The profession of a web developer: tasks, skills, career

The web developer (also known as a web programmer) develops websites and web-based software solutions: he is an expert in programming, dynamic websites, online shops, intranet platforms, and web applications. SECL group is a company that creates really successful web projects, so guys explained all the details about the profession.

What exactly does a web developer do?

His task is to develop websites, apps, and webshops and to ensure their proper functioning. The web developer programs the source code, and the user interface and implements the Content Management System (CMS) and the data protection systems.

When developing a website or an e-commerce site, the web developer creates the site architecture and the page structure (sitemap) via which the individual web pages are connected to each other, configures the necessary databases, and uploads the multimedia elements.

Specifically, he ensures that the website exactly meets the system requirements, technical specifications, and customer requirements, both in its visible part (front-end) and in the part that is only visible to administrators (backend).

After that, the web developer performs manual and automated tests to detect errors and malfunctions (bugs) and checks whether the website works with any type of browser and device (PC, tablet, smartphone …). After debugging, he puts the final version of the website online and ensures that it is constantly updated.

Competences

Even if a web developer can potentially take care of all activities for creating a website from scratch, the continuous development of the IT world increasingly leads to higher specialization of the individual professions. The web developer is, therefore, primarily responsible for writing good, clean codes and creating the website structure (project planning of the web architecture). In contrast, other aspects, such as the design and graphics of the websites and text writing. The creation of multimedia content (photos and videos) or search engine optimization (SEO) are usually left to other specialists such as web designers, web content managers, etc.

In fact, the web developer is primarily a software developer, an expert in web technologies and web programming languages: the most commonly used are PHP, Javascript, Node, Ruby, and Python. In addition to the programming languages, the web developer is also responsible for other aspects related to the function of a website or app, such as the markup languages (such as HTML, CSS, XML), database programming, network protocols, configuration of the web servers, IT security, the user experience design (UX design) and the user interface design (UI design).

Career prospects

The employment opportunities for web programmers are extremely different and numerous, from start-ups with a few employees to the IT department of multinational corporations with thousands of workers. In between, there are Internet agencies and web agencies that offer services such as developing individual websites, mobile apps, and e-commerce applications.

A web developer can work as an employee or, more often, as a freelancer via remote work or in the home office. The size of the company affects the responsibilities of the web developer: the larger the programmer team, the higher the degree of specialization of the individual employees. For a large, very structured employer, the web developer is exclusively involved in programming, but for smaller companies, he could be responsible for all aspects of development for web applications.

Tasks and skills

The most important tasks of the web developer are:

  • Development of websites and web apps, from requirements analysis to definitive configuration.
  • Writing the source code and programming of the website/web application.
  • Complete test of the correct functioning of the website or app (testing).
  • Troubleshooting (debug).
  • Publishing the website/app according to the deadlines.
  • Preparation of the accompanying technical documentation.
  • Solution of any technical problems and code optimization.
  • Maintenance and updating of websites, webshops, and apps.

Training and requirements

To become a web developer, very extensive and complex knowledge is required: you will have to study computer science, media informatics, or software engineering. In addition, there are numerous courses for web developers as well as courses and further education for the acquisition of certified knowledge of programming languages, object-oriented programming (OOP), web design, responsive design, and development methods.

Nevertheless, as with other IT professions, the job offers for web developers primarily ask for actual technical knowledge and not so much for degrees or titles: knowledge of HTML, XML, CSS, programming languages (such as Python, PHP, Ruby, C, C++, JavaScript), databases and the corresponding management systems (such as MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server), server-side and client-side frameworks and libraries, integrated development environments (IDE, Integrated Development Environment) for websites and web applications.

It is a profession where learning never ends. On the contrary, it is essential to always be up to date on topics such as UX/UI design and usability, as well as on the latest web technologies. Participation in workshops, conferences in the field of web development, training courses, and cooperation with open-source communities are also encouraged.

Career opportunities

Career entry is possible as a junior web developer. If you have gained enough experience and skill in web programming, you can become a senior web developer and participate in the development of more complex web applications, including with leadership functions. For example, you can become a team or project manager.

In addition, there is the possibility to make a career as a freelance web developer and to participate in innovative web projects as an external consultant and freelancer, with flexible working time models (part-time, home office, remote working).

The field of web development also offers different specialization options: a front-end developer, a backend developer, or a full-stack developer. You can also choose from diverse programming languages. As a mobile app developer, you can also specialize in the development of smartphone and tablet apps. In-depth knowledge of web usability or IT security offers the opportunity to work as a UX/UI designer or as an IT security specialist. So, your options are diverse.

 

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