As the Internet continues to be a near-constant presence in our modern lives, it’s no surprise that web development is a fast-growing career option. Many people want to learn how to become web developers, learn to code, and earn high salaries.
According to PayScale, the average salary for a senior web developer is $88,141. It makes sense to explore this lucrative job option and technology career path, especially if you’re looking to grow your income, prospects, and job satisfaction. The tech industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States, and there’s never been a better time to start a career.
But how do you become a web developer? Becoming a web developer is simpler than you think, and you might not need a college degree at all. Coding bootcamps and online coding courses are both great places to start. In this guide to starting a career in web development, we’ll go over how to be a web developer, learn to code, and break into tech.
Web development is the process of creating websites and web applications. Web developers use coding to design, modify, and manage functional websites. There are a few different types of web developers, including front end developers, backend developers, and full stack developers. They are responsible for programming a website and designing its user interface.
The user interface, or UI, refers to a user’s interaction with a website. Buttons, graphics, colors, and interactive features fall under this category. A bad user interface can destroy a website. For example, if Amazon had no search bar, it would be virtually impossible to use. Front end web developers build new features that make using websites and apps more enjoyable.
In addition to layout, web developers keep sites up-to-date with new content, apps, and designs. Web developers work regularly with management and other programmers to ensure their website functions as intended. While they don’t always make big decisions, web developers are responsible for making sure their site looks and operates adequately.
Web developers use coding and design tools to create and maintain websites. A web developer’s job entails more than coding and debugging. These professionals are often also graphic designers, editors, and even writers. What web developers do is ensure the site looks good and functions properly.
To become a front end, backend, or full stack developer, you need to get the skills of a web developer. Soft skills might include communication or problem-solving, and hard skills, sometimes known as technical skills, are also necessary for web development jobs. Read below to learn more about the required skills for web developers and how to get them.
HTML and CSS. Learning how to code with HTML and CSS is vital for new web developers. Most websites run on these two languages. They help developers focus on both the user experience design and the technical backend of a website.
Research. To become a web developer, you need to be familiar with updates in the field. Research is an important part of the job so you can stay up to date and create dynamic content for the web. For example, many developers conduct market research and talk to industry professionals to make sure their websites are the best they can be.
Database Management. Database development and management are an asset for many professionals in the web development job search. The skills of a web developer need to include database technology in order to stay organized and collect data from users.
Quality Assurance. Web developers need to know quality assurance so they can find bugs in their code and improve their websites. Skilled web developers will perform quality assurance tests to make sure things are running smoothly. Some also interact with users to collect data on website quality.
Communication. Communication is one of the most important skills of a web developer. Freelance web developers and those who work permanently need to build a professional network and communicate adequately. No matter where you work, you will need to interact with people on a regular basis, especially if you need to find potential clients.
Problem-Solving. If you want a smooth web development process, you need to have good problem-solving skills. Backend developers and front end developers need to be able to spot issues with code and take the right steps to improve it.
Critical Thinking. When working with code, critical thinking is a vital skill. You will need to approach issues with a clear mind if you want to solve problems. You will also need to think outside of the box, especially if you’re working on freelance projects and want to impress your clients.
Organization. Being organized is a vital required skill for web developers. No matter your job title, you need to be able to stay organized. Try creating a personal to-do list every day with long-term and short-term goals so you can stay on track with your tasks.
Accountability. One of the biggest mistakes that prospective developers make is failing to hold themselves accountable to mistakes. Even the most experienced web developers have errors in their code, and taking responsibility is important when you’re working on a team. Accountability is one of the best skills for a web developer to have.
There are a few types of web developers who build and maintain a website in different areas. Some web developers focus on the front end of the website, which is what the user sees, and others work on the more technical backend. Some work on both. The different types of web development jobs are:
Front end web developer
Full stack developer
A front end web developer is responsible for the client side of the website. They design and implement the visuals and interactions that users experience when visiting the site. Sometimes, front end developers are also called web designers, but front end web development generally requires both coding and design.
