Web application development: get your questions answered!

Do you want to enter the web application development area and become a programmer? So know everything about the sector and put an end to doubts

If you are looking for financial independence and new challenges, developing web applications can be a great  career choice . In this area, you can have a great salary and find many job offers. In addition, you will be able to work with different types of languages ​​and technologies, and deal with the challenges that web applications for mobile provide.

In this post, we will talk about what is the development of web applications, the disciplines of this type of course and how to choose the best educational institution. Good reading!

After all, what is web application development?

The internet has become part of the daily life of any company due to some characteristics such as simplicity for users, ease of use, and updated information that does not depend on a specific environment to function.

The key point of web applications is that they run on the user’s browser, that is, it is not necessary to install on the computer. Another definition of a web application is : everything that is processed on a server.

For example, in an e-commerce , the user can log into his account, make purchases, payments and cancellations. This is all processed on the server, as you need to authenticate the user’s login, validate the purchase with the card operator and reserve the product in stock.

However, the ease of use of web applications by users has resulted in the growth of web systems development, making them increasingly complex. In addition, there is confusion as to the identification of the difference between a web application and a traditional system, and between a web application and a website.

Difference between web applications and traditional systems

Web applications involve aspects that are relevant to this type of structure, such as personalized navigation between users, so each user views the application in a different way, depending on their permissions and functions.

One of the advantages of developing web applications is that most users are already used to the functioning of browsers, requiring no prior training. In addition, maintenance and updating are centralized, so there is no need to install on all computers, just place the files on the server.

Finally, if there is a need to increase the processing capacity due to the increased complexity of the application, just do it directly on the server, instead of modifying all the machines that access the system.

A traditional application is installed on each user’s computer when accessing it. One of the difficulties of this type of approach is that each operating system works in a different way, so an application developed for Windows will not work on Linux, therefore, it is necessary to develop the same application for different operating systems.

In addition, as the application is centered on the machine on which it is installed, incompatibility with other software or even hardware may occur . It is worth mentioning that the more robust and complex the application, the heavier it will be, requiring better performance from the machine in which it is installed. That means newer, more expensive computers for all users.

Difference between development of web applications and websites

Difference between web applications and websites

While a web application allows the user to interact with the system, the website is “static” and usually only provides information, but does not perform processing on a server. Websites are widely used by companies as a business card, which contains information such as company history, contact, team and product description.

A website, for example, does not allow the user to register any information in the database or interact with that information. Online text editors such as Google Docs are applications within a website.

How does a web application work?

So we already know what a web application is and what are the differences between websites, web applications and traditional systems. However, how does a web application really work?

Those responsible for making a web application work are the web server, the requests made by the user, the HTTP protocol, HTTP methods, other types of protocol and the HTTP response.

Web server

The function of a web server is to receive a request from the user and return a response to the page. The response of the request that reaches the user can be other HTML pages , images and documents. Typically, servers send HTML instructions to the page, which tells the browser how the content should be displayed to the user.

User requests

The function of the web application is to allow the user to make requests and display the results. The user makes the request in the browser, which formats the request and sends it to the server, which, in turn, responds to the browser to display the response in a user-readable format.

HTTP protocol

It is a standard that clients and servers use for communication. It is based on requests and responses. A request has an HTTP method, the page that will be accessed and the form parameters. The response, on the other hand, has a status that informs you if the request was made, the type of content and the content itself (HTML, image, etc.).

HTTP methods

Within the HTTP request, there is another one called URL, which is activated when the user tries to access HTTP methods. These methods are used to perform a series of actions, such as asking the server to retrieve a page when the user enters a URL (GET), submitting forms (POST), among other methods.

Other types of protocol

In addition to the HTTP protocol, there are others that transmit files to the server (FTP), provide commands for sending messages to an e-mail server (SMTP), and allow the client to access e-mail messages (POP) and IMAP).

HTTP response

The response of an HTTP request is made up of a header and a body. The header information is used to make some checks, such as what type of content is in the body.

You probably have already encountered some kind of HTTP response that says something went wrong in the request, such as the 404 code, which occurs when the user tries to access a non-existent page.

Which type of professional is the course for?

