How to become a web developer
Website development has rapidly become the most attractive area for many novice programmers. This is dictated by the changes in the market, as the availability of a good site and the maintenance of social networks has become the main factor in the success of many business projects. Thus, companies in almost every industry need specialists in implementing, operating, and upgrading their business online.
- Definition of website development
- The actuality of web developers for brands
- Categories of web developers
- Job opportunities
- Characteristics of a successful web developer: soft skills
- Some tips for starters
Definition of website development
The operation of creating a web application or website is called web development. Today there exist several stages of website development, among them: creating a website concept, page layouts, development of functional tools, optimization of site materials, etc. Depending on the current task, some stages may be absent or may be closely related to one another.
Many people use the terms of web design and development interchangeably, not realizing that they are, as a matter of fact, completely different. Web design means planning and creating the visual side of the site. This includes the development of the site layout, structure of the web page, user’s interface, easy navigation, color combinations, images, animations, and other graphic elements. A web designer embodies the ideas of customers, creating a thoughtful interface to the site and models a site’s layout before a web developer’s stage of work.
The main purpose of all of these activities is to increase the ratio of the desired goal -It can be advertising or selling a product. Whatever it is, creating a website is like writing a book. It’s not enough just to write it. It should be rewritten, polished and also, be enjoyable for the eyes. In this case, web developers are the authors and designers, well, are designers.
Web developers build a fully functional site using integrated development environments and software languages based on a project created by web designers. Web development consists of a client-side and programming that is the software part.
All in all, a web designer who understands how web pages are created will be more experienced and prepared to make the design of these pages. Similarly, a web developer who knows the elements and fundamental outlines of design can better control the appearance of the content.
The actuality of web developers for brands
The key advantages of creating brand websites are:
- Representing the company online
A website conveys the mission and basic principles of the business online. With the help of the website, a brand will be able to show its advantages, the professionalism of its employees, quality of provided service, or a product.
The website is the interaction with current and potential customers and an additional point of contact. On the website, a company can represent a new product, service, launch the campaign, changes in forms of payments, or the price, etc. Calling each customer or partner is long and resource-intensive. Therefore, it is better to post this information on the Internet, where they themselves can see it.
- Increasing brand awareness
The site helps companies find new customers on the Internet. First, the name of the brand collects traffic from user queries. If someone has heard about the company somewhere and wants to learn more about it, most likely, he will try to find this brand on Google. If a brand has a website, a person will immediately get to it, read the information about and, possibly, decide to cooperate. And if at the search stage he does not find any information about the brand on the network, he will most probably go to competitors who have a website.
Secondly, having a website, a brand can promote it on the Internet. A website opens up great opportunities for promotion on the web: SEO, contextual advertising, buying links, etc. All this brings new customers, and consequently, the profit of the brand increases.
The site allows businesses to use dozens of Internet marketing tools: from targeted advertising to email newsletters. On the Internet, it is more convenient, simpler, and more effective to conduct marketing events: promotions, discounts, advertising campaigns, etc. It is also easier to analyze the results as it’s more convenient to monitor the statistics of visits, the number of orders, online purchases, and other indicators on the Internet.
- Gaining the trust of customers and partners
A successful business in the 21st century maintains good contact with its audience, speaks its language, and builds trust and friendly relations. The company needs to hear its customers and understand them, and the website is one of the tools that allow this.
- Saving money
The website should be considered not as another line of expenses, but as an opportunity for business to reduce these costs in the future. With the website, the company can save on staff and premises.
Why spend money on salaries for sales managers who close standard deals, if this process can be automated as well as most of the other services and functions? The solution to creating a quality website can help a lot in reducing expenses and making business more convenient and simpler.
Categories of web developers
Today, the demand for specialists in web development is growing day by day. Currently, there exist three categories of specialists in web development:
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
Web specialist in the back-end creates the site’s logistics with specific software tools. The tasks of the back-end developer vary greatly depending on the product and desires of the customer. Such a specialist can be responsible for making up and integrating databases, providing security, or configuring backup and recovering technologies.
