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John Palmgren
John Palmgren

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What do you need to get started in web development?

Getting Started

If you want to get started in web development, you'll need a few basic tools and technologies first.

Text Editor

Atom text editor logo
First things first you’re going to need a text editor. There are many to choose from and when you’re starting out it doesn’t matter much which one you go for. Popular choices are Visual Studio Code , Atom and Notepad++ . My personal favorite is Visual Studio Code: it is very customizable, has lots of add-ons and it works really well as an Integrated Development Environment.

Unlike with other programming languages the web browser (think Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) will handle the code which you write so there’s no need to install the programming language.

Optional Extras

Here are some things that you will need on your programming journey even if you don’t need them straight away:

Git

git logo
Git is a program used for version control. There is an explanation of what that is here. Essentially it is a way to save lots of different versions of what you’re working on and manage them all in one place. You can then try out new things and if it all goes wrong you can easily switch back to an older saved version.

CLI

command line
A CLI or command-line interface is a text-based program that you can use to navigate the files on your computer and run programs. Although most of us are used to interacting with our computers with clickable icons on the screen, in the tech world the text-based CLI is essential. The good news is that you will already have one installed on your computer. To find it on Windows use the search bar to look for command prompt. On Mac, hit the search icon and search for Terminal and if you own a Linux you probably already know how to access it.

A popular program for Windows users is Git Bash which allows you to use Linux commands in the Git Bash terminal.

GitHub

github logo

Not to be confused with git; Git Hub is a website where you can share your code with the world. This is your portfolio of code, where you can share your projects or show off to potential employers. You can also contribute to other people’s projects. There’s nothing to download (You will use it with git once you have that installed) just go to the website and create an account.

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