Web development is a fast-growing field in Nigeria, with more companies and individuals seeking an online presence.
As internet and smartphone penetration increases across the country, there are lots of opportunities for aspiring Nigerian web developers.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance your career, this guide will help you get started with web development in Nigeria.
Choose Your Web Development Path
First things first – decide what kind of web development you want to focus on.
The main paths are:
- Backend web development – Backend developers focus on server-side logic and integration. They build the core computational structure of websites using languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, .NET and Java.
- Full-stack web development – As a full-stack developer you work on both the frontend and backend aspects. This provides the most job opportunities as full-stack skills are in high demand.
Each path has its challenges and rewards. Think about your strengths and interests to choose the right one. Many developers start out specializing then expand their skillset over time.
Learn the Fundamentals
Spend time getting the essential web development basics down.
- How the internet and web servers function
- Hosting platforms and domain registration
- HTML syntax and semantics
- Applying CSS styling and layouts
- Core programming concepts like variables, loops, functions etc.
- Web app architecture principles
- Basics of web security
Learning the fundamentals well early on will benefit you later when building complex websites.
Use Online Courses and Resources
Nigeria still lacks quality technical education, making self-learning crucial if you want to excel in web development. Fortunately there are now many excellent free resources online:
- Udemy – Top educators like Brad Traversy offer cheap comprehensive courses teaching web dev from scratch. These are very useful if you learn well from video lessons.
- FreeCodeCamp – An interactive free platform with thousands of lessons that let you learn by building projects. It’s hugely popular with self-taught developers.
- YouTube tutorials – Channels like CleverProgrammer and Telmo Sampaio have great tutorials on modern web development.
- Coding challenge websites – Sites like Frontend Mentor let developers build real UI projects to improve frontend coding skills.
- Web development blogs/podcasts – Keep learning by following leading resources like CSS-Tricks, Smashing Magazine and Syntax.
- GOMYCODE Nigeria: https://gomycode.com/ng/
- Sabi Programmers: https://sabiprogrammers.com/
- Andela: https://andela.com/
- Google Developers: https://developers.google.com/
- Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.com/
Remember, this is just the beginning of your web development journey.
The options are endless, but focus on highly-rated contemporary resources relevant for the current tech stack.
Choose Your Tools for Web Development
All developers need the right tools to code, test and deploy websites efficiently. Some essential ones for you are:
Text Editor: Install Visual Studio Code for writing code, debugging and adding extensions.
Browsers: Use Chrome and Firefox during development to cross-test for issues.
Version Control: Create a GitHub account to manage code and collaborate with other developers.
Hosting: Start off hosting websites for free on services like Netlify or GitHub Pages.
For backend work you’ll also need tools like XAMPP, Composer and Laravel Valet for running PHP apps locally.
At this stage you should have the key foundations. Now it’s time to actively reinforce your skills by building real web projects. Think of website ideas you’re passionate about and start bringing them to life!
Some beginner-friendly projects to get started with:
- Personal portfolio website
- Local business websites
- Simple web apps e.g. BMI calculator
- Landing pages / Coming Soon pages
The specific technologies you use will depend on whether you’re focusing on frontend or backend development. Building up a portfolio of projects is key for improving as a developer.
Connect with the Web Development Community
While self-learning online is great, connecting with other developers in Nigeria can further your growth.
- Attend local Meetup events and tech conferences to network and chat dev.
- Join active Slack/Discord developer communities to exchange ideas.
- Follow influential Nigerian developers and thought leaders on Twitter.
- Attend hackathons and find teammates to collaborate on ideas with.
- Guest write for Nigerian dev blogs to improve technical writing skills.
Landing that first job
Once you have a solid grasp of development and some portfolio projects, you’ll be ready to start job hunting.
Most openings for aspiring developers are from startups, agencies and international outsourcing companies.
Useful sites to find openings include Jobberman, Irembo, Devcenter, LinkedIn and remote job boards.
Make sure you:
- Highlight proven commercial experience i.e. freelance projects
- Have a professional looking CV suited for development roles
- Create profiles/portfolios on sites like Behance and AngelList
- Brush up your technical interview skills e.g. algorithms, system design
Also try attending tech conferences for job networking opportunities. Perseverance is key – gaining that vital first role will get your career accelerating quicker.
The Nigerian technology space is filled with possibility as internet connectivity spreads. Whether working at promising scaleups or founding your own startup, skilled web developers can thrive.
Some additional things you can progress to longer term include:
- Becoming a specialist in high demand fields like React and Node.js development.
- Moving into technical team lead/manager roles.
- Switching to related roles like product management and UX design.
- Becoming an entrepreneur using your dev skills e.g. SaaS founding.
- Relocating abroad (or working remotely) for global opportunities.
Wrapping Up If you’re motivated to kickstart a rewarding web development career, follow the roadmap in this guide.
With consistent effort honing your skills, connecting with others and showcasing your work in projects, you’ll soon land your first role.
And from there, the possibilities in the Nigerian tech landscape are endless.
So get creating!
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