- Full-stack specialist
A web full-stack specialist works well both with the back-end and front-end. He needs to obtain a general knowledge of the technologies from each part of the development process. When business just starts to develop, there is often a great need for full-stack developers, as their versatility can be useful in product development, but as the company expands, developers need more and more specific skills.
A full-stack expert can also be an excellent technical specialist. He broadly understands the technology and can foresee what innovations or trends should be implemented in the future.
During a work search, both a novice and an experienced worker in web development should first look not at the company’s size, brand recognition, and social package, but at the service and product of the brand, development structure, and the tasks that can be assigned to it. After, it is important to understand as clearly as possible what a person can give the company, whether he is suitable for the tasks under discussion, and whether he is interested in all of this. Web developers can work at the following places:
- Start-ups or small businesses
Start-ups are supposed to be the best working place for a beginner. Small businesses or startups pay more attention to the work of a newcomer and set more various tasks. In addition, if a beginner in a startup feels his strength, ability to take more complex tasks, and wants to grow, he will be able to do it much faster than in corporations.
For a professional web developer, switching to a startup can be a breath of fresh air and a good shake. In addition, in large companies, there is often nowhere to grow and it is difficult to try something new or take on more responsibility. In such a situation, work in a startup is also a more advantageous option.
- Multinational corporations
The branches of multinational corporations are operating in different countries, offering great work opportunities for their employees. Though, such corporations, when choosing and hiring a web developer, require specific job experience in the employee’s background. Working in multinational corporations has a line of benefits such as the possibility of traveling, a strong working environment, extensive networking opportunities, stable company’s values.
- Web development agencies
Web development agencies cooperate with companies from different industries that prefer outsourcing to create, manage, and upgrade their websites as well as outsourcing management of the websites. In this case, the work of web developers is less likely to be monotonous: from implementing customized websites to providing ongoing assistance and upgrading with new technologies.
Freelance has taken first place for web developers in choosing the format of working. This is due to such benefits of freelancing as a free schedule and time-sharing. Moreover, a freelance web-developer can earn relatively large amounts of money. Here the income of a freelancer depends on the level of his training and, of course, a portfolio. Before choosing this format of work it is advisable for a specialist to learn how to build the right relationships with clients and master the skills of business correspondence.
Characteristics of a successful web developer: soft skills
Being successful in web development is not just about having the ability to code better than others. It needs some other characteristics that help a person to stand out from them.
Of course, it’s important to be skillful but skills are not enough to make you a better web developer.
Let’s have a look at the characteristics that you can’t learn online to improve yourself as a web developer.
As a web developer, you should be able to educate yourself using different resources.
Many websites can teach you a lot about codes and other stuff. But if you’re not interested enough in coding it’s going to be a little hard for you to keep yourself motivated.
A good web developer always is ready to teach and learn.
The next chapter will complete this part.
Thirsty for knowledge
As time passes by, technology is evolving more and more. If you don’t want to be left out you should be enthusiastic enough to be on the line.
The information you have soon will be outdated. You better be quicker than technology.
Whenever a new language or library is introduced you are expected to know a lot about it. And been expected to know about them is the least -some companies want you to be an expert in them.
As Samuel Johnson stated, “Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.”
The keyboards in this sentence are “generous” and “passion”.
This passion is what you can not find in every person. And this is what can make you a better web developer than the others.
But about the word “generous” there’s something you should know. One of the key questions any web developer should answer to himself or herself is: Is my code understandable enough for other members of the company to correct or troubleshoot it?
Usually, when you want to develop an app or a website, you’re not alone. The duties are contributed among team members.
To be a good team member first of all you have to understand the attitude and the mentality of the team which can lead you to reach the expected goal.
