Web developers built the Internet, and they will continue to be vital as long as people use websites every day. Every webpage or piece of software we use has been meticulously programmed by a web developer. As the popularity of ecommerce, social media platforms, and web applications continue to boom, companies are looking to hire web developers.
Demand for web developers is increasing as companies are looking for talented professionals that can create effective websites that are easy to navigate, are visually attractive, and use the latest web design technology. If you’re interested in the growing field of web development, read this guide to learn how to become a web developer.
What Is a Web Developer?
A web developer is a professional in charge of building the websites, apps, and tools we use every day. Using coding languages like C#, HTML, CSS, Ruby, and PHP, a web developer programs the front end or backend of websites. Sometimes they code both sides, which is known as full stack development.
A front end web developer codes everything related to what the user sees when they use the website, including fonts, navigation, forms, and colors. The backend developer, on the other hand, ensures the website works smoothly and can store data and information collected from the front end.
Web Developer Job Description
A web developer’s main responsibility is to code websites and applications and continuously maintain them to ensure they are functioning properly. They are focused on technical aspects like traffic, site speed, authoring languages, and the performance of the website.
Web developers resolve conflicts and recommend solutions if the website has a problem, and they are responsible for website updates. Another main task is to validate and develop tests to make sure the website works across different devices. Web developers collaborate as part of a team that can include web designers, UX designers, and content editors.
Web Developer Salary and Job Outlook
According to PayScale, web developers earn an average annual salary of $60,307 per year, though the salary varies considerably depending on experience level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the job outlook for web development will grow by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030, which is considered faster than other professions.
Top Reasons to Become a Web Developer in 2021
The tech industry is continuously expanding and looking for professionals who would excel in the field. Below are the top reasons why you should join this growing industry.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
- There are unlimited opportunities for creativity and growth. Web development requires creativity as it will ask you to provide solutions for problems as they arise. You’ll learn as you encounter challenges, and no project will be the same.
- There’s a high demand for web developers. All companies need an appealing and interactive website. As the Internet and the use of apps become ever more vital for companies and users, opportunities to build these technologies will follow.
- There’s a potential to earn higher. Due to the high demand for skilled web developers, as you gain more experience, your chances of gaining a higher salary increase.
- There are freelance opportunities outside company work. When you are part of this field, there are freelance and remote work opportunities available that you can work on outside of your working hours. You can try it during the weekend to gain more experience and earn more.
Web Developer Job Requirements
These are the usual requirements employers are looking for to check if the web developer is fit for the role. Make sure that you meet these qualifications before applying for a job.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development or Computer Science. Employers are usually looking for professionals who finished a four-year degree. However, more and more employers recognize web developers who have completed advanced development bootcamps or other courses.
- Solid knowledge and experience in programming applications. You should have experience with programming applications like Eclipse, Coda, Notepad++, Sublime text.
- Basic knowledge of the search engine optimization (SEO) process. You know the basic principles to make sure the website ranks high in search engines. Learning SEO is one of the best things you can do as a web developer.
Types of Web Developer Careers
Although web development is a specific tech job, there are many different specialties you can enter. You could start as a general web developer and specialize later on, or you could start by diving into one of these careers. Listed below are the types of web developer careers that you should consider pursuing.
Front End Developer
A backend web developer concentrates on dealing with the server side of the website. They are the ones who create programs that power the website’s server and databases. The most important skill for a backend developer is to create a clean, streamlined code that communicates with the front end to produce the desired results.
Full Stack Developer
Full stack developers are skilled in both front end and backend development. In short, they oversee the whole process. Most of the time, full stack developers are employed if the company only wants one person to build a whole website. According to PayScale, full stack developers earn an average salary of $78,945.
Web Developer Meaning: What Does a Web Developer Do?
A web developer uses coding languages to create interactive, functional, and innovative websites. They are always in demand and they contribute hugely to a company’s success. Below is the main scope of a web developer’s responsibilities.
Works on Various Kinds of Websites
The websites these professionals work on include ecommerce platforms, news outlets, and gaming sites. They are able to meet the requirements to make the website accessible. An example is creating advanced graphics for gaming websites.
Web developers make sure that the plans and goals for the website are met. They ensure that websites are functioning and up to date. These professionals might work closely with web designers to help create a visually pleasing website.
Meets with Clients
Web developers are expected to communicate and show the initial plans for the website and its web pages according to the brand and expectations of the client. This is why soft skills and core concepts in web development are very important.
Essential Web Developer Skills
Web developers require a range of soft and hard skills to excel in their careers. Technical skills like coding are vital, but communication is just as important. Below we have listed the foundational skills you should be building on.
