Tips on how to become a

Web Designer & Developer, from a Web Designer & Developer

We all rely on technology daily in some shape or form, from everyday apps to the most groundbreaking inventions. Most websites and computer applications that we see have been developed by web developers, but what exactly is web development? We called upon our very own web developer, Shannon Malinaric to give you tips on becoming a web developer. In this guide, we’ll be exploring the journey taken by Shannon so that you can have first-hand information on how to become a web developer, by a web developer.

What did you study to become a designer and developer?

I studied at CityVarsity in Cape Town, one of the best schools in my opinion! Absolutely loved my time there. I did the 2-year Diploma in Multimedia Design and Production in 1999 graduating Student of the Year at the end of 2000 (a long time ago!).

While there, we focused on:

first year:

Second year:

Which skills should a good designer and developer have?

The primary requirement would be to have a GOOD imagination. As important as aesthetics and design quality are in graphic design, a designer’s ability to be imaginative contributes to the creation of unique designs that connect with the audience and make an impact, as well as a cognitive, strategic, and practical approach. Designers always have to be ahead of the trend, unless the client doesn’t want that! Having good graphic design skills includes understanding what needs to be communicated, and then implementing that message into a visually appealing design. Coding and developing software can be taught, but a good design can only be distinguished from a poor design when you have a passion for it and an innate understanding of it.

Skills include:

  • Knowledge Of Designing Software
  • Coding Skills
  • Photo Editing Skills
    Which is one of my favourites
  • UI & UX Design Sense
  • Understanding Of Print Design
  • Typography
  • Ability To Think Out Of The Box
  • Keeping up with the latest trends

Are there any particular characteristics you think are needed to make it in the design and development world?

Drive and Focus

You have to be determined to work harder than most people and make sure things get done.


Because your first designs might not always work, sometimes the design process can take a while… if they don’t, try something different…


Always do your best work, know your stuff and be willing to be a student forever.

A Thick Skin

Because judging a design is based on the objective of the person judging it. It can be very personal and people can tell you that they don’t like your design, and that you need to change it to suit their objective, whether you agree or not. (Just remember to argue from your superior position of design knowledge!)

Hunger for Change

Design, technology and coding is always growing and improving. If you want to keep up with an ever-changing industry, you need to make time to expand your knowledge and keep up to date – change must be thrilling rather than a burden.

Do you have any tips for aspiring designers/developers?

Keep researching, keep looking at what’s new out there, love what you do.

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs/developments?

I am constantly looking for new inspirational sites, these are the ones I go to for creative inspiration. Pinterest will always be the best source of ideas since each client has specific design preferences and needs, but there are tons of art and inspiration websites out there to help keep those creative juices flowing.

Food for thought:  Since the web is here to stay, web developers will always be needed. Tech careers have a high rate of longevity, and web development is one of them. The forecasted growth rate for the next ten years is 13%, which makes web development the perfect career path if you’re a tech wizard.

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