What classes you should pursue for a career in web design

I have been teaching technology classes for a local college for over 9 years now. Each semester, I have students asking me what classes they should pursue to for career in web design. This is not easy question to answer without talking about front-end web development and back-end development. I am writing this article in hopes that I can remove the confusion for those of you who have an interest in web development.

What you need to know is that there is front-end web development, this is what the user sees when they go to a web site, and back-end development, which is programs running in the back ground of the web site.  Fact is front-end development is referred to as client-side and back-end development as server-side. When you hear, someone talking about a static web site they are talking about front-end environment, with no server generated programs. You can look at this way, there no moving parts. The site does not change.

What I tell my students is to first learn HTML, then learn HTML5, after you catch onto HTML5, move into Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), then make the move into learning JavaScript. What happen is that along the way of learning HTML, you will fall into learning HTML5. The same is true when you learn HTML5, you will start to understand CSS.  You should know that JavaScript can be both used in front-end development and in the back-end environment.  JavaScript is an object-oriented language, used to create some action or interaction between the user, and the server. You may hear this action ref to as event.

An example of this is when the user fills out an online form, and submits that form, the information is collected into a database such as MySQL.  For back-end development, you may want to learn, in this order, Python, Ruby, and MySQL. Many students go from JavaScript right into MySQL without any problems.

I understand that this may generate some questions from some? Like what about ASP, or PHP ?  One of the reasons why I am advocating these programs or languages is that technology changes rapidly.  What is popular for coding today may change within a year or two, or it seems that way.  Learning HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript will give you a great foundation to start working in web development.  You need to understand that you will always been learning new programs throughout your career in web design.