Why Teach Kids Web Development?

5 reasons your child should learn coding and web development

Today, we have access to more information than ever before, thanks to the world wide web. The internet has allowed people to progress and connect across the world. We can find everything we need about ideas, people, and products through a database of websites. Behind every website there is a team of web developers. 

While most kids are experts at browsing the web, they may not know what goes into building a website. Getting kids interested in what goes on behind the scenes of the internet can be a great way to expand their interests and give them confidence in a digital world.

What is web development?

Web development is the process of building, programming, and maintaining websites and web applications. It can be as simple as a single static page or as robust as web applications and e-commerce stores with hundreds of thousands of pages.

Web development covers a wide range of skills including:

  • Front-end web development
  • Back-end web development
  • Full-stack web development
  • Web designer
  • User interface (UI) design
  • User experience (UX) design

The three most important coding languages in web development are:

  • HTML: HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s the standard markup language for building websites and provides the skeleton for every website.
  • CSS: CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It’s a rule-based language that specifies how HTML elements are presented to users.
  • JavaScript: JavaScript is a scripting language used for animation and dynamic content on websites.

Why should kids learn web development?

Web developers rely on coding to build and maintain websites. There are many benefits for kids to learn coding and computer programming, but web development has some unique benefits as well.

  1. It’s relatively easy to learn

Most people start learning web development by learning HTML and CSS. These are great coding languages for kids to start with because they are used across the web and the syntax and concepts are simple. There is a small number of basic HTML tags, which makes it easy for kids to remember. Kids can start learning HTML as soon as they’re comfortable typing, usually around age 8-10.

  1. It’s a great intersection of creativity, design, art, and coding. 

Unlike other parts of coding, many parts of web development have a strong design component. With CSS, web developers control the look and feel of a website including the colors, imagery, and overall design aesthetic of a website. Kids who are artistic will enjoy making attractive and visually appealing websites while also practicing technical coding skills.

  1. Great career outlook 

Web development is a career field that is growing quickly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow 23% by 2031. In 2021, the medium pay for web developers was $78,300 compared to $45,760 median annual wage for all occupations. Not only that, becoming a web developer does not require an advanced degree.

  1. Help Kids Develop soft skills

Aside from learning to write code, kids can learn important life skills through coding, such as problem solving, critical thinking, perseverance, communication, and creativity. As a result, kids build their self-confidence, discover the excitement of learning a new skill, and experience the thrill of building something from scratch. These skills are important for their education and their future careers.

  1. Prepares Kids for a digital future

Technology will be a vital part of our kids’ future and digital literacy is imperative. By learning web development, kids have a strong understanding of the internet and how it works. Kids who learn to code move from being passive consumers of technology to being active creators, creating their own technological solutions. They are also well prepared to advance to other coding languages like Python, used in robotics, or Java, used in game development.

If your child is interested in learning web development, there are many ways to learn coding. Some schools may offer classes as part of their curriculum, but many do not. You can start with free coding for kids resources to spark their interest. There are also many coding games and coding websites that make learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript really fun. For the most engagement and support, look for teacher-led coding classes for kids

Kids with web development skills can build their own portfolios, online stores, Whether your child decides on a career in web development or not, it’s a great skill to have and will benefit them no matter what they do!

How to Ace Web Projects? 9 Best Web Development Practices to Follow

Web development is very much different now than what it used to be a decade ago. Various helpful front-end frameworks are currently available that can assist with the web development services process. 

For instance, you have a web application to build. Now, would you like to start with a blank piece of paper? Or would rather have an existing frame and then customize it according to the new requirement? Unless the requirements and specifications are extremely niche, you would likely choose the latter.    

In web projects, instead of starting from scratch, following the basic web development practices will save you resources and time and provide you with a structure upon which you can build your application.  

Another example is that you can choose ReactJS for a scalable front-end for web and mobile applications. This JavaScript library, developed by Facebook, offers a robust and responsive user interface. 

Who defines these practices?

