How to increase your value- Skill set for the Web Developer

Maybe you’re an experienced web developer who’s been in the industry for several years or really just someone who’s just getting started and wants to build a career in web development.

I highly encourage you to either begin learning javascript or work at becoming as proficient with it as possible. I really believe with this language in your set of skills you will make yourself more marketable.

The future of javascript

Building highly interactive web applications is hot right now. Ever since Google came out with gmail people have been exploring ways to use javascript to make web applications run more on the client and simply use the web server as more of a web service to process data retrieval and updates. Now that this market is hot you’re going to continue to see more and more companies wanting to meet this demand.

That means they’ll be seeking and hiring javascript developers to build those apps for them and just as in any other market when the demand rises so does the price (read your salary).

The sooner you build up your skills in this language the better off you will be. As the demand increases naturally the supply will rush to catch up. Keep yourself ahead of the curve by learning and building your experience now.

Tips on getting started:

If you’re new to javascript development here are a few of my suggestions.

Do a search on the web for tutorials to get you started. You can certainly buy some books on the subject but there’s so much free information out there that I think it’s not necessary. YouTube’s a good place to start. There’s plenty of tutorial videos there ranging from beginner to expert level.

Learn how to use JSLint. This is a free tool available on the web that was built by Doug Crockford. Doug is a big name in the javascript world and this tool is fantastic! When you’ve written some code that you want to deploy I recommend using this tool first. It will validate your code for you and also provide some good hints. Whenever I’m having a hard time finding in a bug in my script I’ll run it through his tool and it almost always finds some kind of syntax error that was the root cause. Doug also has some great videos on YouTube.

Learn jQuery. This is a javascript framework that has really gained some ground in the community. I personally love using it. It’s a very straight-forward API and its lightweight. I think you’ll be seeing more and more job postings pop up looking for developers experienced in jQuery. There are of course more frameworks out there and I recommend you check them out as well to find the one you like best. Here’s a good top-ten list.

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