How To Learn To Code For Web Development & Data Science

Are you thinking of becoming a coder? Good call. Salaries are good, jobs are easy, and the future looks bright. Let’s explore how to break into the industry and what to expect.

Where To Start?

As a non-coder, you’ve got two main “easy” ways to break in:

  • Web developer with JavaScript
  • Data analysis with Python

Web development is more plausible for people who know design, marketing or business, as well as with relatively low experience with numbers & statistics.

Data Science is perfect for scientific academics: statisticians, econometricians, natural science majors, and anyone with a fine ability to deal with numbers. If you don’t like numbers, probably better to go with web development.

Web Development or Data Science?

Web development is good for those with a start-up or design attitude.

For example, designers will be able to implement their training and create cool website designs, business administration graduates will be able to implement their business ideas.

RELATED: Best Coding Bootcamps In Barcelona: Learn to Code In 2 Months

In contrast, data science is more adequate for people highly numerate, since it requires a high level of understanding of statistics, plus the ability to extract useful business insights. In this sense, it’s perfect for science majors or highly numerate economics/business majors. But I’d be careful recommending it for those who aren’t too comfortable with data analysis.

Jobs as Freelance

Web developers will have a much easier way to find remote freelance jobs or project-based gigs.

RELATED: How To Find Freelancer Jobs In Barcelona (Remote Work)

Conversely, data scientists will need to work in-company until they gain a good portfolio and can start as consultants.

What Coding Language To Learn?

In simple terms, if you’re gonna try to build websites, go with JavaScript, plus the required HTML/CSS.

If you want to break into data science, learn python, which is probably one of the easiest coding languages anyway.

So, start with JavaScript if you just want to build websites.

Or start with Python if you want to do data analysis or data science.

Learning Path: Web Development

  1. Basics: HTML & CSS
    Learn the structure and design basics.
  2. Dynamic sites: JavaScript
    Learn how to make sites dynamic.
  3. Frameworks: React (or Vue, Svelte…)
    Learn a ‘framework’ to easily integrate HTML + CSS into JavaScript. The most popular choice is React.
  4. Server: Express & Node
    Learn how to create a server to manage information persistence, authentication, authorization, APIs, etc.
  5. Database: MongoDB or PostgreSQL
    Learn how to save and retrieve data.

Learning Path: Data Science

  1. Python (plus NumPy, pandas, SciKit, matplotlib)
  2. Statistics
  3. Math
  4. Probability
  5. Machine Learning

What Next?

The best way to break into the industry is by learning the skill.

This means practice, practice, and more practice.

Build your portfolio, create your own website, or do data analysis.

How To Learn: Bootcamp or Online?

Learning to code has never been easier.

Nowadays there are hundreds of free excellent online resources.

If you prefer to learn coding with a teacher, a coding bootcamp might be for you.

RELATED: Best Coding Bootcamps In Barcelona: Learn to Code In 2 Months

Online Coding Courses



Perfect for web development and basic data science.

Free or 20$ per month for pro features (recommended)



Fantastic resource if you want to break into data science.

Free or 40$ per month for pro features (good value)

Build Your Portfolio



Web Development: Most blogs and news websites run on WordPress (including this one). Also many one-page pages including many start-up projects.

WordPress is the best place to learn basic frontend skills: HTML/CSS & JavaScript.

While PHP runs the backend, WordPress is still a fantastic starting point to get into web development.



Data Science: Quantopian *was* a platform for quantitative finance and algorithmic trading. Unfortunately, in November 2020 it announced it would stop operating.

Web Development:


Data Science: A data science and machine learning competition website. While some are extremely advanced, the platform is a great place to learn. Google bought it for a reason…


If you come from a highly numerical background, data science with Python might fit you like a glove.

Otherwise, it’s probably more suitable to learn the web development stack with JavaScript + HTML/CSS.

What is your choice: Web Development or Data Science?