Web developers are one of the most sought-after IT specialists, not only in the world. What is this profession and how to get it? We tell in this article.
People use a huge number of websites every day. Pay bills, buy food and clothes, book a plane ticket, chat with friends – today all this can be done in one click thanks to web developers.
Who is a Web Developer?
A web developer is engaged in the creation of new and maintenance of existing sites and web applications. Before starting work, he needs to communicate with the customer and understand what he wants, as well as get a layout from the web designer, if any. Having received the terms of reference, the web developer thinks about how to implement the task, and then writes the code and tests it several times, configures the web server and interface. In his work, he uses the skills of programming, layout, working with frameworks and databases.
Specializations of the web developer profession
The web developer profession has three specializations.
A backend developer is a specialist who deals with the backend of a website. He is responsible for writing code in one or more programming languages, server architecture, correct operation of the site, working with databases and their organization.
The frontend developer creates the interface of the site, that is, its visual side. After receiving the project from the web designer, the frontend developer translates it into code. He must make sure that the external side works correctly and is displayed in the same way in all browsers on any gadgets.
A full stack developer can perform the full range of work on creating a site, that is, be both a backend and frontend developer. There are much fewer such specialists, since not many are able to master all the necessary skills and perform quality work from start to finish.
Benefits of being a web developer
Being a web developer has many benefits.
The profession of a web developer is one of the most sought-after professions.
The salary of web developers is an order of magnitude higher than the average salary in the country.
There is a creative component to the work of a web developer, since for each task you can find several solutions.
Ability to work remotely
To work, a web developer does not have to be in the office, you can create software from home, as well as work for foreign customers.
Cons of being a web developer
Those who dream of becoming a web developer need to take into account the negative aspects of this profession.
A web developer works at a computer and doesn’t move much during the day. This negatively affects his health, especially on the spine.
A web developer spends a lot of time in front of a computer screen, which can lead to visual impairment over time.
The profession is quite popular today, so there can be many candidates for one position or project. You need to constantly develop and hone your skills in order to stand out from the competition.
Web developer – training
There are many ways to become a web developer, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, you can learn on your own from those materials, articles and videos that are publicly available on the Internet. The advantage of this method is that it is free and you can learn at your own pace, and the disadvantage is that there is no specific program and a mentor who can point out mistakes and explain them.
Secondly, you can get a secondary or higher education in the field of computer science and programming. Although there is no separate specialty “web developer” in educational institutions, programs such as “Information Systems and Programming”, “Information Systems and Technologies” will teach the student the basics of programming, and on this basis, you can master the field of web development. However, it is necessary to understand that the IT industry is changing so quickly that any education lags behind reality, so already during training and after receiving a diploma, you still have to study a lot on your own.
Thirdly, you can go to web developer courses, which are quite numerous today. Each course has a clear program and feedback from specialist curators. In many courses, students make projects that can be shown to a future employer. However, the information in the courses is presented quite concisely, so it will be necessary to fill in the gaps on your own.
Web developer training courses
There are general training courses for web developers, which provide basic information on various topics, as well as specialized courses for developing sites in a specific programming language. Among the general courses that are suitable even for beginners, the following can be noted.
- Web Developer by Codecademy
- Computer Programming by Khan Academy
- Programming for Everybody by Coursera & University of Michigan
- Web Development by Mozilla
- Web Development Courses FutureLearn
Employment and Career Web Developer
Web developers can work on the staff of a company or web studio, as well as be a freelancer.
Basically, employers look at the experience of the candidate. Many vacancies do not even have specific education requirements, but professional skills are listed, which may differ from task to task. At the interview, the candidate may be given a test task or asked questions on theory. Career growth within the same company is as follows: first, a beginner works as a junior, and with experience becomes a middle and a senior.
Unlike a full-time employee, a freelancer has to independently look for customers, which is not so easy. On the one hand, high competition on the exchanges for freelancers interferes, where colleagues often also underestimate rates. On the other hand, there are not so many large projects with decent pay. For the most part, on the exchanges you can find only requests for the revision of already created software.
Most likely, in the near future, the profession of a web developer will remain in demand. Every minute, a huge number of new users appear on the network, as well as new sites and web applications. And although today an ordinary person without computer science knowledge has the opportunity to independently create a website for himself on special website builders, do not forget that, firstly, these website builders are also created by web developers, and secondly, this method works for one person, a maximum of a small company, and not a large company interested in a quality product.
Does a web developer need a portfolio?
– Yes, it is important to have works that can be shown to a potential employer. These can be links to projects in which a person participated, and other developments, a link to a repository in GitHub, a business card site. At the stage of selecting a person, it is important to understand what level of tasks he can solve, and the purpose of the portfolio of projects is precisely to give such an understanding. This simplifies the task for everyone: the specialist will be able to demonstrate his expertise, and the employer will be able to assess the skills and ask more detailed interview questions. If there are not so many real projects completed, you can do them just for your resume. This is also a very common approach – take a certain task, solve it the way you see it, and show it in a portfolio.
What should a developer know?
– It is important for a web developer to be able to program in at least one of the common languages. Programming skills are perhaps the most important thing you need.
It is also very important to follow the trends and keep abreast of what is happening now in the world of web development, as technology is constantly changing. Courses and additional education in this sense is also a good story, although I would not focus solely on them – often working in a good team of professional developers gives more than a whole set of trainings and courses.
By the way, the ability to work in a team is valued no less than knowledge of the code. You need to understand that most often you do a project not alone, but together with other people.
How to become a web developer?
- It is difficult to get a web developer specialty in finished form – this is almost not taught in universities. In most cases, within the framework of higher education, programming is taught, and this is important: if a person knows how to write code, then having this base, he can already specialize in web development. But you still need to study the material yourself: literature, meetups, conferences, specialized communities on Habr and other sites.
The most effective training is a real project in the company, when you can get new knowledge from colleagues and test your skills in practice. Many IT companies offer internships to novice professionals.
How and where to look for the first clients?
– It is important to gain experience working on a real project, so I would probably not advise you to go freelancing right away. It would be wiser to work in a development team, because, as experience shows, you can always learn something useful from colleagues. And after the specialist has gained experience and knowledge, you can think about working independently and looking for freelance customers if this format of work attracts more than working in a company.