How to become a web developer

Job description: What does a web developer do?

Web developers are software developers who have specialized in web technology. You develop websites and associated apps. They take care of the maintenance of the individual programs and their interaction with the users. In contrast to web designers, who focus on an app’s graphic elements, web developers concentrate on programming the software. Not infrequently, they also take on graphic tasks in practice.

The activities of web developers are very varied and demanding. The working environment is very dynamic. The demands on a website are always changing. Nowadays, websites are large and complex applications that can no longer do without professional web developers. Their tasks include performing requirements analyzes and developing software architectures. To do this, they often work in interdisciplinary teams with web designers, marketing experts, and business strategists. They determine the needs of a website. What tasks does a website have to fulfill, and how should the website be designed? From the entirety of the requirements and specifications, the team of experts creates a so-called specification sheet.

In the next step, web developers create a specification sheet. This provides information about the specifics of the project. This includes all measures and tools for producing the website, including software architecture and the toolchain’s design and installation. The creation of the database design follows. The database includes all the content of a website. Aspects from the areas of SEO, online marketing, and conversion play an essential role. Web developers take on the technical implementation and ensure that search engines also find the page and that a good ranking is possible.

Further tasks are the implementation of productive codes and automatic tests. Once the site is online, web developers take care of its further development and maintenance. You always adapt the page to the user behavior and the requirements of the operator. They also pay attention to innovations in search engine optimization and innovations from web technology.

Web developers often work independently or as a freelancer. Also, they will find attractive jobs in the internet, media, or full-service agencies and the IT departments of large companies. It is used in offices and meeting rooms.

Average salary: How much does a Web Developer make in the United States?

The average salary for a web developer is $77,000 per year ($33 per hour) in the United States. Wages typically start from $37,000 and go up to $126,000.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Web developer responsibilities and requirements

Different paths lead to this profession. Talent and technical know-how are essential. In the US, among other things, training as an IT specialist in application development partially prepares you for the job of a web developer. The practice must specialize in web-related topics. The training usually lasts three years. It is offered both as a dual system and at school. The prerequisite is at least the right secondary school leaving certificate. Often trainers also require a high school diploma or general university entrance qualification and good grades in mathematics.

Several courses of study provide the necessary specialist knowledge for working as a web developer. This includes web engineering, computer science, media informatics, and applied computer science, provided that the course consists of web technology and teaches the development of websites. Lateral entrants who grow into web development can take advantage of various training opportunities as part of their professional activity. Numerous educational institutions offer multiple courses. There are also certifications for individual areas of competence, such as the PHP certification from Zend or the MySQL certification from Oracle.

Web developers need a variety of technical skills. You have to master HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and object-oriented programming principles (OOP). So-called front-end developers also need knowledge of web design and responsive design. You can safely handle the JavaScript DOM API and have experience with client-side frameworks such as AngularJS, ReactJS, or UIkit. Backend developers work closer to the system and less close to the user. For this, they need an understanding of the HTTP protocol and the REST principle and specialist knowledge in the areas of SQL, databases, server-side frameworks, and server-side programming languages.

Also, qualified applicants need solid methodological knowledge and relevant soft skills. Communication skills are fundamental. Web developers must be able to explain complex technical relationships in a way that laypeople can understand. Besides, there is the ability to work in a team and interdisciplinary skills. It would be best if you had a good grasp of things and a lifelong willingness to learn. The evolution of web technology is exceptionally rapid, so that successful web developers have to continue their education. Besides, they should be resilient and ready for use. They often work under time pressure. You have to meet deadlines and often work overtime to do so.