This will probably evolve over time, but here's some protips on what it takes to be a real goddamn web developer:
- Learn by doing. Just fucking do it. Want to learn a new language? Get your face in there. Build prototypes.
- Get a real dev environment set up by any means necessary. Set up a goddamn VirtualBox VM. Use an old spare computer. Spend $5 on an EC2 instance. Whatever.
- Experience and understand how the internet really works, AKA learn the full stack. How does caching work? How does Apache, Nginx, or Lighttpd work? What's FastCGI, anyway? What's the resource tier versus the application tier? What's DNS and why would a 25ms DNS lookup matter? How does a request go from somebody's browser to your application and back?
- Don't specialize too heavily, be versatile. Be able to do it all by yourself if you have to.
- Take advantage of the ordinary; we're used to it. It can help to be just like every other app.
- Have some balls and design it how you want.
- Don't proliferate the bullshit idea that what we do is magic: it's not. Today's web developers are tomorrow's plumbers.
- Getting caught up in the "yeah but it's wrong to do things this way" mindset is bullshit. You'll spend most of your project tile fiddling with how to do some dumb thing the "right" way. Build the damn thing, and then worry about best practices. Eventually, the best practices won't slow you down.
That's all for now. So shut up.