Web Developer – About, Skills, Types and Work

Who is a Web Developer?

Web developer or web designer

A web developer, in the shortest & rawest manner, is a programmer who creates internet apps. A web developer builds a website or web app, developing everything from the layout to the look, functions and feel of it.

Types of web developers

 Web developers, like with most jobs, can be categorized. There are 3 categories:

  • Front end web developer

These ones make your favorite sites look pretty. Interested in building a website for yourself, a client, or want to pay someone to do it? Then front end web development is the place to start.

  • Back end web developer

These guys are responsible  for the way things work. They give websites functions. The back-end developer is the programming brains behind the scenes. If you want to build interactive websites that allow users to do things – like logging in, creating accounts or even liking things – you’ll focus on back end development and use more powerful languages.

  • Full stack web developer

Well… they do both front-end web development and back-end web development. Certified bad-ass right? To go down this path you’ve got to learn multiple languages. It is quite hard to have even fair amount of mastery over the two at the same time.


Some skills of a web developer

The skills and jobs of web developers generally fall into one or more of these 3 categories:

A. Client-side Scripting

Client-side scripting, just means, creation of web apps that run in the browser of a user’s PC. This is the skill that front end web developers use to create the layout and look of a website.

Here are some examples of client-side languages:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • AJAX
  • JavaScript
  • JQuery(which is pretty much under Javascript)

B. Server-side Scripting

This is the back-end web developers playground. It involves building the framework that enables information on the internet server to speak with the browser of the user’s PC.

The following are examples of server-side languages:

  • Java
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby on Rails

C. Database technologies

The final set of skills to look for in a web developer is the information technologies they’re aware of. Each web site needs a place to store its code, images, files and different knowledge. This is called the websites database.

These Database Management Systems (DBMS) are the most commonly used ones:

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • Apache
  • MongoDB

Web developers generally build skills in one or more of these 3 groups. At times, large-scale projects divide these tasks among multiple developers. In addition to division of labor, developers use frameworks to save time and be more efficient.


Read: Free Online Web Development Courses


Web Designer vs. Web Developer ?

web developer

The line between web designer and web developer is commonly blurred as a result of plenty overlap. For those in the field, however, the difference more defined:

A web designer’s focus is the look and feel of a website; A web developer’s focus is on the technical aspect of things. However, a developer who knows client-side programming can have an immediate impact on the design, layout and feel of a website. Thanks to this, web designers and web developers can usually each recognize basic client-side languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

  • A web designer can use graphic design code like Adobe Photoshop to make the logos, graphics and layout that create the design and feel of a website. 
  • The web developer on the other hand, ought to be able to perceive the aesthetics and art direction of the web designer if they’re handling client-side scripts. They are however going to be mainly involved with practicality and functionality, just like the cart on an e-commerce website or liking a picture on social media.


Read: The difference between Web Design and Web Development


Someone who has gone down multiple paths(mostly full stack web developers) would be a superb project manager, giving an ideal mixture of look and performance to a web project.

  • For a web designer, knowing how to code will allow them to communicate better with the web development team.
  • For a web developer, understanding the artistic direction of a website will help them write better code.

Each of the skill sets mentioned above are necessary to create a good website. Often at times, a designer might not even write any of the code. In this case, a graphic designer would produce a visible illustration of the website’s layout whereas the web developer would use code to make the layout a reality.


What does a web developer really do again?

As a web developer, your job is to present your clients’ services and products to a wide audience by creating attractive and functional websites. You may possibly be asked to identify potential site users and design a website to appeal to such people. Your work may include meeting with clients to discuss their desires for a website or to keep their website functioning and up to date. You very well may construct the layout of a website, creating a visually interesting home page and user-friendly design so as to provide wonderful user interface(UI) and experience(UX). You may also write the content for the website.

After a website is up and running, you’ll make sure that the site is functional on all web browsers, periodically testing and updating it as needed. A client may also need you to include interactive capabilities on their site using Visual Basic or Java programming languages.

Do I need a degree to become a web developer?

This is actually a common question. The answer is a big fat NO!

I did say you don’t need one however that doesn’t make it is useless. It is very possible to qualify for work without it, however a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as computer science, may qualify you for better paying positions. Then again a good number of web developers are self employed so whats the point right? You may choose to go after some optional certifications to demonstrate professional competence and understanding of the field instead of a full fledged degree.

Again you could just decide to take a few online courses here and there and you’d have qualifications and skills specific to your desired career path in a few months. A good deal if you ask me, as compared to rotting away in college for 4 years only to wind up paying off debt with most of your paychecks.

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