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Beginner’s Guide to Web Development in Cameroon

 

Dear tech lover, are you trying to learn web development in Cameroon?

Have you just completed high school and want to continue studies in the world of technology? Are you working and want to change your career to computer engineering?

Are you a self-taught engineer and want personal mentorship in your dream career?

Are you simply a tech enthusiast and want to become a web development witch or wizard in Cameroon?

Then get some  “grannut du village” and chew as we take you through the fundamental guide in becoming a

first class web developer in Cameroon 


Beginner's Giude Web Development In Cameroon

 

In this article, we are going to give you a general explanation of web development.

 

First, here are the basic steps you will follow in order to become a web developer.

 

Steps to learning web development:

  1. Basics: Understand how a website works
  2. Basics: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  3. Intermediate front-end skills: Responsive design, build tools, Git
  4. Front-end frameworks: Angular, React or  Vue
  5. Backend frameworks: Laravel or NodeJS
  6. Basic server and deployment skills

Now you got the learning layout. It is time to set your objective straight. 

  • What’s your ultimate reason for getting into coding?

  • Are you looking for a fun hobby, a career change, a flexible job (which is the cry of most Cameroonian parents and youths) or you want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Matthew Mullenweg, Catherine Cook, Estelle Yomba.

Your entire approach to web development should be centered around achieving this one dream.

You can even try writing down your goal, and putting it somewhere you will see it everyday, like your bathroom mirror or next to your computer.

 

As you go through this article, keep your goal in mind, and let that determine what decisions you make: which languages to learn, even how you choose to learn.

With that said, let’s get started with the basics!

 

Section 1: The basics of web development

You may be aware of these but note that:

At its core, web development is all about building websites.

 

  1. Websites are basically a bunch of files stored on computers called servers.
  2. Servers are computers that are used to host websites, meaning that they store the website files. These servers are connected to the giant network called the World Wide Web or the Internet.
  3. Browsers are programs that you run on your computer. They load the website files via your internet connection. Your computer is also known as the client, which connects to the server.

The 3 components that make up every website

As mentioned above, websites are made up of files, mainly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

 

HTML or HyperText Markup Language

HTML is the foundation of all websites. It’s the main file type that is loaded in your browser

 

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets

With CSS, a website will look as beautiful as a palace maiden.

With CSS, you can add colors of all kinds, compelling fonts, and layout the website in pretty much any way you please. You can even add animations and draw shapes using more advanced CSS.

 

JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to interact with elements on the website and to manipulate them. While CSS adds style to HTML, JavaScript adds interactivity and makes a website more dynamic. For example, you can use JavaScript to scroll to the top of the page when you click a button or to build a slideshow with buttons to navigate through the images. To work with HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, you’ll need to use a program on your computer called a code editor.

Which code editor should you use?

This is a very common question, especially if you’re just starting out.

The best code editor for you will be highly dependent on what kind of code you’re writing.

If you’re doing mainly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you could use Sublime Text 3 it has the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions.

What is Version control?

Now you have your code editor, and you’re starting to write code. However what happens if you make a mistake in your code, and you have to undo all your code changes to before that mistake? And pressing Ctrl-Z to undo a million times isn’t working for you. What do you do?

The answer is version control!

Version control is like having save points for your code files. If you think you might be about to make some code changes that could break everything, you can create a new save point (called a commit).

What is Front-end?

The front end is all about how the website looks, visually.

The front end (or client-side) refers to what is loaded by the user’s browser, also called the client.

 

This would be the HTML and CSS that we started out talking about. JavaScript was originally just a front-end language, but nowadays you can use JavaScript as your server-side, or back-end, language also.

 

Front-end work deals heavily with making the website look good.

In addition, it also involves making the site behave in a way that makes sense to the user (also called UX or user experience).

What is Back-end?

The back end is all about functionality and making sure everything works.

While the front end is about the appearance and visual behavior of the website, the back end is about getting everything to work behind the scenes. If you’re working in back-end development, you’ll be doing tasks like handling requests to the server and database.

Some examples of back-end work would be saving the data when someone fills out a form on the contact page or retrieving data to display blog posts in a specific category that the user has requested.

Front-end and Back-end, or Full-stack?

In web development, you can focus on just the front end, or just the back end. Or you can deal in both, which is called full-stack development.

What you choose to focus on should mainly depend on two things:

  • Your personal preference: Not everyone likes both front end and back end.
  • Job availability: Browse your local job listings and get involved with local coding meetups to get a feel for what types of jobs there are.

