It is the job of the web developer to design and maintain websites. Whether laying out the underlying structure, developing the basic layout, or implementing advanced interactive features, their fingerprints are everywhere. A web developer is essentially a programmer who has chosen to specialise their interest in developing World Wide Web applications or distributed network applications that are run over HTTP from a web server to a web browser.
The term web developer is often used interchangeably with the title of web app developer or web designer, adding slightly to the ambiguity. Ultimately, there is often minimal distinction, and arguments that might emerge are often just a case of needless semantics. Web developers and web designers alike plan, create, and code web pages, using technical and non-technical skills to produce websites that fit the customer’s requirements. While web designers are often aligned with the more creative aspects of the project, their skills are not limited to that domain.
What does a web developer do?
As a web developer, you are essentially assigned the role of presenting an idea, a product, a service, or any number of things, to a website’s audience, through the creation and maintaining of an attractive, engaging, and interactive platform, with specific emphasis on the usability and functionality of the site itself.
How to become a web developer
Many years ago, the most popular route to web development was through a computer science degree. However, that changed as the internet grew, and free resources, bootcamps, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and more became easily accessible. Becoming a web developer takes a few important steps.
- Make a decision
- Like with most things, the first step is to decide you want to be a developer. What are your reasons? Write them down and use them as your motivator for your learning journey.
- How do you want to learn?
Depending on where you are in life, you may opt for a four-year computer science degree, but there are more practical and faster ways of learning web development. For example, Code Institute teaches you to become a web developer in less than 52 weeks.
- Work hard & stay focused.
- No matter how you decide to learn, commitment and focus is needed. Learning web development can be challenging, but if you stay focused on the job at hand, it is a challenge that is worth it.
Web Developer Skills
So, just what skills does a coder need to possess to succeed as a web developer?
Ideally, you will need to have familiarity with technology and understand how computers and web servers operate. You also need to be familiar with many software programs, Web applications and Web programming languages.
Web Development Languages & Technologies:
Specific technologies you may need to know include, but are not limited to:
- Hypertext markup language (HTML)
- Structured Query Language (SQL)
- Google Chrome Developer Tools
- Rest API
Other Important Web Developer Skills – Communication
In a coding environment, it’s not just about what programming languages you speak. A web developer must understand the value of team-oriented project work and communication. As is the case with any office space, if you can’t communicate your objectives and intentions successfully, you will inevitably encounter wasted time and effort, which reduces productivity. This not only fuels office tensions, but it hints at irresponsible team management and an inability to plan. There will always be friction, bugs in the code, deadlines marginally missed, and projects that have to be scrapped to be started from scratch, but that is the case with any project a modern professional will encounter.
Duties and expectations of a web developer?
Primarily, a web developer is a person who builds the web platform for a business, company, or individual. Their daily tasks include, but are not limited to:
- The use of authoring or scripting languages to build websites.
- Writing, designing and editing web page content or directing others producing content.
- Identifying and correcting problems uncovered by testing or user feedback.
- Converting written, graphic, audio and video components to compatible web formats.
How much do web developers make?
Technology is growing every day. Whether it’s a new app, a new website, a new online sales company, or the latest fintech or health tech trend, web developers’ demand is getting bigger by the day. As a result of this demand, web developers are extremely well-paid from entry-level positions up. Similarly, it is not uncommon for a junior developer to become senior within the space of three to five years. To see some average salaries for web developers, follow this link.
Free Coding Challenge
If you want to learn some of the basics of web development for free, try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. After just one hour a day, you will have built your first ever web page over five days. Register now through the form below.