What the heck is web development and why are we learning it?

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You've no doubt found your way here because you're interested in learning how to build web applications, whether that's just for fun, because you'd like to work in the tech industry, or because you want to start your own company without relying on someone else to build it. Or maybe you're just curious what this stuff is all about.

Whatever the reason, it's a great time to pick up a developer's skill set -- just about everything is moving online and demand for development skills from the tech sector has never been higher. It's also never been easier to start an online business of your own.

Our goal here at Viking is to help you on this journey: we want to give you the skills to launch a sustainable career in web development.

Our Approach

This is the first of three Basic Prep mini-courses which will cover essential preparatory knowledge for any aspiring web developer to succeed. We start at the very beginning and assume you don't come in knowing anything. The mini-courses are intended as both preparatory work for our core programs and as a stand-alone resource for anyone looking to get started on their own.

Our approach for these Prep mini-courses is broader than that of the typical "learn to code" program and that's intentional. We believe that the most effective developers understand not just how but why web applications are developed. They aren't just "code monkeys" but see their work in the context of the product life cycle and appreciate the fundamentals of good engineering as well.

Typing Monkey

In this first mini-course, you'll learn the basics of web development -- from what developers do to how the web works to installing the necessary software on your computer so you can build professional applications. We'll also teach you how to use the command line and how to save work and collaborate with Git, an essential tool used by almost all professional developers.

We'll present plain-English explanations and try to keep things as jargon-free as possible so you can experience the joy of creating awesome stuff without getting bogged down by too much "developer-speak".

It's all about Building

At the very core of our approach is the idea that you learn best by building. Your brain can only absorb so many concepts without applying them. That's why we try to take the shortest path between learning and building wherever possible.

In this mini-course, there are several assignments and a project which will require you to apply what you've learned so far. If that's not enough, the next mini-course on Design will really get you into the creative side of things.

Later courses on programming in the Advanced Prep and our Core Curriculum even more heavily on applied project-based learning.

The Road Ahead

  1. Basic Prep: The mini-courses in the Basic Prep are just the beginning. They are designed to give you critical context before you get your hands dirty with code.
  2. Advanced Prep: Our Advanced Prep courses provide hundreds of hours of material which will take you deep into the fundamentals of programming, whether that's markup using HTML, CSS, SASS and Bootstrap or the Ruby language or JavaScript. These are only available in our free student portal.
  3. Core Programs: Once you've completed the Advanced Prep, our Core Curriculum bridges the long gap between "pretty good at the basics" and "getting paid to code". Our Immersive Program takes the most efficient path, putting you into an intense multi-month bootcamp where you pair program virtually with other students every day. For those who are located internationally or can't quit the day job, our Flex Program allows you to take the same curriculum on your own time and with exactly the level of support you want.

It's not hard to learn web development, you just need someone to take the time to explain it properly. We hope you'll find this course to be a helpful introduction and, if you like what you see, that you'll join us for the more intensive steps ahead so you can complete your journey to professional development.

Good luck!

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