It’s worth mentioning that if you enjoy both front and back end, being a full-stack developer will make you more marketable.

According to a report from our engineers in Seven Academy, the market demand of web developers in Cameroon doesn’t distinguish between front-end and back-end development which makes it profitable for you to be a full-stack developer in Cameroon. 

 

Stack Overflow reported in their 2017 survey of users that 63.7% identified as full-stack, 24.4% as back-end, and 11.9% as front-end developers:

 

Section 2: Developing your front-end skills 

 

Once you’ve gotten the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript down, you can start getting into more advanced skills in the front-end.

 

Responsive design is a must in this mobile-friendly world When websites were first around, there was only one way to view them– on your computer. Now, and especially in Cameroon more people use their phones than their computers to browse the internet. So we need to make sure that all our websites work and look good on everything from the biggest monitor to the smallest phone.

Frameworks can help you build a responsive website quickly

A framework is a pre-built structure that you build upon.

Generally speaking, a framework is a system of working parts created by someone else.

To use the framework, you install it to your own website files. Then you work off of that existing structure, adding onto it to accomplish what you want to do.

 

You still need to go in and attach the water and electricity, as well as install cabinets, paint the walls, and decorate.

Some examples of JavaScript front-end frameworks are Angular, React, and Vue.

 

Section 3: Developing your back-end skills

 

Which language should you learn first?

There are a ton of back-end languages. Many of them have been around for quite a while, some even before the internet existed!

 

One important thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to learn every language.

In fact, at Seven Advanced Academy we strongly advise our beginner students to focus on one language first.

 

All programming languages share some common principles. For example, you can write a “for” loop in JavaScript, PHP, C#, and Python.

 

Once you’ve picked up the fundamental principles of programming in your first language, it will be easier to transfer those concepts into other languages. When you are now at ease on which problem of choosing a programming language to start with.

Most popular back-end languages.

Java

Java is a stable language that is very widely used and has been around for a long time. It has held the top spot on the TIOBE index since 2001. 

Source: Ben Putano on Stackify.com

 

Many big tech companies use Java in their websites: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter, among others.

 

One reason for this is that Java is fast, and can scale up to handle large websites. It’s also a consistent language that allows for easier maintenance for long-term projects

 

C# (C Sharp)

C# was created by Microsoft to be a competitor to Java. 

Source: Ben Putano on Stackify.com

C# is used in a wide variety of applications, such as Windows Desktop Apps.

 

It’s also used a lot in game development, through the Unity game engine. So if you’re interested in game development, C# would be a great option to learn

 

Python

Python first came onto the scene in 1991 and is a frequent “first language” for many programming students.

Due to its readability and use of English keywords, it’s generally considered an easy language to learn.

There are a couple of Python frameworks that you can use:

  • Django (pre-built features, more bells, and whistles), and
  • Flask (more minimal and flexible).

 

Source: Ben Putano on Stackify.com

 

JavaScript

JavaScript was first released in 1995. JavaScript, often abbreviated as JS, is a high-level, interpreted programming language that conforms to the ECMAScript specification. JavaScript has curly-bracket syntax, dynamic typing, prototype-based object-orientation, and first-class functions. It’s widely used today for cross-platform application development and also for backend with its NodeJS framework.

 

PHP

PHP is a language that a lot of people love to hate.

However, despite the number of Quora questions asking if PHP is dead, the fact remains that PHP is the most widely used back-end language today.

Source: W3Techs.com

Content management systems (CMSs) are a major reason for the large market share of PHP. The top three CMSs— WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal — are all built with PHP.

Based on local market demand, at Seven Academy, we teach our students the following using this language criteria 

Web fundamental

HTML, CSS, Javascript

 

Web Advanced (Front-end development)

JavaScript framework, Angular from version 2 to 8

 

Database Development

Mysql, MongoDB

 

Web Expert (Back-end development)

NodeJS with Express, PHP with Laravel

 

Wow! Thanks for reading right to the end. Hope your grannut is now finished!! 

 

Frequent questions we receive:

  • Won’t this take a lot of time to learn?

  • Must I be a full-stack developer to get an IT job in Cameroon?
  • Which school in Cameroon offer the best international certification in ICT?

In case you have any questions feel free to ask our experienced engineers by dropping your questions here or if you are in Douala you can come around our campus situated opposite Hotel Serena Bali for face to face orientation with our experts