Web developers should be able to creatively figure out solutions for problems as they occur. There could be unexpected bugs or crashes, and web developers need to be able to successfully resolve them in a timely manner.
Project Management Skills
These professionals should be able to communicate and collaborate with a range of people to complete the website or app to the client’s satisfaction. This includes time management, organizational, and leadership skills to get the job done, even when working under pressure.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Developer?
You’ll be able to learn the essential skills of a web developer within 12 weeks through one of the best web development bootcamps. Attending a coding bootcamp can help you to acquire technical programming skills in a short period of time. However, if you decide to get a bachelor’s degree, you can become a web developer in four years.
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Web Developer?
Yes, attending a coding bootcamp is a great way to become a web developer. Since development bootcamps are more focused on technical skills, you’ll be able to learn the programming languages and programming apps that are used in the field. They offer flexibility and are less expensive than college degrees.
Can I Become a Web Developer from Home?
Yes, you can learn web development through various online courses, classes, and training to gain the necessary skills at your own pace. Learning web development online is convenient and often less expensive. However, make sure to choose the right online coding course based on your career goals, schedule, and budget.
How to Become a Web Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide
As web development requires technical skills, becoming a successful web developer takes time. You need to meet certain requirements and acquire the developer skills that employers are looking for. If you don’t know where to start, below is a simple guide to get you on your feet.
Step 1: Study
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Step 2: Practice
Now that you already know the foundations, it’s time to put your skills to the test through hands-on training. Practical projects allow you to practice your skills and build a development portfolio that can be shared with potential employers. Choose a hands-on bootcamp or course or start creating projects on your own.
Step 3: Search
You’re now ready to find the right job for you. Now that you’ve prepared your portfolio, you can search for jobs on websites like Indeed and see if they match your qualifications and preferences. Freelance web developers can also find work opportunities on websites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Best Schools and Education for a Web Developer Career
There’s no single pathway to becoming a web developer, and everyone has a different experience. There are several ways you can become a professional web developer, depending on your preference, availability, and financial capability.
Web Developer Bootcamps
Web Developer Degrees
A Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development usually takes four years to complete. You will receive general education introductory courses and also specific units for your degree. This includes programming, graphic design, and information architecture. Web developer degrees take longer to complete and are more expensive than bootcamps and vocational degrees.
The Most Important Web Developer Certifications
Certifications prove that you have developed the skills and knowledge to web development industry standards. They can help boost your employability and negotiate a higher salary. They are usually offered by third-party organizations, and you have to pass an exam to get the credential.
Certified Web Professional – Application Developer
This certification is given by the International Webmasters Association. This certification is aimed at successful developers with at least two years of work experience. The topic covers both front end scripting languages and backend programming languages. The exam can also prove your expertise as a full stack developer.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
This certification is given by Global Knowledge. Having this certification means you are able to actively design and develop business solutions using the latest development tools, platforms, and technologies. This certification validates your skills as a mobile developer and a full stack developer.
How to Prepare for Your Web Developer Job Interview
Successful web developers start their careers by being prepared for any job interview. They’re able to show potential clients their portfolio and their expertise. To further equip you for your job hunt, below are interview questions that you can practice to help you feel more confident.
Web Developer Job Interview Practice Questions
- Why did you choose to become a web developer?
- Can you elaborate on the process of how to reduce web application load time and how to optimize it?
- Which programming languages are you most comfortable with? Which ones do you need to work on?
- How do you accept and implement feedback?
- When you realize there’s an issue with your code, how do you find the bug and fix it?
Should I Become a Web Developer in 2021?
Yes, you should be a web developer if technology is something you’re passionate about and you are eager to learn about programming languages. Although it would take some time to become a web developer, there are a lot of opportunities waiting for you. Web development jobs are in demand, and they won’t wane anytime soon.
Web Developer FAQ
Can You Become a Web Developer Without a Degree?
Yes, you can become a web developer without a degree. You can learn the necessary skills such as programming languages, user experience, and responsive design through development bootcamps or vocational courses.
Is It Hard to Become a Web Developer?
Yes, it can be challenging to learn all the technical skills required of web developers. However, if it’s an area of interest for you, studying web development and programming languages can be enjoyable.
Are a Web Developer and a Web Designer the Same Thing?
No, a web developer is different from a web designer. Web designers focus on the look and layout of the website. A web developer is responsible to implement the web design into a functioning and responsive website.
Can a Web Developer Be a Software Engineer?
Yes, especially if you acquire the skills of a software engineer. Although software engineering and web development intersect, software engineers have a more rigorous background that focuses on researching and developing new software programs.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.