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What Do Web Developers Actually Do?

As time goes on, more and more businesses are recognizing the need for a robust internet presence to engage their customers and sell their products or services. This means that the demand for talented web developers has never been greater. These professionals generally have both technical and creative skills which they combine to help design appealing and functional websites for their clients. They also work to maintain the website and update it when needed so customers always have a positive experience. 

Read on to find out more about the skills needed to become a successful web developer!

Skills Needed for Web Development

It’s no surprise that web development requires a lot of technical knowledge, but it’s also important to focus on skills related to teamwork and communication to be successful. Here are some common skills that the best developers have, but this is by no means an exhaustive list: 

Hard Skills

  • Computer programming: This is a skill that virtually every developer has in their arsenal. Learning to code is vital, but the language (or languages) you focus on will depend on where you work and your ultimate career goals. For instance, working on the server-side of a website requires knowledge of Ruby, Java, or Python while front end developers tend to use HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.
  • Debugging skills: A buggy website is almost as useless as no website at all, so modern web developers need to understand how to minimize the likelihood of glitches. Luckily, the most commonly used web browsers tend to have some built-in debugging tools to speed up this process. Therefore, it’s important to have experience with multiple browsers so you understand how the page you create will function for your users.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is a combination of various digital marketing tools that helps websites gain visibility and credibility with users. Successful SEO leads to a website being seen toward the top of search engine results when people search for keywords related to that particular business. While digital marketing is a career on its own, even a basic understanding of some SEO techniques can help your clients get as much exposure as possible. 

Soft Skills

  • Communication: It sounds simple, but little things like listening closely to others and not interrupting can go a long way. Web developers need excellent communication skills for several reasons. First, it helps give your teammates an accurate picture of when they can expect you to complete a project. Positive communication can also ensure that your teammates feel comfortable approaching you with a question or a problem.
  • Patience: Teammates who have patience with each other understandably work better together than those who don’t. Web development requires a lot of patience. You’ll often have to explain your work to others who lack similar work experience, or you might be asked to complete a task that isn’t as simple as a co-worker assumes. Extending patience to your teammates also increases the likelihood that you will also be given some grace if you’re having a difficult time solving a problem.
  • Time management: Web development often means working on multiple projects at once so you must be able to manage your time wisely. Many developers use The Pomodoro Technique to help them stay on track and avoid feelings of burnout. With this technique, you simply divide your work into chunks of 25 minutes with five-minute breaks in between. Additionally, successful developers devise ways to reuse some of their existing code to speed up development. 

Daily Life of a Web Developer

If you’re trying to imagine what your daily responsibilities will be like after becoming a web developer, it’s important to consider what kind of developer you hope to be. Back end developers work on the technical or “server-side” of a website while front end developers focus on the overall look and feel of the site; there are also full stack developers who combine the skills of front end and back end. In general, there are some common responsibilities that all web developers share. 

Often, web developers will spend part of their days meeting with clients and teammates to discuss the design needs of a website and determine what information the website needs to contain. They will also create prototypes of the webpage for clients to review, then make requested changes based on feedback. Additionally, they will test aspects of the website for accessibility and usability.

If you have a keen eye for graphic design and consider yourself to be a creative person, front end development may be for you. On the other hand, back end developers might be more enthusiastic about problem-solving and boosting their programming skills. There are plenty of exciting opportunities no matter which path you choose. 

Salary and Future of Web Development 

Web developers have a lot of responsibilities and require a range of complex skills. The good news is that their salaries generally reflect how challenging their work is. The average annual salary for a web developer is around $67,000. This varies based on location and experience. For instance, web developers with more experience can earn between $78,000 and $86,000 per year.

Careers in web development are projected to grow at a much faster rate over the next decade than the average for other professions. As time progresses, their responsibilities are expected to shift to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society. For instance, over 50% of web traffic comes from people using their mobile devices. With this information, aspiring developers can expect to focus more on optimizing websites for mobile devices. Web developers are also learning more about cybersecurity to ensure that the pages they develop are safe for customers to use. 

Learn Web Development with Career Centers

Does a career in web development sound like something you’d be interested in? If so, you might consider taking some courses to enhance your skills. Noble Desktop offers a range of web development classes to choose from. Noble is a partner program of Career Centers and their courses can be taken remotely or in-person if you live in or near the Manhattan area. With an array of prices and length of courses to choose from, students are sure to find a class that meets their professional and personal needs. 

If you’re looking for a shorter class, there are several foundational courses offered by Noble Desktop. Check out the JavaScript Programming Fundamentals class, the Web Development with HTML & CSS class, or the JavaScript for Front-End class. These courses are 18-hours long and they all can be completed in less than a week. If a certification is what you’re after, Noble Desktop has you covered here as well. Noble offers a Front-End Web Development Certificate geared toward beginners that teaches multiple programming languages and web building tools. A Full-Stack Web Development Certificate is also available. This program covers Ruby on Rails in addition to the curriculum from the front end course.

Learn more in these courses

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