Team members are not the only people you have to work with. There are other departments that you need to interact with to complete your task like business owners, marketing staff, and maybe other developers and you should be able to enhance your abilities to manage these connections.
As a web developer, you should have the ability to understand the problems and suggest solutions for them. As we mentioned, developing a website from scratch is like writing a novel. Like an author who is aware of language limits, you as a web developer should know about the language you’re using. Knowing these helps you be more creative and you may make the best out of it.
Before starting to type a line of codes you should know what you are going to do.
To do so should have planned and the whole path from starting point to the goal.
Without a plan, you can not show the concept of what you are having on your mind. So you cannot share your thoughts with other members and you may go wrong all the way.
So it is important to create a good plan and get approval before starting to make the first template.
Debugging is something between a hard skill and a soft skill.
You may know how to debug, but it needs an attitude that you can not learn completely from the others.
Writing the codes is only a part of a developer’s job. A good developer is expected to find the root of the problem quickly and effectively.
Some of the developers just start to change the codes blindly. But there are tools provided by Google, Firefox, Edge, etc. that can help them to identify the problem.
Every startup knows about the rule: “if you’re not failing you’re not learning”.
Rarely, the code you write for the first time works correctly.
Mistakes and errors are common. But it is important to see them as a sign of improvement -and not defeat.
Achieving the goal is a process and in every process, some steps can be refined.
To become a successful web developer you should learn from your mistakes and embrace them.
The nature of the coding industry is unpredictable so you must be ready for any kind of change.
No matter what language you are using, it is important to be able to translate your scope and context to other languages.
And as you get to know better the atmosphere of any project you will understand that there are situations which you are not familiar with.
Being flexible lets you handle situations and show your skills.
Some tips for starters
There are many reasons for choosing web development as your main career.
As more businesses become online, the need for web developers is increasing.
Here are some tips for you if you’re new to the industry. Because this field is getting demanded and you’ll face more competitive situations, you need to keep some points in your mind to be considered as one of the good ones.
Design trends, programming languages, and frameworks are constantly updating. Websites like:
- Smashing Magazine
- A List Apart
- CSS Tricks
- Web Designer Depot
can help you a lot with dozens of useful stuff to keep you on track.
Interact with the professionals
Never settle with what you have and always stay enthusiastic about learning from every possible source. Experienced web developers can share their experiences and insights with you to enable you to improve very fast.
Create and destroy
There’s a method in learning called “learning through doing” that can help you a lot. As a web developer, your website is an important part of your portfolio.
Comment your code
When you’re a beginner, you may be unable to code fluently, so it’s important to comment on your code to make it understandable for the whole team.
Today the job of a web developer is in high demand all over the world. The development of digital commerce and other network services requires the creation of many sites and mobile applications. Moreover, it is estimated that currently the demand for web developers significantly exceeds supply in the labor market and, as a result, more and more people would like to become web developers.
A person can easily start to learn the skills of a web developer with defining what he likes best: front-end or back-end. Signing up for an online course, starting practicing programming, and trying to create your own projects in the process are good steps towards building a career in web development.
Freelance projects can help in putting together a decent portfolio. As soon as a web developer has a good portfolio, he can become a more competitive candidate for any position. However, if a web developer is willing to be on top, he must constantly monitor technical innovations and trends in the industry. If a web developer stagnates and lags behind new trends, he risks falling out of the cage and lose customers and his revenue.
What education do I need to become a web developer?
You don’t have to have a university degree to become a web developer; but if you have one, it’s good to hear it.
Learning in universities is more structured and smoother. But there are other ways to learn web development without paying a huge money to Universities.
First of all, you can learn a lot from Google and sources like StackOverFlow. But there are also other ways to learn web development:
- Coding bootcamp
It’s a training program for the starters to make them ready for the industry. This way is more cost effective and can be an ideal option for starters.
- Online learning
There are many websites you can start your journey with their help.
Where to start?
HTML help you create the structure.
CSS has the duty to make it look beautiful.