Graphic Designer Career Growth: How to Be a Web Developer – My Story
Introduction: This is my personal story of how to be a web developer. I transform myself from a graphic designer to a web developer and designer (a.k.a. full-stack web developer). It is a long and difficult journey that requires much determination and self discipline. But the result is very fruitful. Read on to get inspiration on how to direct your own career growth in the design field.
A Little About Myself
Hi my name is Edward Chung. I studied Architecture in my university education. However, I knew at that time that graphic design is my passion and I would very much like to pursue a career in graphic design. After around 7 months of being an architectural assistant, I formally quitted my architecture career and headed towards graphic design with almost 50% cut in my salary.
I started out in a graphic design house specialized in educational and cultural design. There I trained my sense in aesthetics, typographic, color and photography. I was especially fascinated with editorial design that I would spend days and nights playing with the margin, font-face, font size, leading and structure for the perfect layout. I had the chance also to design the layout for a Chinese bible.
From a Graphic Designer
But the company got less and less work to do over the four years I was with them. Many clients replaced printed publications with websites, online publications or emails. This was the first time I sensed the power of the World Wide Web. As web development was still in its infancy at that time, my employer would get website design requests from time to time and I was tasked with overlooking the whole website project with my limited HTML knowledge gained during my university education.
As soon as I realized that the Web would soon rule and my graphic design career might be negatively affected, I decided to take a bold step to transform myself into a web developer. It’s a great idea for career growth, but “how to be a web developer”?
To a Web Developer and Designer
I registered for a domain and web hosting and built my very first website (unfortunately the site was hacked and all files delete, this is the second website I built). Of course, it was quite difficult for me to build the first website as I did not even know what domain names and hosting were, let alone the server side scripts like .htaccess required to make the site work.
The first website, Edward’s Online Graphic Portfolio, was built purely with with HTML and CSS only, without any server side script or interaction. It was okay in terms of design but lacked a lot of elements to make it a professional website. For example, I would need to edit tens of pages if I would like to add a section to the menu as each page was a separate HTML file.
How to Be a Web Developer for Graphic Designer?
Don’t be discouraged if you could not understand what I have talked about the scripting. Trust me, building your first website is not that difficult. The internet is a great place to learn for free. I searched and searched and searched when building my first site. I know the pains of not knowing where to start, so I have put together this simple guide to build your own website. In just 3 simple steps, anyone knowing how to use a mouse and browser will be able to build a working website in around an hour.
After you have began your first step (and hopefully have a beautifully working website of your own), you can get to learn more about (preferably in that sequence, I will be writing more about these on my blog):
- HTML and CSS
- WordPress and PHP
- Web Analytics
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing
- UX/UI Design
- Content Strategy and Marketing
You are onto the road of being a Full-stack Web Developer! How to be a web developer from a graphic designer? Learn web development by developing your own website! That’s my own story for career growth from a graphic designer to a web developer and designer.
You can do the same too! With a lot of determination and hard work, you can transform into a web developer.