Over the years, these practices have been gathered by the developers and companies that the industry has approved. They determine the most effective course of action. These practices are nothing but an efficient way to accomplish the desired results.

Proactive measures can be implemented right from the beginning of the project to improve the chances of a successful product. A proper structure and framework help developers prevent making big-time errors. In addition, thanks to comparatively modest labor needed at the beginning, frameworks save many developers’ time.

 9 Best Web Development practices

  1. Plan first –plan well

No matter how big of a developer or how experienced you are as a web developer, you should never jump directly into coding your project. You might think it will save your time from unnecessary planning, but getting right into coding can result in rewriting the code repeatedly. 

Ideally, planning your web development services project should start with understanding what the end goal is going to be. What do you want to achieve by developing this particular application? 

So begin the process by determining the goal. Then create a user-friendly and intuitive interface that matches the project’s requirements. 

Identifying the goal is a complex step. Once you figure that out, you can plan how to achieve it. 

  1. Keep the web development standards in mind

There is no question that creativity and innovative technologies have fueled the growth of the web development solutions industry. Having said that, standard procedures should also be considered no matter how drastically coding has changed. 

Following web development standards will help you build a website that can be utilized across the globe. Similarly, developers can keep their creativity while avoiding unwanted complexities by sticking to industry standards. 

Let’s take a look at some of the standards of web development. 

  • Easy identification of hyperlinks
  • Contact number, address, and other details of the business should be placed at the top-right of the page
  • Top left corner should be reserved for the business’s logo. If the user isn’t on the landing page/homepage, clicking the logo should direct the user back to the homepage
  • Navigation map should be the same across the website for consistency and uniformity
  1. Consider user experience

Instead of jumping with assumptions in web development projects, it’s good to spend 65% of development efforts on research and design and the rest 35% on coding or programming. 

Understanding the user expectations and then developing a user-friendly design will make the whole process much less complicated. 

One of the easiest ways to achieve a user-friendly interface is by writing clean, clear, and short codes. 

  1. Avoid writing long codes

Shorter codes are always better for building a high-quality, high-performance website. The longer the code, the greater the possibility of having bugs and errors

A good tip for writing smart codes is ensuring every code solves a problem or serves a purpose. For instance, your code should work for a specific feature or functionality. 

In addition, while writing smart, short codes, try to implement code commenting. 

But, what is code commenting?

Code commenting is where developers usually try to add short notes via code to ensure they understand why a code works in a particular manner. This also allows developers to understand what a specific code is for. 

Apart from a user-friendly interface, short codes also help your team easily read and understand the code as you will later proofread and edit if needed. 

  1. Consider multi-device compatibility 

Since smartphones are taking over the world by storm, your website should be accessed across multiple devices. From laptops and tablets to various kinds of smartphones. 

Make sure the website is 100% responsive and looks the same way across different devices. Otherwise, you might risk your client losing potential customers if you build a website that only works well for a specific device. 

  1. Scalable UI

Yes, you can’t think of every possible requirement that may arise in the future, but at the same time, you also cannot limit your website’s capability to just today’s trends and expectations. 

No matter how trendy or futuristic the website is, it will become obsolete in a decade if not in a few years. 

Ensure the website’s design and backend are made so that you can easily upgrade or modify the user interface without having to do an entire overhaul. Apart from resources and time, a complete revamp of the website will substantially cost the client. 

Don’t forget the occasional software updates, whether a minor font change or entirely new functionality. 

  1. Use a testable code

Testing is one of the vital aspects of the web development process. However, some codes are developed so that testing becomes one complex task. Therefore, as a developer, you must follow testing practices to your best for clean and readable code. 

  1. Avoid mixing JavaScript with HTML  

Mixing JavaScript with HTML is as bad as mixing HTML with CSS code. Consider the below example for better understanding.

<a id="cwc" href="https://catswhocode.com" onclick="alert('I love this site!');">Cats Who Code</a>

Reference purpose only

Now, the same result can be achieved via undisturbed JavaScript. Another example for this is:

$(document).ready(function() {  $('#cwc').click(function() {    alert('I love this website');  });});

In the above example, the famous jQuery framework was utilized. 

