Designer, artist, messenger and marketer compose part of the web developer job description. Organizations use the Internet as a platform for advertisements, announcements, news, calls to action and entertainment. To get maximum returns from the web, these organizations turn to web developers and their creative and technical acumen to attract and persuade visitors. With prominence of online activity, workers with these skills can find ample job or business opportunities as a web developer.
Job Overview: What Does a Web Developer Do?
The web developer job description can focus on the appearance and design (front-end) or technical and structural aspects (back-end). Additionally, other developers may concentrate on website maintenance and updates. Web development generally involves designing, programming and communication with clients, sources of information and those providing technical and creative advice for projects.
Web Developer Job Duties
- Learn clients’ needs, expectations and desired appearance or themes for websites through meetings or conferences.
- Determine, create and test applications for website based on the clients’ line of business or activities or purpose of the site.
- Use HyperText Markup Link (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and other programming codes.
- Consult with design team members, software engineers and information technology personnel as necessary to determine information and security for site.
- Collaborate with designers to fix the website’s layout.
- Test website applications and links for errors, breaks and barriers to access or efficient use.
- Ensure the accuracy and timeliness of content, such as event announcements, product information, store or facility hours of operation.
Web Developer Essential Skills
Creativity. The ability to design websites that attract attention and are easy to navigate is a major pillar of the web developer job description. Clients generally seek innovative websites.
Communication. Web developers must listen attentively to grasp the needs and wishes of clients. Communication includes clearly and honestly advising the client on potential obstacles to a particular design. Additionally, some clients may need simple explanations of technical terms.
Design. To design websites, web developers summon design tools, techniques, blueprints, codes and drawings. In fact, effective and innovative designs require developers to know the latest tools and programming languages.
Concentration. Web developers write long codes to achieve graphic features such as text size and fonts and special features. Proofreading and review are common to assure codes and hypertext protocol links are entered correctly. A single mistake can disrupt web page activity or web page visitors from being directed to apps or other pages.
Customer Service. Developers who serve as webmasters constantly receive suggestions, information, evaluations and also questions from clients. Responses must be delivered promptly, courteously and accurately. Moreover, other web developers exhibit customer service through listening to and producing a website that conforms to their needs and wishes.
Becoming a Web Developer
An educational background in design, computer science or web development is part of the web developer job description. Prospects demonstrate their skills, not merely through accumulating time in the job, but showing prior creations.
Qualifications & Training
Web developers commonly hold associate degrees from community colleges or technical schools. Some four-year colleges may offer certificates mainly through online or other extension programs.
The level of degree needed may turn on the technical skills required by the employer or the organization running the website. Organizations needing back-end developers may want candidates with bachelor degrees in computer science, program or related fields. However, a high school diploma or associate’s degree or certificate in web design may suffice for other developer positions. Where graphics and visual appeal are especially important, candidates likely will need a degree in computers and at least classes in graphic design.
Typically, employers want developers to have prior experience. As a rule of thumb, one to five years is a prerequisite or preference. Moreover, organizations in certain sectors may seek developers with experience in the sector. For instance, web developers may need prior work in a commercial setting to handle business accounts. Educational institutions may prefer those who have created web pages for schools. Governmental agencies may seek web developers who have designed sites for citizens to pay taxes, search records, obtain laws or read about events or places of interest in the state, locality or nation.
Many seekers of web developers tend to rely more on prior website portfolios than merely length of prior service, especially in awarding internships. Prospective interns can exhibit sites they designed and created as volunteers for charities or nonprofits. Freelancers can tout jobs for organizations or businesses, especially local ones who might contract for development. During job searches, whether for internships or full-time work, applicants should present portfolios targeted to the type of website or business a company runs.
Generally, web developers log full-time hours. According to a survey reported by O*Net, 52 percent of developers worked more than 40 hours per week.
Typically, web developers work in an office. O*Net’s survey says 93 percent of responding web developers work indoors and almost eight out of ten are constantly sitting. Many clients communicate by phone calls or emails. The web developer job description may not include much travel, since developers can work and even control computers or sites remotely. As websites are accessed daily and at almost all times, web developers may be on call beyond normal office hours in case of site crashes or problems.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 27 percent rise in web development jobs. The growth is courtesy of the rise in online shopping, ordering, bill pay and other e-commerce activities. Organizations also rely on web developers to meet the demand of mobile device users. The Pew Research Center reports, as of 2015, approximately 72 percent of Americans own a smart phone.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one out of every seven developers own and operate their own businesses. The average annual pay for web developers, as of May 2015, is $70,660. One out of 10 developers earned more than $116,620 per year. To better understand the specifics of this field, we recommend reading about the software engineer job description.
The Internet is a marketplace, graphic message board and a portal for charitable activity. As a result, businesses and nonprofits demand web development to enhance their presence, goals and missions. Web developers with experience, especially as shown by their portfolios, have strong job prospects to satisfy these needs.