Nowadays, businesses understand how important it is to have a substantial online presence. One of the best ways to increase brand awareness and engagement with potential customers is by running a unique website delivering an exceptional user experience.
Web developers are the professionals that design these websites from scratch according to business needs. Suppose you're thinking about pursuing a tech career in web development. In that case, you're probably asking yourself, "is web development for me?" and that's exactly what we're going to discuss in this article, so stick around for more information on all you need to know.
Analytical skills are essential for web developers. As a web developer, you'll work with endless lines of code that must be analyzed, debugged, and improved to make sure that the website's functionality is at peak level.
Collaboration and Teamwork
As a web developer, you must be able to translate the requirements of clients into objectives and work, help with team members from other functions like marketing and sales to ensure that the website's content is aligned with business strategy and goals. You'll also work with web designers when it comes to the visual design of the site.
If you're a web developer, chances are you won't be working on one task at a time. Most web designers and developers usually have at least 3-4 projects on hand, which is why you need to be able to work on them simultaneously without getting hindered on your performance or missing client deadlines.
What Do Web Developers Do?
A web developer is a professional that handles everything of creating an online site behind the scenes, from the technical information to the website's overall look.
The duties and responsibilities of a site developer can be summed up as follows:
- Testing and debugging applications for websites
- Website traffic monitoring and analysis
- Collaborating with clients and team members
- Learning new skills continuously and staying up to date with web development best practices
- Maintaining and updating sites for a lot of time
Is Being a Web Developer Hard?
Working as a web developer can either be a walk in the park or exhausting based on your attitude and preferences. Sometimes, it's not about the job itself. In many cases, it's not about the coding itself. A site developer who thinks their job is hard may just be working in a toxic work environment.
Additionally, your skills play a huge role here. If you're fluent in the programming languages you need to perform your job, you'll have less of a hard time than if you still have a lot to learn.
What Is the Difference Between Web Development and Web Design?
Many people believe that web design/development is the same, and both terms are often used interchangeably. However, the job of web designers is somewhat different from that of a web developer.
A web designer's role is to design the visual and interactive aspects of the site to make it appealing for the user and ultimately deliver the best possible user experience. Web designers use software such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch. On the other hand, web development is where all the coding occurs to make the site go live.
Considering a Career in Web Development? Here's What You Need to Know
Web Development and Coding Areas of Expertise
Before we get into the details of kick-starting a web development career, let's first make it clear that web development is generally classified into two specializations: front and back end. It's not uncommon to meet a site developer who's familiar with both disciplines, but the majority of web developers specialize in only one of them. But what do front end and back end mean anyway?
Front End Web Development
This specialization involves converting a set of data into a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that the website visitors can intuitively interact with. Elements such as drop-down menus, pages, and forms are all designed by a front-end developer.
Back End Web Development
On the flip side, back-end web development is concerned with handling how the site works and the communication between the database and the browser used to view the website. The data access layer of a website (the client) consists of 3 parts: a server, a database, and an application. A browser displays a website by fetching data from the server.
Some of the programming languages used by back-end web developers include Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, and PHP.
Full Stack Web Development
Full-stack web development is the integration between front and back-end web development. A full-stack web developer can build a site entirely independently using languages like CSS, HTMP, PHP, and Python.
How to Get Started as a Web Developer
If you're just getting started with web development, you're probably having difficulty figuring out where to start or what you need to learn. Here's how you can get into the field and where you could get help:
Web Development Education
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a college degree to work as a web developer. As a matter of fact, most web designers and developers are self-taught. That's not to say that web development college degrees are useless. In fact, they're still quite valuable because they teach concepts like database design, object-oriented programming, and programming logic.
It's worth noting that the number of programs that focus exclusively on web development is limited. Most colleges offer undergraduate computer science and computer engineering degrees that include web development concepts and methodologies in their curriculum.
Alternatively, you can look for the best web development courses and start learning right now. Having many resources to learn web development right under your fingertips is one of the best things about web development.
However, a single video-based tech course won't make you an expert in web development overnight. Make sure that the course you enroll in actually delivers high value and some form of hands-on practice for you to apply what you've learned because web development is all about making the best use of your skills and tools.
On a side note, you should keep in mind that web development is more than just learning a couple of programming languages. It's more about how you use these languages to create stunning websites that are functional, user-friendly, and fast.
Working on a Side Project
One of the top-notch ways to learn web development or any other skill is to start and develop your own new project. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it'll be a great, easy way for you to get hands-on experience. Consider creating a site about anything you like, even if it's a personal blog. It's just an easy way to get acquainted with the hands-on experience of the day-to-day things.
Web Development Career Prospects and Opportunities
Web development is among the most promising tech career paths in the 21st century, and the demand for web designers and developers is growing exponentially year by year. Some analysts predict that the demand for website developers will increase by 15% between 2016 and 2026.
Additionally, according to payscale.com, a site developer's average salary in the United States is $68,524. Of course, the figure varies according to multiple factors, like years of experience, skills, industry, and company location. To put that in perspective, check out the entry level web developer salary, too.
There are countless freelance, part-time, contract-based, and full-time web development job opportunities in the United States for you to choose from and get started, so the sky's the limit if you're interested.
Is Web Development the Right Career Path for Me? Final Takeaway
By now, you should've developed a better understanding of web development, what professionals in this field do, and gotten answers to some of the lingering questions. So, is it the right choice for you? The ultimate answer is yours to say, but we can assure you that despite being a very challenging field, it's definitely worth it. Don't hesitate to start!