You may think this is complex, but it’s certainly not. Following this practice will ensure your HTML document is clean. 

  1. Test while you build

Don’t wait to test your code on multiple browsers until it is done. Because cross-browser issues constitute a significant concern in web development projects. If you test your code on various browsers as and when you write it, it becomes easier to fix problems as you will know where to modify it. Otherwise, you will spend hours and hours on a completed code to fix it if it has cross-browser issues. 

Closing thoughts

There is no end to learning. Developers must practice, grow, and continually improve as new trends keep coming in and with changing technologies. The more expertise, knowledge, and understanding developers have, there are fewer chances of getting bugs or defects in the code, and more likely, as a developer, you will be able to complete the web development project without any significant issues. Hope you found these practices helpful. Happy coding!

Author Bio:

Margareta Anthemis is a freelance writer and web designer for hire with specialization in digital marketing, branding and general marketing tips. She works closely with B2B and B2C companies providing useful and engaging content that converts viewers into customers. Contact Margareta by visiting her website at Need A Design Maam for more information on her services.

7 Ways Coding Can Help Your SEO

Nowadays, the world of digital marketing is a competitive battlefield. Like any battlefield, it’s crucial to be fully equipped, which means having a strategic content plan and effective marketing tools.

Indeed, content is king. However, some strategies must not be missed to ensure optimized search engine rankings. Coding is one of them.

For many webmasters, search engine optimization (SEO) is about boosting specific on-page variables to maximize the chances of being ranked for keywords or soliciting backlinks from qualified sources to strengthen off-page SEO. However, coding also plays a critical role in your site’s optimization. By harnessing coding for SEO, you are like building something on a robust foundation.

To help you understand why coding is essential when doing SEO, we’ll walk you through their relationship and how the former can boost your SEO. Let’s dive right in!

Does one need coding skills for SEO?

SEO doesn’t essentially require hands-on coding. But learning to code is a huge plus.

With coding skills and knowledge of technical SEO, one has a significant advantage in better optimizing a website and understanding technical issues that need addressing. A good understanding of SEO source code can also help a professional determine how to display a webpage content and peek at your competitors’ website source code.

To make the most of SEO practices, it’s crucial to have a good technical infrastructure, which includes programming. This programming is essential to optimize a site, especially for Google and cross-platform compatibility.

How coding helps SEO

SEO and coding are profoundly linked, thus providing benefits to each other. To know more about these benefits, let’s discuss how coding helps SEO.

1. Coding facilitates a seamless page experience for users

Page Experience involves a set of factors that measures how satisfactory it is for users to interact with a page beyond its pure information value.

Search engines like Google favor what works for the users better. So, with proper and well-written code, you ensure hassle-free webpage interaction. This means having a technical front that complements your user interface. With this, your website becomes more favorable for Google, thus resulting in improved search rankings.

2. Coding makes indexing easier for the web crawlers

Many say that SEO professionals must have even a little knowledge of HTML and CSS. This may be primarily because making changes to or improving the HTML tags, microdata, and website architecture, allow search engine algorithms to locate, understand, and rank the website faster.

3. Code validation allows for search engine spider accessibility

Search engine spider programs usually have serious limitations in terms of crawling and indexing your website. Given that they only effectively read text, other elements on your site—image, video, audio, and script files—can avert important site text from being crawled and indexed properly.

Should you notice that many parts of your text are missing from your web pages, if you have code validation skills, you can better cross-check if search engines can find your data.

4. Create SEF URL rewrites with coding

Making search-engine-friendly (SEF) URLs, which you can rewrite with coding, is advantageous for both SEO and user experience. To reduce the number of inapposite characters and codes in your URL, you’ll have to modify your website’s codes. But this depends on the specific platform your site runs on. If your site uses WordPress or another content management system (CMS), you will have access to internal dashboards or plugins that will permit you to make important changes. When it comes to open source e-commerce platforms though, you may need to address your permalink structure within your hypertext access file.