Front end developers work with the backend developers to create a well-rounded, functional website. To become a front end web developer, the education requirements are a college degree or a bootcamp, depending on what jobs you want to get.
Backend developers are responsible for maintaining the server side of the website. They integrate the front end developer’s web design and write website services and APIs. To become a backend developer, you need at least an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. You can also attend a backend development bootcamp.
If you’re trying to choose between front end vs backend web development, you should consider your goals and interests. Both positions involve coding and technical skills, but backend development is a little more technical.
Full stack developers know front end development and backend development. They are responsible for doing client-side work, such as creating mock pages to show how a website will look. They also know server-side development so they can code and program features to make the website function properly.
It is useful to be a full stack developer if you want to do all the designing, programming, and implementation yourself. Most freelance web developers are full stack developers because clients look for professionals who can do everything themselves. If you’re committed to the development industry, becoming a full stack developer is a great choice.
When you start your web development career path, you can choose more specific careers like front end, backend, or content development. Read below to learn more about website development careers and decide on the best web developer career path for you.
Front end web developers use coding to create the user-side look and feel of a website. They need to be familiar with web design and know coding languages like HTML and CSS. This web development career path is popular with people who have an eye for graphic design and strong programming skills.
Backend development focuses on the behind-the-scenes functions of a website, like network security and data organization. This is one of the best website development careers for people who have strong technical skills and enjoy working with database technology and software programs.
Full stack development is a web developer career path that combines front end and backend development. Freelance web developers are often full stack developers so they can get more clients and complete projects on their own. The educational path for this job could be a full stack coding bootcamp or a computer science degree.
This career path is similar to front end development but focuses more on design rather than coding. Web designers can find career opportunities in nearly every industry because most companies and organizations need websites. The best web design bootcamps teach graphic design, UX/UI design, and coding basics.
If you want to focus on the actual content on a website, you should become a content developer. Content developers work with web developers to make sure their content is well-integrated on a website. This web development career path is a good choice if you are a creative person who likes to create content for online communities.
A webmaster is an experienced web developer who oversees and maintains websites. Webmasters are sometimes known as website administrators or website coordinators. This career path has a strong web developer career outlook, so if you are looking for job security, webmaster is a good choice.
Why become a web developer? There are quite a few reasons to enter this career path, including the high salaries and abundant opportunities. Read below for more reasons to be a web developer.
Web development, like many technology careers, is in high demand. As a result, web developers often earn high wages for their work, both as freelancers and working for big companies. Today, more businesses need web development than ever before. Knowing how to create a website opens up a world of opportunities.
Relocating isn’t a necessity when working in web development. This career allows you to work from the comfort of your own home, and many web developers work on their own time. You could even travel the world while still making an impressive income, as long as you have a computer and a strong Internet connection. In fact, we consider web development to be one of the best remote careers.
The technology industry is growing at a rapid pace, and most businesses now have some form of online web presence. Many tech startups need web developers, as do small businesses, government organizations, and everything in between. Even established companies need web developers to update and optimize pre-existing websites.
Another benefit of web development is that you can learn how to create your own website. Some people use their web development skills to create their own online content, make a shop to sell items, or design a website for passive income. This is one of the best reasons to become a web developer.
These are just some benefits that come with learning web design and development. Once you learn how to build websites from scratch, you’ll be able to create unique web elements and applications. Learning web development is beneficial both for your personal and professional development.
To become a successful web developer, you need to understand the fundamentals of creating a website. There are a few aspects of web development that everyone must learn, which include programming, design, and structure. Web developer education can take many forms, so as long as you learn the required skills, you can get a job in the development industry.
To begin, you’ll need to master coding terminology. You should learn the difference between front end, backend, and full stack web development. You must know what static and dynamic pages are and understand how web pages are laid out. You’ll also want to dig into web design principles.
Picking up the SEO basics is also an excellent idea, especially if you work in front end development. Become familiar with web design trends so that you can stay on top of the latest styles and approaches. Getting all the fundamentals down takes some time, but you can learn all the basics of web development in less than two weeks.
