Overview – Web Developer
A Web Developer is a Software Engineer that develops applications specifically for the World Wide Web. Web developers build websites from scratch and improve existing ones to support the latest, greatest trends in web technologies. Whatever you do online – from sharing with friends on Facebook to online shopping – there’s a creative web developer at work behind the scenes to make the site better.
Web developers or programmers construct, improve and modify all the page coding that make up websites on the Internet or a company’s intranet. They also design and integrate computer code on websites to ensure elements such as content, graphics and multimedia perform as designed and are secure. As well, developers apply special scripting language to achieve design objectives such as specific colors, textures, special effects or animation. Support of website users and providing documentation for the website’s operation is often part of a web developer’s role.
Some of the programming languages and technologies that Web Developers currently use include:
- On the server side, java, C++, C# and VB.net are often utilized. Some scripting languages, such as perl, VBScript and PHP are also used.
- To collect information from web users, the popular relational database technologies utilized by Web Developers include MYSQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Sever. XML or JSON are often used for document data transfer.
A typical Web developer should have the following working knowledge, skills and experience, in the least:
- HTML & CSS
- PHP, ASP, Java, Perl, or C++
- MySQL,MSSQL,Oracle Database
- Server Installation & Maintenance
- Design web application architectures including software, hardware, and communications components in support of total project requirements.
- Develop custom application scripts to support interactive web sites.
- Testing, updating and testing for fool proofing functionality of website
- Knowledge of Google Analytics and other web statistics tools
- Technical support and troubleshooting skills
- Strong analytical, organizational and planning skills.
- Knowledge of PC software, hardware and network essentials
- Teamwork – Balance team and individual responsibilities
- Project management
- Analytical – Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data; Designs work flows and procedures.
- Problem Solving – Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions
- Ability to organize and manage multiple priorities
Note: In most cases, a Web developer won’t be asked to create the look and feel of a website.
Common duties & responsibilities of a Web Developer;
- Participate in the planning, designing, developing, testing and maintaining web based applications
- Create, design, test and apply web-based applications
- Identify technical problems and procedures and communicate their applicable solutions.
- Design, develop and improve websites.
- Code pages, files, test, debug and deploy.
- Mobile site and application development
- Participate in collecting information for documents related to the use of computer programs.
- Document the use and maintenance of all software and programs.
- Work with software programmers, integrators, multimedia and web designers.
- Ensure quality of products and services according to standards, processes and procedures.
- Perform various tests on products and services.
- Use good programming techniques to ensure a stable web environment.
- Developing and implementing open source software projects
- Track emerging technologies or applications and the opportunities to integrate them into operations and activities.
- Assist and support in the upkeep and maintenance of web sites.
Web Developers – Education Pathway
Several combinations of education and experience can lead to a career as a web developer or programmer. These include:
- Bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, graphic design, multimedia integration or equivalent training in programming.
- College diploma in computer science, multimedia integration, or a related discipline.
- Equivalent experience.
Internships and contract positions are also a great way to get started in a Web Development career. The more hands on training, the better!
Career Prospects for Web Developers
Web Developers have a couple of possible career path options. One path would continue within a Development role, which would remain very hands on in coding. The second option is to move into a Software Architecture role, which is less development and more complex, high-level design. Either path may eventually lead to Project Management or Product Management roles, depending on the company and the individual interests.
Note: The Web Developer role is often confused with the Web Designer role. The two roles are very different!