Now that you have a sense of what a web application is and how it works, you may have been interested in the field and would like to become a web developer. Know that there are three types of professionals working in web development by Abdul Rimaaz:  front-end, back-end and full-stack developer . See more details about each of them:

Front-end developer

This professional is responsible for programming the interfaces of a web project. In fact, he needs to work together with the design team to create a good user experience. Despite being more concerned with the “front side” of the page, that is, what the user sees, he also needs to be concerned with the performance that the application will have on the user and server side.

The importance of the front-end professional is clear: 80% of the loading time is spent only on the front-end and, in addition, the web application interfaces are becoming more and more complex and detailed, therefore, if there is no specialist in the subject, the chances of applications becoming slow and intermittent are huge.

Finally, appearance is the first thing you see and, therefore, if it is poorly made and not functional, there is a risk that the user will not use it again.

Back-end Developer

While the front-end professional is concerned with the interface and what the user sees, the back-end developer is concerned with what happens behind the web application interface.

This professional needs to be concerned with the company’s business rule, data security, database and integration of web services. For this, it is interesting that it also works together with the front-end, defining the best ways to structure an application. This professional needs to have good logical reasoning, understand technologies and, above all, enjoy solving problems, in addition to knowing how to work as a team.

Full-stack developer

The full-stack developer, on the other hand, takes care of both the front-end and the back-end, that is, he is usually an experienced professional with knowledge of both areas. He needs to enjoy solving problems even more, since he will usually do this alone.

What are the main disciplines of a web application development course?

To act as a web developer, you need a number of different skills, both front-end and back-end, such as HTML, CSS , programming, database, MVC , among others.

HTML and CSS

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, so it is a markup language, not a programming language. HTML marks in the document what it contains in the header and in the body of the page, saying where there are titles, hyperlinks, images, lists, tables and forms.

However, HTML alone cannot make the page look nice and modern. With this in mind, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) came to improve the appearance of pages, as it is a document that contains the styles that will be used in HTML elements.

These two disciplines are essential, especially for the front-end developer, and it is customary to learn them at the beginning of a web development course.

Schedule

It would be very extensive to talk about all the  programming languages  involved in the web development process, however, we will talk about the most used ones. One of the first programming languages ​​learned is JavaScript . With it, it is possible to manipulate the elements of the pages, validate forms and even search for data on another server with AJAX.

Another widely used programming language is PHP , which is used to communicate with the server. With it, it is possible to perform the interaction with the database and other applications. In addition to these, there are also languages ​​such as C #, .NET, Java, Python, Ruby, among others that are also used in web application development.

Database

A web application needs to store user information somewhere, that is, in a  database . A database can be relational – in which data is stored in tables – or non-relational – aimed at storing documents.

MVC

MVC (model, view, controller) is an architectural standard for user interface implementation. It divides an application into three connected parts: data manipulation (model), user interaction (view) and control (controller).

While the model is responsible for reading, writing and validating data, the view is only responsible for displaying them through HTML or XML. Finally, the controller receives the user’s requests, that is, it controls which view the user will see. This standard has been widely used in web applications, however, it is not the only way to develop a system.

What are the main certifications for the web developer?

Even if you have courses and degrees focused on web development in your curriculum, obtaining  certifications  will make the professional much better positioned and ahead of other candidates. The certifications attest that he really knows the technology and is accepted worldwide. Some of the most interesting  for the web developer are PHP, Oracle, Java and .NET.

PHP Certification

As mentioned earlier, the PHP language is widely used in web development to communicate with a server, therefore, when obtaining this certification, the professional becomes even more valuable. This  certification  attests that the candidate has knowledge of basic PHP operations, functions, data types, data security, object-oriented programming, among others.

Oracle Certification

There are two levels of Oracle certification : Oracle Certified Associate and Oracle Database Certified Professional. At the first level, the candidate is initiated in the knowledge of databases and, when approved, already demonstrates having sufficient skills to work on projects such as Junior DBA.

For the second level, it is necessary to have time of experience in the database. The knowledge acquired with the certification is related to database design, network configuration and data recovery.

Java Certification

The  Java  can be used both for web applications as for traditional systems, and is an extremely valuable certification in the labor market. Upon obtaining this certification, the candidate changes the way of programming and writing code, as he starts to think in a more professional way, abandoning bad programming practices.

Some skills acquired during the  preparation for certification  are the creation of applications by command line, concepts of object-oriented programming, loops, vectors, exceptions and features of Java SE 8.