Web development bootcamps are important tools for prospective web developers. In-person and online degrees are long and expensive, and bootcamps are much shorter and more affordable. They provide an immersive experience to help you learn web development skills in just a few weeks or months.
Coding bootcamps offer programs in backend, full stack, or front end development, so you can choose your specialization and prepare for one of the best tech jobs. Read below to learn about bootcamps and choose the best web developer bootcamp for you.
Flatiron School. Flatiron School is a software engineering bootcamp that prepares students for careers in software and web development. According to Flatiron School’s 2021 Jobs Report, 84 percent of students who completed a Job Search Cycle accepted a job offer after graduating.
Nucamp. Nucamp has web development communities in almost every major city in the United States, including New York and San Francisco. It teaches job-ready skills in web development, DevOps, and SQL. This bootcamp also offers a Web Development Fundamentals program, which is one of the best coding courses for beginners.
Le Wagon. Le Wagon is an internationally recognized coding bootcamp that offers a full-time or part-time web development program. According to its official website, it has a 93 percent employment rate, which means it is a great choice for job opportunities.
Bootcamps are a good way to learn web development if you are short on time and money. However, if you’re committed to learning to code, you can get a web developer degree. Software engineering degrees and computer science degrees teach coding languages, communication skills, and more. You can get an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in one of these subjects.
You can look at lists of best schools for computer science degrees to choose a web developer degree that works for you. You can also take a look at colleges and universities near you to see which ones offer high-quality web development programs. If you’re worried about the price of a web developer degree, check out computer science scholarships.
Learning web development on your own is difficult, but not impossible. If you want to teach yourself web development, try to set a schedule and create an agenda to help you stay on track. You can also find online communities on Slack and Discord where you can talk with fellow coders and learn from them.
If you want to know how to become a web developer, you can ask experienced professionals in the field and find resources and advice online. Read the sections below to learn how to get into web development and start your journey to becoming a web developer.
Before you start your web development journey, you should assess what steps you need to take. If you already have a degree, you can enroll in a coding bootcamp to supplement your education. You can also consult your professors and peers to learn what it takes to learn how to be a web developer.
If you really want to know how to become a web developer, education is an important step. Online web development courses are a good place to start, but a bootcamp or a web developer degree will give you more extensive knowledge.
Becoming a web developer takes more than just a degree or certificate. You need to get experience in web development to show employers what you can do. Build your web developer portfolio and put yourself out there so you can start working on projects. Freelancing is a great option for budding web developers as well.
To become a certified web developer, you should take certification exams like Adobe Certified Expert. There are also Amazon Web Services and Microsoft certifications that you can choose from, depending on your specialization. Most guides on how to get into web development will advise that you become a certified web developer as soon as you can.
Once you have experience and certifications, you should already have started building your web development portfolio. You can find ideas for web development projects for portfolios online or from your peers. Most bootcamp programs will help you start some projects to build your portfolio.
Building a web development resume is your first step to becoming a web developer. If you don’t have any work experience in the field, you can assess your other experiences and find transferable skills. Communication, organization, and problem-solving all apply to web development. Read more about top resume tips to prepare and polish your resume.
Once you submit your resume to tech companies, you’ll start landing interviews. Tech interviews are sometimes different from other industries because they can require technical components. Researching web developer interview questions is a great way to prepare for interviews.
Applying for web developer jobs can seem daunting, but it’s necessary if you want to start your career. You can apply for web developer jobs by looking at job postings in your area or on websites like Indeed or LinkedIn. If you’re lucky, you might also find job postings for remote positions so you can work from anywhere.
It can take as little as six months to become a web developer. This timeline can only be achieved with focused study and practice. You can learn more slowly and gain additional experience to become a web developer in about a year. A typical career transition into web development takes between six months and two years.
Some people transition into tech much faster, and some will become web developers more slowly. Many part-time coding bootcamps are self-paced, which can help you get a job or go to college while you learn. There are plenty of ways to keep up with life during your coding education. It takes only a few weeks to learn web development, but getting a job will take longer.
Web development can be hard to learn if you don’t start in the right place. Assess your skills and re-learn the basics if you don’t feel confident. Don’t feel pressure to become an expert web developer right away. Even the most skilled web developers had to start somewhere.
