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mmhhh!, web apps or websites. After taking a closer look at what i have been building and listening to other developers opinions, it was clear that , web apps are programs running on the browser that are interactive and designed to solve a specific problem, websites on the other hand are simply a collection of documents that are accessed via the browser mainly for the purpose of displaying static information.  Websites may contain web apps that make the website more interactive, e.g. the  working of the contact us form.

Enough with the intro, let’s figure out what we need to make web apps.

1. Learn HTML

Well the Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). Is the skeleton of any web app or web page on the browser. Html gives us the power to structure web pages. It may not not have the computational power of a programming language but we need it to create elements on our web pages.

HTML is easy to learn, no complex tools or environment setups are needed run html code. This is the easy part of web apps development. W3schools offers some really simple guides to html that you can use to start of.

 

2. CSS

HTML will offer the skeleton, CSS is now the fresh, makeup and clothing. CSS – cascading style sheets – Is used to style the view part of the web apps. If you are not interested in created cool user interfaces and you just want to focus your efforts on the functionality , you do not have to put too much effort in learning CSS, get enough knowledge to help you read and understand code and create basic user interfaces. CSS frameworks like bootstrap and w3.css are easy to pick up and also help you create interfaces that are attractive with little effort.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript is the programming language of HTML and the Web  – w3schools.com

This is where your efforts need to be concentrated on. JavaScript is a programming language. Call it the engine of the web app. JavaScript is what brings web apps to live. Since its only requires your browser to run, JS is fairly easy to learn as development tools and support are easily accessible.  Js can be used to create real complex app logic.

More technologies and libraries have come to existence that make development of complex app with JS real simple. React.js, Angular.js , my favorite ‘Vue.js’, Jquery, Next js just to name a few are JavaScript libraries and frameworks that enable developers create single page applications , progressive web apps and real complex functionalities easily with js.

4. Learn the Back End.

My previous post here has a detailed run down on what the back end part of our web apps entail.

The back end of the web opens up to another world of technologies,languages and frameworks. The deals with the behind the scenes part of the website or any app that the user cannot see. It’s mainly driven by the database for most apps.

The back end is much more diverse thus there are many languages that can be used for back end development, the most popular are, php,java,python,ruby and JavaScript. Yes, JavaScript can be used on the back end with a node.js implementation.

5. Be curious

Since the web has one of the largest development community, technologies keep changing fast. JavaScript alone has a lot of diverse libraries and frameworks that we have a library called diversity.js :). Don’t get overwhelmed though, you can’t learn everything , all these frameworks and libraries end up solving the same problem just in different ways. Just be curious enough to know the new core trends. Pick up one or two libraries, Don’t be a jack of all languages, you’ll end up a master of none.

 

Well the web is growing fast, technologies are changing and more people are getting connected to the internet everyday. As much as mobile native apps and desktop apps are a hit, web apps have been gathering a great deal of popularity, usage and attention of late. Its clear that they are smaller, lightweight and getting more convenient for the user. Lets talks about how useful web apps are in another article.

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