Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAR. 13, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Become a Web Developer

The internet is one of the most important things in the world at the moment. It is hard to imagine when the technical experts will not be needed in such a technologically advanced world. Due to this, working in website development is currently regarded as one of the best careers to have in 2014. It is likely to be in demand for many years and is a lucrative career path to follow. Keep reading to find out how to progress in this field.

What do Web Developers do?

Web developers may sometimes be in-charge of web design, depending on the requirements and budget of the company. Much of the hard work creating the complex parts of what happens behind the scenes of the internet is done by web developers. Someone who is a web developer is very technical and is primarily focused on the programming and development of web applications. Web developers usually have a slightly more creative outlook than software developers. Typical activities for a web developer may include:

  • Meeting clients to decide what kind of functionality they want their website to have/look like, and informing them what options are available to them. Creating the requirements documents
  • Discussing with web designers on how the development of the website is going. Making sure it sticks to requirements
  • Use and IDE, the Command Line, or Notepad to code the backend of a website, or application using languages such as: HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby, C#, Java, SQL, JavaScript and PHP
  • Make sure that developers stick to the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) when developing websites to maintain best practices
  • Connecting a website to a database to store all the information for the website
  • Put in place the necessary security measures to ensure that the clients website is secure
  • Testing a website thoroughly to ensure that as many bugs as possible have been fixed, if there is no specific testing person or team in your company
  • Provide continued support for the client so that the website can be maintained and improved

Salary

Web development is one of the main areas of growth in the job market and so the pay is relatively high. However, the pay seems to mainly depend on what company you work for and your geographical location. A good summary of the average UK wage for web developers can be seen below:

Entry level

£19,000 - £22,00

Experience

£25,000 - £35,000

Senior Developers

£35,000 - £45,000

Management Roles

£45,000 +

What Qualifications Are Needed?

In order to be an effective web developer you need to be a logical and analytical thinker with the ability to learn new technologies quickly. An undergraduate degree in one of the following disciplines is usually advised:

  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Web Development
  • Web Technologies
  • Electronics
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

However, no degree is specifically necessary in order to carry out this role. As long as a person is intelligent and able to easily grasp mathematical concept they will usually be a good programmer. If a person can show that they know one of the following languages and or find learning other programming languages easy, they can usually get a job as a web developer.

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • C#
  • Java
  • SQL
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • ASP
  • Perl
  • ActionScript

If your resources are limited and you can only proceed if leaning is free, then there has never been a better time to do so with free online resources such as codeacademy and the NewBoston. In many cases, these online resources are actually more effective than university courses as they are extremely hands on and to the point.

Career Development

Web development is a growth career that is absolutely undisputed. So many more services are being moved online that more and more people with the skills described above are essential in every country. If you have a real knack for these skills and can learn new technologies quickly then you will rise quickly within the ranks of a company. If you work freelance then if your work is good you will become well known and can perhaps even expand your business. You may also have the opportunity to work overseas if you become particularly specialised in your area.

Note that it is important to continue your professional development and keep up with the current trends in computer technologies. It is evolving at an incredibly fast pace, and unless you keep up to date you will be left behind.

This is an interesting career with fantastic potential, but it isn’t for everyone. If you are not a technical and mathematically minded person then you will not do well as a web developer. Programming has to come naturally. If you feel you have the correct technical attributes then why not give it a try. 

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