The difference between web design and web development is that web development is more general and web design focuses on visual aspects of a website. Web design requires less coding and more hands-on design. The difference between web designing and web development can be hard to spot because they are so closely connected.
Web developers enjoy an unusually good job outlook, and experts predict substantial job growth in the industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, web developer job opportunities are expected to increase by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030. The BLS states that this rate of growth is faster than average.
Web developers also earn an impressive salary. The BLS also reports that the national average salary for web developers lies between $70,790 and $123,870. According to salary aggregate PayScale, an entry-level web developer earns $51,097 per year and reports high job satisfaction.
Web developer salaries vary widely between companies and locations. This depends on the cost of living and the demand for web developers in the area. For example, PayScale reports that web developers in San Francisco report an average salary of $86,628 and web developers in Boston earn $72,209.
Additionally, a web developer’s salary depends on their work experience. Senior web developers earn $88,141, according to PayScale. Remember, this doesn’t include stock options and other perks offered by some tech companies, so keep that in mind when searching for a job.
Some web developers choose not to work in an office as many freelance opportunities exist for skilled professionals. These jobs can sometimes pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a few hours of work. Web developers can earn a great living as digital nomads.
As a web developer, you can work at companies like Google, Facebook, PayPal, and Adobe. Many industries use web developers to create user-friendly websites, such as finance, software publishing, and electronics. If you want to get a job as a web developer, you should check websites like GitHub and Indeed.
A web development internship is a great way to get experience in the field. Some students complete internships during their studies, and others look for web development internships when they’re in between jobs or want to get more experience. There are also online web development internships, which are a good option if you don’t live near a tech hub.
Web development internships are valuable because they can give you the tools you need to work a junior developer job. They will help you learn how workplaces function and how web developers fit into the development lifecycle. Internships are more important than formal education because they offer hands-on experience that you can put on your resume.
A certification is different from a certificate, and it consists of an exam that proves your skills in a certain subject. Read below to learn more about the best web development certifications that can help you start or further your career as you become a web developer.
If you’re a web developer, Adobe may be your suite of choice. Some of the most notable Adobe programs used to build websites are Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator, and Lightroom. These are particularly important for web designers and front end developers. In this certification exam, students will prove their skills in Adobe’s flagship software.
The Adobe Certified Expert certification (ACE) shows a potential employer that you have a thorough knowledge of multimedia website design. If you want to focus on software engineering or backend web development, you might want to find a different certification that is more technical.
Along with Adobe certifications, Microsoft certifications are some of the best web development certifications out there. They can help you specialize in the field and get niche jobs that pay higher salaries. Read below to learn more about top Microsoft certifications for web developers.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate. This certification for beginners is a great choice for people who are learning Azure. It only requires one exam, Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure, which makes it an easy and affordable option. Make sure you have at least one year of experience with Azure before you take the exam.
Microsoft 365 Certified: Developer Associate. The Developer Associate certification from Microsoft will help professionals who want to develop software and web content for Microsoft 365. Web and software developers with this certification will build applications with the Microsoft 365 platform.
Microsoft Certified: Power Platform Developer Associate. If you want to work with Microsoft’s Power Platform, this certification is a great choice for you. Power Platform includes Microsoft 365, Azure, and more Microsoft products. For the exam, you should have a few years of experience and feel confident about working with every platform.
Microsoft Certified: Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Developer Associate. This Dynamics 365 certification will help software and web developers who want to work in the finance sector. Microsoft has many suggestions on the certification page that can help you prepare for the exam, like an online community and Microsoft Learn courses.
Microsoft Certified: Cybersecurity Architect Expert. If you want to use your web development skills to work in cyber security, you should get this certification. Keep in mind that you need some prerequisites to take the exam.
To enhance your resume and impress hiring managers, you can certify your skills with Amazon Web Services. The AWS Certified Developer exam is something you should seriously consider if you want to incorporate cloud-based applications into your web development projects.