5. Coding allows you to establish 301 redirects for proper PageRank flow

When it comes to setting up proper 301 redirects, From an SEO perspective, there are two coding situations to consider in terms of setting up effective 301 redirects. First, you utilize this code to notify search engines that both world wide web (www) and non-www URL versions should be treated equally. Second, should you ever move content within your website, you establish a 301 redirect to inform search engine spiders of the action. By doing so, you reduce the potential loss of PageRank that may occur when backlinks can no longer resolve to your previous URLs.

6. Accelerate loading times with combined code files

In recent times, site loading speed has been considered as a huge search engine ranking factor per Google’s stated desire to reward swift sites in the search results. Unfortunately, if your site is built using many different scripts for additional functionality purposes, loading all the various code files will significantly bring down your site’s performance. To minimize long loading times due to excess script demands, it’s best to combine these individual code sheets into a smaller number of files. This way, you also improve your site’s overall SEO.

7. Utilize “rel=canonical” to deal with duplicate content issues

You may have duplicate content issues if you use a CMS program like Magento, Joomla, or WordPress to build your site. Every time you generate a new post for your website, these systems may automatically create any or all of the following options:

  • Yoursite.com/post-name.html
  • Yoursite.com/category1/post-name.html
  • Yoursite.com/archive/date/post-name.html

Since these different URLs redirect to the same page, search engines may subject you to duplicate content filters within their platforms, especially if you don’t specify exactly how each URL should be regarded or treated. To instruct search engines to better handle your URLs, you can use the “rel=canonical” tag. You can add this feature to your website’s <head> section and tell the search engines to disregard, redirect, or index a specific page for the URL.

In a Nutshell

SEO and coding altogether may be a complex concept, but by considering the best practices and benefits above, you can effectively optimize your search engine rankings and achieve your marketing goals.

Top 3 Low-Code App Makers Disrupting the Industry

It seems like something is disrupting the technology industry every other week with little to no effect. However, the low code platform industry is truly disrupting the technology sector by creating a more level playing field thus distributing technical prowess through no longer requiring it at all. This also leads to an increased need for cyber security companies that will prevent security attacks from happening or at least make the right decisions as quickly as possible. 

In short, these low code platforms grant developers of any skill level the ability to create engaging apps without the barriers related to traditional development. GameMaker is one such platform that utilizes drag-and-drop low code solutions to make code game creation that much simpler. Companies who are looking to hire such specialists should take into consideration LinkedIn lead generation services that will help them find the right candidate faster.

In totality, it stands as a comprehensive tool that allows game developers to create games quickly with its built-in tools. Within the app, developers can quickly build levels and add mechanics with a few simple clicks of the mouse. 

1. GameMaker

There are plenty of game creation applications out there for every kind of developer. Retro game lovers can make 16-bit games with RPGMaker, Candy Crush lovers can create their own popping puzzle games with in-browser app creation tools. Or, some write their code in HTML, C++, Java, or Python line by line.

Premier tools like Unity and Unreal help developers create premier-grade games with cutting-edge industry tech. But working with their visual programming is quite cumbersome.

GameMaker is no-code like RPGMaker and Buildbox, but is available for free. Additionally, GameMaker can be used to create interactive apps, not just gaming experiences.

2. Google App Maker

Google App Maker is a great platform for those looking to optimize their business applications. Unlike Zoho Maker, a long-time no-code favorite, Google App Maker is a remarkably inexpensive option. If you rely on Google services like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Cloud Platform, then Google App Maker is a wonderful choice for your business app.

Google App Maker, Microsoft PowerApps, and other apps have made it possible to create AI-enabled enterprise apps without an entire development team. Truly, tech is becoming a more universal endeavor for large organizations to the individual developer and there will be more hybrid cloud solutions soon.

3. Bubble.io

Bubble.io is a fairly new option as a no-code app maker and app hosting service. With just some understanding of logic and some basic database experience, you can dive right into creating web and mobile apps through Bubble.io’s in-browser app creator.

