Web designers or web developers create web pages and web-based applications. Web developers build the web pages and web-based applications that comprise the Internet. A basic web development work-flow includes collecting or creating web content (copy, images, videos, etc.), planning web site layout and navigation, coding the actual web pages, then testing and optimizing the website for superior user experience and optimum performance. This article gives more information on what it takes to become a web developer. Also, throughout this article, the phrase web development and web design are used interchangeably; thus, all discussions around one covers the other. Likewise, the term FullStack applies to a web developer that can do both frontend and backend coding.
Programming Languages for Web Development
Web Developer Skill Set
Web development projects require frequent revisions and enhancements, so web developers need patience as well as strong communication skills to interact with team members and clients. Creativity and an understanding of color theory and design concepts will also increase your value as a web developer. Web development jobs exist in all settings, including enterprises and government agencies, small to medium businesses or working alone as a freelance web developer. Also, professionals in this field go by the following titles: Webmaster, Web Administrator, Web Application Developer, Web Dev, Web Manager, and Web Designer
Typical day-to-day activities and marketable skill sets for web developers include the following. Web Developers:
- Should know one or more server-side programming languages, such as Java, PHP and .Net.
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) to develop websites that rank high in Google, Bing, etc.
- Test web pages and web apps in multiple browsers, e.g., Chrome, FireFox & Internet Explorer.
- Implement Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to efficiently control the style of multiple pages in site.
- Develop websites that interact with popular database systems like MySQL, SQL Server & Oracle.
- Use wireframes to plan the layout, navigation and functionality of new web development projects.
- Communicate with clients and colleagues to troubleshoot websites and optimize performance.
- Some web developers are responsible for designing a website graphics and multimedia elements.
Web Development Job Roles and Market Growth
Average salaries for web developers range from $60-$100K depending on the programming platform and the level of experience. The hourly pay rate for web developers ranges from $20 to a whopping $140 per hour. Key variables in a web developer hourly wage include location, experience, strength of portfolio, and mastery of relevant programming languages.
Here is the list of careers related to the web design and development:
- Web Designer
- .Net Web Developer
- PHP Web Developer
- Coldfusion Developer
- SQL Server Developer
- Java Web Developer
- Software Designer
- User Interface (UI) Developer
- Web Developer
- Oracle Developer
- SharePoint Developer
- Perl Developer
- J2EE Developer
- Email Marketing Specialist
Employment for web developers is forecasted to increase by 27% from 2014 through 2024, much faster than the 7% average for all stateside occupations. More web developers will be needed to accommodate the ballooning amount of data sent over the Internet and the growing number of users. Each year, a record number of businesses bring their offerings to the World Wide Web; as the number of offerings online grows, web developers will continue to see more job opportunities.
Proliferation of social media will contribute to the high demand for web developers, as businesses look for web-based solutions to engage customers and gain a competitive advantage on these rapidly growing platforms. Increased power and accessibility of mobile devices will add even more opportunities for developers; explore the mobile application developer career path for more information about jobs in the mobile development arena.
Web Development Frameworks and Tools
No discussion on web design and development would be complete without covering two topics: Linux and cybersecurity. Since all websites are hosted on servers- most of which are running on Linux operating system, managing and protecting them are top priority for all companies. Therefore, learning Linux is a must for all backend web developers that manage company’s servers. Of most reputable Linux certifications are: Linx+ certification, Linux Professional Institute system admin exam of 101 and 102, Red Hat Certified System Admin,, Red Hat Certified Engineer, Also, due to the emergence of many cyber attacks, plethora of concepts and tools related to cybersecurity has been developed. Here is a good article for reviewing top cybersecurity certifications.
By now you have a better understanding of what it takes to become a web designer or developer. The good news is that anyone regardless of their coding or technology background can be a web designer. Learning HTML and CSS are very easy and fun. Also, there are lots of online support communities for web designers and developers. The only thing is that there are many job titles and career options available to web programmers; therefore, it is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.