The requirements for this certification are a little more demanding than others. First and foremost, you must be familiar with at least one primary programming language. Additionally, you need to know about AWS-based applications and have a history of writing and developing web applications.
The tech industry is developing quickly, and many companies want to hire web developers with more hands-on experience. As a result, dozens of coding bootcamps emerged and began teaching students how to code with web development courses. There are many web developer career training courses and tutorials for web development out there.
A web developer course teaches students programming languages, web design, computer science basics, and other skills to make them job-ready. The best web development courses online provide a lot of flexibility for people who want to learn web development and earn a professional certificate. Read below to learn more about online web development courses.
Codecademy is an online learning website that is all about experiential learning and hands-on experience. The website gives you access to different online platforms, videos, and web tutorials so you can learn on your own and at your own pace.
At Codecademy, you can choose from an array of different topics and lessons. If you’re not sure exactly what you want to do or where to start, the site will point you in the right direction based on your interests.
Codecademy’s team of instructors and graders is also available to answer questions and give you feedback with a quick turnaround time. When you submit coding tests and assignments, you will get expert feedback returned to you right away. You can choose between a paid or free course track.
Coursera is one of the leading providers of online courses and continuing professional education. It often partners with major universities to offer programs run by university professors and experts.
Coursera’s web development and programming offerings are significant. In addition to individual classes, it has certificates and specializations with partner universities. For example, Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization is offered in partnership with the University of Michigan.
Aside from the specialization described above, you can also take individual courses through the Coursera platform. You can use the search function and look through the catalog to find some of the best web development courses online. Some online web development courses from Coursera include:
Full Stack Web Development with React
Introduction to Web Development
Introduction to HTML5
Introduction to CSS3
Udemy provides online courses to help the workforce keep up with in-demand tech skills for the 21st century. Its course catalog includes software development, web development, data science, mobile apps, programming languages, game development, databases, and software testing.
Udemy lets you purchase video tutorials and course series so you don’t have to commit to a long-term and expensive program right away. For example, the web developer bootcamp course is available for purchase with over 40 hours of video tutorial content and 82 related articles for your own self-guided and self-paced learning.
Udemy’s website is easy to navigate so you can find the best web development courses online quickly. You can search for courses and course packages by topic, subcategory, level, language, price, and features. This way, you can target your learning goals while also weighing your time commitments and budget.
This online learning platform offers introductory courses and advanced courses for essential skill building. Some featured web development courses that Udemy offers include:
The Complete Ruby on Rails Developer Course
Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3
Python and Django Full Stack Web Developer Bootcamp
Progressive Web Apps: The Complete Guide
Udacity is similar to Udemy in its mission to train the professionals of the future. Udacity is also focused on offering professional development in tech under several schools, including programming and development, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data science, business, autonomous systems, and career building and professional development.
The programming and development school offers courses in web development which, according to Udacity, will prepare you for a career as a programmer with only 10 hours of work per week. The different programs are considered some of the best web development courses online. Udacity lists recommended courses and shows them in order of progression so you can see where you land.
If you already have some programming experience, you may not have to start with a fundamental course. However, if you’re just getting started, it might be a good idea to start with its in-depth fundamentals course unit, which looks at C++, Data Structures and Algorithms, Introduction to Programming, and Android Basics.
The online web development courses at Udacity offer learning opportunities for every student. Udacity’s other programming and development units include:
Front-End Web Developer
Back-End Web Developer
edX is Harvard and MIT’s online collaboration for MOOCs (massive open online courses). Unlike some other online providers on this list, edX offers real-world university courses for college students in addition to its MOOCs. Some of these classes are completely free of charge, making lifelong learning with the best web development courses more accessible to all.
Online certificates from edX include:
Computer Science for Web Programming
Front-End Web Developer
HTML5 from W3C
Computer Science Essentials for Software Development
Computer Science and Mobile Apps
Mozilla is the popular tech company behind Mozilla Firefox, one of the best web browsers out there. The Mozilla Developer Network is a vast online resource for web developers of any level. This is a great resource for visual learners who can learn new skills by reading articles and watching video tutorials. It might not work as well for students who learn best through hands-on, experiential learning.
