It is no surprise that web development careers offer high rates of job stability and impressive salaries when the Internet continues to be a near-constant presence in our modern lives. An ever-growing number of tech enthusiasts want to learn how to become a web developer, and which educational resources and technical skills will set them up for success.
Luckily, becoming a web developer and learning to code is simpler than you think. With high-quality bootcamps and online coding courses available, you might not even need a degree. This article is a comprehensive guide for anyone wondering how to get a job as a web developer. We detail everything from what a web developer does, to the most in-demand skills among employers. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to become a web developer.
Web developers design and code web pages, ensure their functionality and responsiveness across different devices, and optimize site performance. The responsibilities of a web developer include debugging and troubleshooting when errors occur, implementing security measures to protect websites from cyber threats, and staying up-to-date with the latest coding trends and technologies.
Additional web developer duties include collaborating with designers to bring visual concepts to life and enhance user experience. This means the average web developer job description can include aspects of graphic design, editing, and even copywriting. Website developers work regularly with management and other programmers to keep sites up-to-date with new content, apps, and designs.
To become a web developer, you will need a solid foundation in a wide range of programming languages and technologies. While web development careers have historically required a college degree, this is becoming less common. A growing number of employers value technical abilities and experience just as highly as educational background.
Here is a breakdown of the most common web developer requirements:
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Earning a four-year degree in web development or computer science is still the most traditional way of breaking into the field, but there are faster and cheaper alternatives. Attending a coding bootcamp or completing online courses can also help you get a job in web development.
Web development portfolio. While you won’t need a technical portfolio for every position, creating one is especially important if you don’t yet have extensive work experience or impressive educational credentials. A portfolio will show employers what you can do and give weight to your application.
Web development certifications. Industry-specific certifications are another tool many aspiring web developers use to validate their skills and knowledge, especially if they are self-taught. You can gain certifications and certificates in web development languages, frameworks, and platforms.
Strong problem-solving abilities. There are several soft skills that are essential for web developers, but problem-solving might be the most important. Web development often involves troubleshooting and debugging code, and you will need to identify and solve problems efficiently.
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.
The first step you should take before starting down any career path is to spend time researching the field and considering your short-term and long-term goals. If you don’t have any experience with technology, you can take a few short online web development courses to see if you have an aptitude for coding. This will give you a better understanding of what a web developer does on a day-to-day basis.
You should also read about the various web development career paths available and reflect on your work and educational history. This will give you an idea of what steps you need to take and what level of training you will need. There are many paths you can take to become a web developer, so yours will be unique to your situation and goals.
Now that you are sure this is the career for you, it is time to plan your web development learning path. If you have the time and resources, you may want to get a college degree in a related subject. If you want to enter the job market in significantly less time and for less money, you can attend a coding bootcamp or learn independently using online courses and tutorials.
Web development bootcamps are short, intensive programs that provide hands-on training in technical skills and professional career services. They are designed to get students ready to start a new tech career as efficiently as possible. Web developer education is no longer limited to formal degrees, as bootcamp students are regularly hired by major tech companies around the country.
After you have completed your chosen educational program, you’ll need on-the-job experience in web development to truly cement your skills and improve your application. In many cases, the best way to learn web development is by working alongside more experienced individuals. That’s why many people apply for internships or apprenticeships at this point.
You can also prepare for an eventual full-time web developer role by freelancing. This will give you a chance to tackle increasingly complex projects, simultaneously perfecting your technical abilities and improving your professional portfolio. If you choose to learn through online courses, this step will be especially useful.
Many budding web developers use certifications to add credibility to their resumes. To become a certified web developer, you will need to pass an exam. You might also be required to complete a training course and pay a fee. In addition to making your application stand out, getting certified can help you negotiate a higher salary.
There are various professional web development certifications available, and several are designed specifically for those at the very beginning of their career, or anyone looking to verify their abilities with a specific technology or platform. 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 one of the most important steps 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.
To get a job as a web developer, you will need to be prepared for both behavioral and technical interviews. Practice working through technical problems out loud so that you are prepared to explain your thought process to a panel of interviewers. Researching web developer interview questions is a great way to prepare.
After all the training and preparation, you are more than qualified to start applying for entry-level web development jobs. 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.
Make sure to utilize any professional connections you have made during your training. Reach out to your mentors to learn more about open positions and gain insider tips. If you attended a web development bootcamp, you should have access to career services like mock interviews, networking events, and resume writing workshops.
Web developer skills encompass a wide range of technical abilities and personal traits. In some cases, the exact technologies you’ll be using on a day-to-day basis will depend on your company and job title. This section will take a deep dive into the top hard and soft skills needed to be a web developer in today’s job market.
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 web development skills. 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 for 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.
Web developers are in demand in today’s job market. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that the job outlook for web developers is unusually high, with a predicted 17 percent growth between 2022 and 2032. As a comparison, the average job outlook for all occupations is currently at three percent. BLS predicts that around 34,700 web development jobs will be added to the job market each year for the next decade.
According to BLS, the average web developer salary is $78,580, but this number is affected by a range of factors, including your level of experience, education, and job title. Different types of web developers tend to earn different wages, with full stack and backend developers generally earning more than front end developers, as you can see in the next section.
According to Glassdoor, the average entry-level web developer salary is $64,728, but you can expect to earn more once you have a few years of experience under your belt. 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.
Once you have started down your web development career path, you’ll discover that there are actually 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. Below, we will discuss a few of the most common website development careers.
Front end web developer salary: $74,887
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.
Backend developer salary: $106,371
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. Backend developers are also responsible for network security and data organization.
Full stack web developer salary: $97,146
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.
UX/UI designer salary: $90,398
UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) designers focus on creating the look and feel of websites and applications, similar to front end development. The difference is that this web development career path 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, interface design, user research, wireframing, and usability testing. You’ll use all these skills to ensure the website you are working on is engaging and user-friendly.
Mobile app developer salary: $116,890
Your 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. Here are some of the best resources available to help you meet the educational requirements to become a web developer and launch your career successfully.
Web development bootcamps are available online and in-person, and most offer a range of scheduling options. If you want to start a career in less time and for less money than it takes to earn a college degree, a web developer bootcamp is the best option. You can choose from among backend, full stack, and front end development programs and prepare for any of the best tech jobs in this field.
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 the 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.
Check out 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.
There are lots of additional resources that can help you teach yourself web development. Free coding resources can help you learn alongside a bootcamp or degree program, or you can learn to code on your own using short online courses. Web development courses are notable for their flexibility and affordability. The platforms listed below host the best web development courses, and are a great place to start your studies.
Codecademy. 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. You can choose from an array of different topics and lessons.
Coursera. 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. In addition to individual classes, it has certification and specialization tracks with partner universities.
Udemy. 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.
edX. 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.
freeCodeCamp. With freeCodeCamp, 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.
Web development is an excellent career choice if you are interested in technology and thrive in a work environment where you can collaborate with others and think critically, not just because of the above-average job outlook. Web development careers are lucrative, flexible, and there are plenty of opportunities for career advancement.
There are many reasons to become a web developer, and learning the skills you need to get hired is easier than ever. Online courses, coding bootcamps, and free tutorials can help you get a job as a web developer in less than a year. Many tech careers have considerable longevity, and web development is one of the most future-proof.
Yes, you can become a web developer without a degree if you attend a bootcamp, take online courses, or teach yourself how to code. If you want to learn how to become a web developer without a degree, you can find peers on LinkedIn and other social media and see what pathways they decided to take.
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.