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Chris Bongers
Chris Bongers

Posted on • Originally published at

Double down on the basics of web development

Are you looking to get into web development in 2021?
Your path should be very similar to 2020 and, heck, even 2010, in my opinion.

Let me tell you why.

Doubling down on the basics:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

These basics are way more powerful than learning a "tool".

Disclaimer: I won't be talking about knowing programming standards, how the internet works, etc. This might be an additional perfect basis for you, though.

Ok, but what about x?

I'm sure many of you will be arguing, but what about Tailwind?

Let's narrow it down. Tailwind is a tool to write quicker utility-driven CSS.

Meaning: Tailwind is a tool to write CSS

And let's split that even further: Tailwind === CSS.

For me, it makes way more sense to learn CSS. You might remember tools like: Bootstrap, BulmaCSS, PureCSS, and about a billion more?

We should leverage great tools as they make our lives easier, but don't forget they are just a tool, making our basics easier to write.

I've personally used many CSS frameworks before. If you know exactly how to do something in plain CSS, you have no issue finding what you need for each framework and its fantastic documentation.

Also, don't forget these tools will go out of rotation. A lot of people dropped bootstrap and moved on, meaning if you had no understanding of how CSS works, you'd have a hard time figuring out the next big tool.

So, how about JavaScript?

The same thing!

Wait, what? Yes, learning the basics of JavaScript and how it works is so much more powerful than learning one specific tool and getting stuck at one point because you can't use anything other than that tool.

And one could argue that JS tools swap favorites more than your average underwear.

It's ok to extend your basics

As a side note here, it's ok to extend your basics.
Heck, if you love React, Vue, Angular, Svelte, or whichever.

Pick that as your choice of framework. But don't get sucked into it without knowing or keeping up with the basics of JavaScript.

In the long term, it will make you so much better if you are that guy that understands the basics fully, even making your framework of choice easier to grasp.

The godfather of web development

Oef, I might get some hate for this title, but to me, HTML is the absolute godfather of web development.


I could build a web with just HTML, no CSS, no JS, and it would work.

Thus, I've made HTML the godfather. Before you even try to understand CSS and JavaScript, make sure you know the absolute basics of HTML:

  • How does HTML work
  • Tags in HTML
  • Which tags are there
  • When to use which tag
  • Attributes
  • HTML document structure
  • Nesting in HTML

And so forth, this, in return, will give you a solid basis for becoming the best web developer you can be!


You are looking to get into web development.

Your basis must be strong. Focus on these three pillars of web development first:

  1. HTML
  2. CSS
  3. JavaScript

Only once you've mastered these explore the tools to make those basics even easier.

What's your opinion on this solid foundation of web development?

Thank you for reading, and let's connect!

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Top comments (3)

leob profile image

Yes that would basically be correct, more or less, if we're only talking about frontend ... what about HTTP ? GET, POST, cookies ... also a pillar of web dev ... then security, accessibility, I'm sure I still forgot a few "y's" ...

dailydevtips1 profile image
Chris Bongers

Hmm very dependant in my opinion.
Thinking about web development you don't even need to protect anything in about 80% of the cases (not talking web apps here)

But a plain website would not need more security than a SSL.

However, agree accessibility would be a good one!

ifierygod profile image
Goran Kortjie

This seems useful