Topics include front end languages, basic introductions to web development topics, and interactivity. Its resource guide for professional and aspiring developers covers everything from fundamentals to advanced programming. Some learning categories from the Mozilla Developer Network are:
HTML: Structuring the Web
CSS: Styling the Web
Webforms: Working with User Data
Accessibility: Make the Web Useable by Everyone
Tools and Testing
Server-side Website Programming
The Odin Project is a free online web development training program designed to help people with minimal experience learn how to become web developers. In addition to web development, students can use their skills to build video games and other useful programs. The Odin Project doesn’t offer a certificate, but the quality of the online web development courses is excellent.
freeCodeCamp offers many different verified certification courses and has plans to add more in the future. You can earn free certifications in specialized areas of web development, such as front end libraries and responsive web design.
Each certification offered through freeCodeCamp requires around 300 hours of coursework and the completion of five projects. If you spend roughly nine hours a week working on the freeCodeCamp courses, you can earn a certification in a little over eight months. Certifications are an important step on the pathway to becoming a web developer.
There are many additional challenges you can complete while enrolled in these courses. However, these challenges are not compulsory, and finishing them means it will take you longer to get your certification. The variety of options makes freeCodeCamp one of the best platforms for online web development courses.
Gymnasium offers some fantastic free web development courses with certificates upon completion. These courses are great for those who want to focus on the aesthetics of web design as well as the concepts and technical work behind web design and development.
Similar to a college course, Gymnasium’s courses require you to take a final exam to receive your certificate. You will need to score 80 percent or higher on the final exam. The great news is that if you are unable to score 80 percent or above, you can always retake the course and try again. Since the program is free, Gymnasium is a better option than a college course.
Though learning web development through one of the best online web development courses may not be the traditional way, it is becoming a cost-effective option. Many successful web developers have learned all they know from online courses. You can even find web development courses free on the web. Read below to learn about top free web development courses.
Duration: 8 units (self-paced)
Duration: 4 units (self-paced)
If you need to learn to code from the beginning, you can take this web development course free on Codecademy, along with many others. This HTML beginner course will teach you HTML from the ground up. The four units include Elements and Structure, Tables, Forms, and Semantic HTML.
Duration: 25 hours (self-paced)
This beginner-level coding course is a great way to learn web development for free. Although it is self-paced, you will be with a cohort and submit coding assignments. This is a great way to get hands-on experience with the Python programming language. At the end, you can choose to pay for an official certificate.
Prerequisites: Foundation course
Duration: 58 minutes
Udemy offers many certificate programs and online courses, many of which are free. If you want to learn to code on Udemy, you should start with this free web development course. The 15 videos last less than an hour and teach you how to use Git and GitHub, two important resources for prospective web developers.
Yes, you should study web development. The Bureau of Statistics reports that the job growth for web developers is faster than average, which means there are lots of job opportunities out there. The salaries for this career path are also high, especially if you want to specialize or work for a top tech company.
High average salary. Many web developers earn upwards of $100,000 per year, and this number can get even higher if you have more experience. Becoming a web developer promises a consistently high income, even if you decide to work on freelance projects.
Promising job outlook. As explored above, the job outlook for web developers is high compared to the average growth for all jobs. The software development and web development sphere is booming, which means you will be able to find a job relatively easily.
Creative environment. Depending on where you work, you can have many opportunities for creative work and autonomous product development as a web developer. Web development is a great career choice if you have a creative mind and love solving problems on the spot.
Long hours. Web development can be grueling, especially if you work for a high-profile company. The job sometimes has tight deadlines, and many web developers have to work on weekends when big projects are due. When you become a web developer, you need to be prepared to dedicate your time to the craft.
Changing industry. The ever-changing nature of the tech industry is both a pro and a con. However, it can be difficult to keep up with new technologies for web development and coding. Coding bootcamps and online courses are both good ways to stay on track.
Technical content. The technical aspects of web development can be hard for some prospective tech workers. Becoming a web developer requires dedication and hard work, so make sure you’re up to the task before you start learning.