Web developers are responsible for creating and maintaining reliable and functional websites that fulfil employers’ or clients’ specifications and offer users a positive experience. Remote web developers work from home or any location other than office.
Internet commerce or e-commerce continues to grow, driving demand for more and more websites, applications, and web interfaces. As a result, the number of openings for skilled and experienced web developers has increased. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 23 percent employment growth for web developers and digital designers over the period 2021 to 2031.
The world of web development
Web developers work in a range of small, medium, and large enterprises. They’re employed mostly by computer systems design and software publishing firms, educational organizations, information services companies, management consultancies, advertising agencies, and public relations firms. Some are self-employed.
Web development comprises different specialties and multiple functions. While some web developers manage all aspects of website building and maintenance, others specialize in back-end or front-end development.
Back-end or server-side developers work at the back-end on the technical elements of a website or application that are not visible to users. They construct and maintain the framework, ensuring that it functions as required. Back-end developers handle website architecture, databases, scripting and security. They also enable additions and changes to websites and applications.
Some back-end developers specialize in mobile app development and develop Android or iOS applications.
Developers who handle both back-end and front-end development are known as full-stack developers.
What web developers do
Responsibilities and tasks vary depending on a developer’s specialization, their role, and the type of company and kind of website or application. Gaming sites, e-commerce apps, and online magazines, to name just a few examples, have different requirements.
A web developer’s responsibilities typically include all or some of the following:
Understanding clients’ or management’s requirements — This includes discussing vision, needs, and the functionality of web interfaces with clients or management. A web developer is responsible for constructing websites and interfaces that fit requirements, have a functional design to go with any included applications, and project the vision of the owner.
Analysing user needs — This is necessary to make sure that web content, design, including graphics, and navigation fulfil user needs.
Defining plan and purpose — Outlining a project plan before coding starts is crucial. Determining the most suitable languages and technologies for the website or application is part of planning.
Writing code — This includes writing code to convert wireframes and sketches into functional websites, applications, and interfaces.
Integrating graphics with content and applications — This includes integrating graphics, content, audio, and video into the web interface.
Optimizing performance and capacity — This includes implementing best practices and employing the right techniques in order to optimize website speed and capacity for traffic, as well as executing performance benchmarking tests and monitoring internet traffic.
Testing for responsive design and performance — This includes testing websites, applications, individual pages, other web interfaces, and navigation menus across different devices, such as computers and mobiles, browsers and platforms. This is necessary to check whether the overall user experience is positive.
Collaboration — This involves working with project managers, designers, and programmers to achieve project outcomes. A developer should also expect to interface with marketing and other teams and incorporate their feedback regarding the website or web interface.
Maintaining and improving websites — Developers of take care of routine maintenance once a website goes live, upgrading it in line with client or management requirements and implementing changes in response to user and other stakeholder needs.
Troubleshooting — This includes pre- and post-deployment testing of websites and applications for flaws, as well as fixing bugs and glitches.
Being prepared for a contingency — This includes creating and implementing an effective plan to deal with website crashes.
Managing a web development team — Senior web developers may need to manage a team of developers, programmers, and designers.
Keep pace with changes
Web development is a dynamic field. The tech industry continues to evolve and expand. Web developers need to keep abreast of new technologies, tools and changing user requirements. Successful web developers are enthusiastic about learning new programming languages, trying out the latest web development tools and keeping track of and following best practices.
Training and background
Medium and large enterprises usually prefer web developers who have a degree in computer science or a related subject and knowledge of relevant programming languages and web development technologies. Small organizations may hire professionals who have an associate degree or a high school diploma if they have programming and technical skills and relevant experience.
Web developers who have relevant bachelor’s degrees are better equipped to further their careers. Many move on to managerial roles, such as project manager. All web developers need to know one or more relevant programming languages.
Solid communication skills are necessary because web developers need to communicate with clients, management, co-workers and other stakeholders. Problem-solving skills are important. Developers need to review and test code, identify errors and fix bugs.
While relevant professional experience is most important for middle and senior web developers, certifications can add value to your résumé. Some employers view certifications as evidence of motivation to develop new skills and commitment to career growth.
The following certifications are worth considering:
CIW Web Development Professional
The CIW Web Development Professional certification is managed by CIW, a leading vendor-neutral web technology certification program provider. This industry-recognized credential is designed for web development professionals who want to develop front-end, back-end and database integration skills.
To earn the CIW Web Development Professional certification, you need to pass three exams:
CIW Database Design Specialist
CIW Advanced HTML5 & CSS3 Specialist
Client/server developers, web developers, web application developers and web architects might find this certification useful. Additional information is available online.
Oracle Certified Professional: Java EE 7 Application Developer
Oracle’s Java EE 7 Application Developer certification is designed for experienced Java front-end and back-end application developers and web architects looking to develop advanced skills in developing and deploying applications on the Java Enterprise Edition 7 platform.
Oracle recommends practical programming experience and Oracle SE certification. To earn this certification, you need to pass the 120-minute Java EE 7 Application Developer (1Z0-900) exam. Additional information is available online.
There are a number of other certifications available. When deciding on a particular certification, it’s advisable to consider level of experience, specialization, industry demand and career goals.