In addition to allowing you to create apps through their low-code platform, they host your application on their servers. They can point traffic to your custom domain as well so it’s a perfect white-label solution for those looking to create a reliable and robust application.

Bubble.io is available for a low monthly fee. Breaking into app development has never been so easy or practical. We’re sure to see more companies adopting low-code platforms and more innovation within the no-code development space. 

Developing in this environment also makes it much simpler to collaborate and onboard new developers as the engines come with a standard toolkit. Eliminating the need for several specialists reduces costs and speeds up development without sacrificing quality or complexity. GameMaker is also available for free and can be used to develop interactive experiences of any kind. 

Google AppMaker, on the other hand, focuses on the business side of development and relates more to a platform like PowerApps which also focuses on business apps. The primary difference, however, is that Google AppMaker uses the entire library of Google technologies and makes them available to every developer. This platform is essentially no code and uses a complex system of stacked APIs to grant developers as many tools as possible to create the specific app they need without the technical barrier. 

Additionally, the Google development platform is predominantly accessible around the world allowing for a true convergence of talent for your product. The power of Google’s technologies coupled with the openness of the platform provides development teams the ability to make great apps without being limited by technological prowess. Most importantly, Google’s platform is low cost and incredibly efficient making it one of the best doubloons for development. 

Empowering Girls in Computer Science

“That’s just for boys!” is a common remark heard among young girls. In fact, my younger sister recently made that comment to me when I asked her if she played a certain video game. While the context might be innocent or inane, it’s alarming how many things are deemed to be “for boys” when, in reality, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Science- and technology-related fields of study and employment are often treated this way, even though women have historically been at the forefront of groundbreaking scientific and technological advancements. From Ada Lovelace to Katherine Johnson, knowledge of prominent female figures in STEM careers are difficult to come by, although recently more and more stores about these women have surfaced in mainstream media. It is easy to see how young girls internalize the “boys only” misconception when so many of the facts circulated in science and technology appear to be dominated by men.

Women code too

Ada Lovelace was a talented mathematician born in 1815. Ada took to mathematics at an early age, and was able to study math at the collegiate level. While translating an article about an invention created by her mentor, Ada was able to share some of her own ideas about the machine, along with notes on how computer code could be written to give the device repeatable instructions. Because of this, she is considered by many to be the world’s first computer programmer.

The story of Katherine Johnson was recently featured in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Katherine was an incredibly gifted woman. At the age of 10, she was a freshman in high school. She started working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, later known as NASA, in 1952. Her job title? Computer. Young women were hired at the time to perform calculations, even when NASA began to use actual computers for these tasks. Katherine’s mathematical skills were so virtuosic that her job was to double-check the work of the machines! In 2015, Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Female influences in computer science are not relegated only to historical contributions. Over the past few years Samaira Mehta has been featured in the news and invited to speak at conferences for her work as a programmer — a title she earned at 6 years old! Her work has helped children all across the country learn to code.

Getting girls into computer science

While there is still a considerable amount of progress to be made, there are signs that more girls are getting exposed to computer science earlier on in their K-12 education. In 2018, there was a 39% increase in the number of female students who took the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exam. Taken by high school students, passing scores on AP exams can translate to credit at many American colleges.

Still, in 2015, only 18% graduates with a computer science degree were female.Why is this?

  • Lack of female role models. As we mentioned earlier, the computer scientists and other workers in STEM fields we see at tech companies in Silicon Valley in the news and on TV are usually men. We don’t see as many women in technology, and thus software engineering doesn’t doesn’t get added as often to girls’ lists of career aspirations.
  • Lack of early exposure. Studies show that students are ten times more likely to major in computer science if they are introduced to it early on to build their programming experience, like in an AP Computer Science class.
  • Misconceptions about programming as a career. The media also portrays programming as an independent and “nerdy” discipline, whereas building software is actually a very collaborative process.
  • Afraid to make mistakes. Code rarely runs perfectly the first time you run it, and learning how to debug code is a key programming skill.

This article originally appeared on junilearning.com