feedback from seasoned professionals to guide your career path.

Remember, your growth as a web developer is not just about technical skills but also about developing soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and remain open to new experiences and learning paths. Armed with these insights, you should be well on your way to becoming a self-taught developer!

Final Thoughts on How to Become a Self-Taught Web Developer

We hope this conversation on building up your self-taught web developer resume and finding that first gig has left you feeling inspired and capable of the steps before you. 

You've seen that with dedication, the right resources, and practical application, you can carve a successful path in tech. Remember, your growth hinges on continuous learning and real-world experience. 

You can learn more about how to get a web developer job without experience in our blog. We have resources specifically on how to be a web developer without a degree, the Drupal certification cost, Drupal migration services, how to get web development projects, and more.

As you step forward, consider Debug Academy as your partner in this journey. Our tailored courses, focused on practical skills like Drupal, are designed to boost your career. 

Embrace the challenge, join our community, and transform your passion into a thriving profession. Start your journey at Debug Academy today, where your tech future begins

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