Modern web development is a lot different than it was 5 years ago. Web applications are getting so rich that they're starting to resemble desktop applications, both with their functionality and their ability to work offline. While some folks say the web browser's days are numbered, I don't buy it. The internet was built on web pages and web applications. It's not going away, and kick-ass internet applications are more than possible with today's technologies. The only limitation is your imagination.

Before you get started developing web applications, there's one thing you absolutely must do:

  1. Get Firefox or Google Chrome. Download, install and use daily. Your application will work on IE, but it's much easier to develop for Firefox/Chrome and tweak for IE (and Safari).

If you're going to be a web developer, you should spend some time learning the power of HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. You should learn the Ajax toolkit that your preferred web framework uses and/or supports. Especially if you're getting paid to develop the application. Try your best to get paid to learn. I recommend spending an hour each morning reading, when you first get to work. Books are better than websites and blogs because they focus your mind and you're not as tempted to wander.

Now comes the hard part when you're doing Java web development. Which framework do you choose?

Please choose a web framework from the list below to continue:

If you're having trouble choosing a web framework, read What Web Application framework should you use? and Java Web Framework Sweet Spots (PDF). More information on comparing web frameworks can be found here.