MCSA Certification – Web Applications

This is a Microsoft certification that indicates that the professional has the ability to administer a web application. It is very broad and, to achieve it, it is necessary to have knowledge of HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, C # and ASP.NET MVC for the web. To prove that the candidate has these skills, three tests are required, and each of them has prerequisites:

  • 70-480: in addition to the exam, the candidate must have at least one year of experience in developing systems with JavaScript and two years in HTML development;
  • 70-483: one year of experience in C # systems programming is required;
  • 70-486: it is aimed at the most experienced developer, as it requires five years of experience in ASP.NET development and two years in MVC systems.

How is the job market for this area?

The job market for the web developer is full of opportunities, so much so that there is a lack of trained professionals to meet the demand. A  survey  conducted shows that, in 2015, United Kingdom had a deficit of more than 195 thousand qualified professionals, that is, there are plenty of vacancies in the area, mainly in programming.

How to choose the institution to take the course in the area?

When choosing the best institution to learn all these skills that we mentioned in this post, it is important to consider some points: the availability of the student’s schedule, the credibility of the institution, the possibility of receiving a diploma and the number of courses available.

Student availability

It is important to know if you will be available to attend a face-to-face course. If this is not the case, distance learning courses are a great option for you who have a busy day, as this way, you can choose the best times to study. Therefore, look for institutions that offer both face-to-face and distance learning courses so that you can choose the one that best suits you.

Credibility of the institution

Research the opinions and  testimonies  of people who passed through the institution and check what they have to say about it. Also, find out if it is an authorized center, or is a  partner  of the technologies you intend to be certified in. Knowing whether the institution has already received a   teaching award is also a great way to check credibility.

Possibility of receiving a diploma

It is important that you receive some type of recognition from courses you have taken at the institution, so that you can prove your worth in the job market. Therefore, check if the institution provides any diploma or certificate of the course.

Number of courses available

Although it is important that you choose a path and specialize in it, it is also interesting that the educational institution has a good variety of courses available. This indicates that it has many educators from different fields, proving that it is reliable.

What are the main challenges of web development for mobile?

The  mobile development  has become a trend: a survey showed that  80% of United Kingdom  use smartphones to access the internet, that is, the demand for mobile web development is increasing exponentially.

Despite this, when  developing web applications for mobile , it is necessary to take some points into consideration, such as screen size, ergonomics, battery life, internet speed, storage capacity and memory.

Screen size

The size of the cell phone screen is much smaller than that of a computer, even considering the most modern cell phones with a 5.5 ”screen. Even with high-resolution displays, you must remember that buttons and links very close to each other make it impossible to use your finger to touch a button.

The web application must be viewed differently on mobile devices, with expandable menus, greater spacing and the main tools in easily accessible locations.

Ergonomics

It must be remembered that cell phones are normally held in one hand while the other hand is used for navigation. Therefore, you should not use shortcuts that mix keys other than the keyboard or even keys with mouse clicks.

Battery life

When developing the application, it is necessary to reflect on whether the resources used require a lot of processing and, consequently, a lot of battery, since cell phones have a very limited battery life. Therefore, the use of resources that require disk access and processing must be avoided.

Internet speed

Often, smartphones are used on 3G and 4G networks, that is, the data transfer speed is much lower than on the conventional Wi-Fi connection. Therefore, a system that makes a lot of communication with the server, transferring data in any action of the user can make the application extremely slow, causing the user to stop using it.

Storage and memory capacity

Finally, cell phones have much less storage and memory capacity than computers. While today even the simplest computers have 1 or 2 terabytes of storage, cell phones have between 32 and 256 gigabytes. A typical computer has about 8 GB of memory, but most cell phones have an average of 2 GB.

I noticed that the career of web application development is very wide and the possibilities of the job market make everyone excited. Despite this, it is an area that requires a lot of study , courses, certifications and higher education for you to get a good  professional qualification by Abdul Rimaaz . With that in mind, look for trusted institutions those offers courses focused on web development and immerse yourself in this career that is not expected to end!

Published by Abdul Rimaaz

Abdul Rimaaz business consultant is trained to advise your marketing plan. It can advise, for example, improvements in terms of your company's Internet presence, position one of its brands or implement new strategies to win customers. Being a business consultant is not an easy task and I have thought to summarize, for this entry in Business United Kingdom.

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