Web developers, at their most basic description, are people who create websites. However, within this, there are many different facets to consider including user-friendliness, site navigation and how the website performs.
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What is web development?
Web development goes beyond simply creating a website. Within that, the role of a web developer is to create a site that serves the needs of the company, is easy to navigate for users and that is designed to maximise flow of information and, if relevant, sales funnel. Often, web developers will work closely with other marketing professionals. One of the advantages of web development is that you may for example have a web developer in Spain, working with an SEO agency in London, seamlessly.
It is this ability of web developers to complement and work with many other marketing professionals that adds to the value they bring to any company.
Web developers are also often responsible for the performance and capacity of the website which will affect the speed of the site.
What types of web developers are there?
There are three different categories of web developers:
Back-end web developers – back-end web developers are responsible for creating the structure of the website including writing code and verifying that the code works. Depending on the specific job, their responsibilities may also include managing accessing points for others who might need to manage the content of the website
Full-stack developers – full-stack developers are those which fulfill multiple responsibilities including those of both back-end and front-end developers. This means that these web developers are able to build a complete website. Full-stack developers can be a good options for companies who want to build a website without having the budget to employ a larger website team.
What skills do you need to be a web developer?
In order to be a web developer, there are certain skills that you will need, both at a technical level and at a workplace level.
For technical skills, web developers will require specific training. Their skill set will typically need to include:
Technical SEO – the success of a website goes beyond just basic design. Sites that are designed with SEO in mind can impact how websites perform and rank on search engines and subsequently will affect traffic to the website
Responsive design – developers need to consider web design for a range of devices including smartphones, tablets and computer screens.
Visual design – as well as technological skills, web developers need to have an eye for visual design including how to choose fonts and incorporate the most suitable images.
Not only do web developers need technical skills, they will need key workplace skills such as good communication skills, customer service skills and being highly organised to manage project tasks, deadlines, budgets and workflow. They will need to be detail-oriented to manage the many facets involved with web developer projects and will also be able to solve problems efficiently and patiently.
How can I start a career as a web developer?
For those looking to get into web development as a career, there are many different courses available. It also helps to come from a background of computer science or web design. As you build up your career, it is worthwhile to keep a portfolio of your web development work which can show future employees the type of work you have created in the past. For projects that include code, show your thought process through annotations to help future employers understand how you work.