What is the Career Path for a Web Developer
The tech industry is ever-evolving and expanding. Web development is one of the most fascinating careers in the industry, with prospects growing to keep pace with industry growth. The tech field always requires more specialists, so this is an excellent time to consider becoming a web developer. Here’s what the career path will look like as you progress.
What is a Web Developer?
A web developer is a high-demand role that creates and maintains websites. A developer will make the website aesthetically appealing, functional, fast, and provide a good user experience. The difference between a web developer and the role of a designer is that a designer can do those things, while a web developer also uses complex coding languages and frameworks to determine how the website and its applications perform.
Career Outlook for the Future
With the ever-increasing expansion of the internet and the need for more websites, there is also a growing need for web developers. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that web development careers are set to increase by 13% by 2028. A competent web developer can’t be replaced by a computer or a machine.
So, this position has a level of job security and definite potential for advancement and expansion. This is a career that is intellectually and creatively challenging, and well-paid. You will learn and then re-learn new and interesting information and develop new skills all the time.
Possible Career Paths for the Web Developer
As a web developer, two possible career paths are available to you. You can work as an independent contractor or take a salaried position.
If you choose a salaried position, you may work remotely from home or in an office with a team of other developers, designers, and programmers. Working for a larger company will have opportunities for advancement, like heading up a team of your own – if you are good at your job and display commitment and reliability. Employment with a company may give you the security of a regular salary and the associated perks and benefits. You can enjoy these whether you work in the office or remotely.
However, if you prefer to work on your own and think you would enjoy the challenge of finding your own clients and want the freedom to choose what projects you work on, you might enjoy being a freelancer. You’ll enjoy a fulfilling career where you can establish your own work hours and guidelines. As you become well-known for high-quality work and for understanding the field, you can become a consultant.
A consultant can still be freelance, but they work with clients to assess the digital part of their businesses. They often work with clients on a project-by-project basis and may work with several clients simultaneously.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
Saying that a web developer builds websites may not be sufficient for you to understand the career. So, the following are some of the additional duties of a web developer:
- Meet with Clients: You’ll meet with your potential clients to understand their needs and how you can help. You’ll continue to meet with and communicate with them throughout the project.
- Partner with Other Professionals: You’ll work with data analysts, UX designers, project managers, and product designers. You’ll have to communicate with them and work together to produce a website that checks all of your client’s boxes.
- Customer Research and Data Analysis: You or your clients will collect and analyze data on their customers so that the final project works for the right people.
- Quality Testing: Testing is essential to your process. You will have to troubleshoot your work as you go, checking for bugs on different browsers before you know it’s ready.
The Skills of a Web Developer
Here are some of the skills a web developer will need to be successful:
- Technical SEO: The site has to rank high on search engines.
- Responsive Design: This means ensuring that the site may be viewed and used on all devices.
- Visual Design: You should understand design principles, including colors, fonts, incorporating images, white spaces, etc.
- Version Control: With this, you can track and manage changes to the source code without starting over again every time an issue is encountered.
- Problem-Solving: You will often run into problems with your programming, so you’ll need to work through them patiently and creatively.
- Detail-Oriented: Coding is all about the big and the little things. You have to see the small changes and work through them.
- Communication: You will have to discuss your ideas, progress, etc., using several methods.
- Organization: You must meet deadlines and keep track of tasks, workflow, and budgets.
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Opportunities for Upward Mobility
Success for a good web developer means leading a team and eventually becoming a technical director or CTO (Chief Technical Officer).
If you are promoted to a senior-level position, you will still be web developing and programming, but your projects will be more complex. And you will lead meetings, ensuring that the project goes smoothly and deadlines are met.
As a technical director, you will lead an entire department, which entails administrative tasks like budget concerns and staff. You won’t be doing any coding at this point but delegating those responsibilities.
Be a Web Developer
This is an interesting and exciting career. You can learn the skills to gain an entry-level position and continue upgrading your skills and knowledge to advance your career. The work you do to learn these new skills will be worth it – financially and intellectually.
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