Why care about web development?

Say you want to write about how awesome your pet toaster is and publish it for everyone to see. Say you want to make an app where users can interact with their own virtual pet toasters. Say you want to start selling pet toasters online once you’ve convinced everyone how awesome they are.

In this case, I’d probably be a bit concerned about your sanity. But, more importantly, you’d want to learn some web development – that is, the art of creating web pages like the one you’re viewing right now.

Even if you’re not into pet toasters, there are plenty of reasons to learn how to develop for the web (or the Internet, the intertubes, or that weird thing kids use these days, depending on your preference):

  • Creating websites for a hobby, club, business, etc.
  • Making awesome apps for the web, phones, and tablets
  • Impressing people with your knowledge of floating block elements and binding live event handlers to them

Many say that web design is the 4th “R” along with reading, writing, and arithmetic – never mind that there’s no “r” in the phrase.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Computer science jobs are in hot demand - just another reason to pursue computer science.
Technology is one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy – just another reason to pursue computer science. (Thanks Bill Gates!)

Web development uses a programming language called JavaScript to make web pages interactive. You can do some pretty epic things (like this) with it, but it’s so easy to get started with JavaScript that a complete computer science beginner can pick it up. It’s many programmers’ introduction to computer science (it was mine) before they expand to more advanced languages. You could call it a gateway language.

Whoever you are – toaster entrepreneur, budding computer scientist, blogger, artist, Homo sapiens – it’s definitely worth it to learn web development.

I’d recommend some great books called Head First HTML and Head First Javascript, or some guides on this blog and other websites.

Published by

Neel Mehta

Harvard College. Web developer. Sometime philosopher. Baseball junkie.

Leave a Reply