To pursue a career as a web developer, you will have to learn the skills necessary to create and maintain websites. Some web developers opt to earn a degree in computer science or a related field, while others may take courses to learn specific skills like programming or digital design. In some cases, you can learn the necessary skills through hands-on experience.
Regardless of their path, web developers need the ability to turn someone's vision into a functioning reality. To accomplish this, they require a combination of technical training and workplace skills.
Web developers create and manage websites for a variety of organizations. Some developers specialize in the technical side of the website (also called the back end), working with databases, machine learning, and artificial intelligence used to support the function of the website.
Front-end developers typically spend more time working with the creative side of the website, using graphic design and code editing tools to make the website functional for users.
Full-stack developers work with both front-end and back-end tasks. Web and digital interface designers develop websites that look appealing through carefully selected fonts, colors, and graphics.
The work of web developers extends beyond the actual creation of the site. During a workday, developers may perform any of the following tasks:
Meet with clients to discuss the needs, design, and functionality of a website
Create and test applications, interfaces, and navigation menus
Work with a team to determine what information a site will contain
Determine layout with graphics and other designers
Integrate graphics, audio, and video
Monitor website traffic
Create prototypes and mockups
Design and develop graphics
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, organizations need web developers, and demand for them should grow by 13% by 2030 . As e-commerce expands, so should job opportunities for web developers. In 2020, the median pay for web developers was just over $77,000 per year, with most developers working full-time .
Being a successful web developer requires more than knowledge of programming languages and web design. These character traits and interpersonal skills also are essential:
Communication skills: Web developers must communicate effectively with their co-workers and clients, including asking questions and explaining ideas. Although web developers spend a considerable amount of time working alone, they need to communicate with the people whose vision they are implementing.
Creativity: Websites should look good and be easy for users to navigate.
Customer service: Web developers should respond politely to questions and requests from their supervisors and clients, since they are creating websites for others.
Detail-oriented: Web developers need the ability to focus for long periods and write code precisely. A single symbol in the wrong space can affect a website’s layout and function.
Problem-solving: When a website does not work correctly, developers must locate errors in the code and correct them.
Being fluent in the most popular programming languages is helpful, but knowing how to work with less commonly used languages may help you land a job. Here are additional programming languages to consider:
Dez Udezue, a software engineering manager at Meta and a 16-year industry veteran, suggests early-career developers direct their attention to their immediate job tasks. "Hyper focus on the direct manager over the technology stack. They influence growth a lot, especially in the early part of their career," he says. Several engineers also emphasize that you'll continue to expand your knowledge of frameworks and coding languages naturally over time as you complete new projects, participate in bootcamps, or continue your education.
Earning a degree in computer science or a related field is one path toward a career in web development. Many web developers have an associate or bachelor's degree in web design, digital design, or graphic arts. Coursework can typically include computer programming, coding, graphic design, and math classes.
Read more: How to Get a Bachelor's Degree
It is possible to have a career as a web developer without a degree. You can learn the necessary skills through certification programs and hands-on experience. In an online certification program, you take courses similar to those in a degree program, such as creating content with HTML and elements of design. You may also choose to take individual courses to learn a specific programming language and develop your skills independently.
Read more: What Are Certificate Programs?
If you're ready to take the next step toward a career as a web developer, you can start your new path today. Explore the selection of web development courses on Coursera, ranging from introductory classes to programming languages designed for everyone from beginners to advanced learners. Get an overview of basic web development skills with Meta Introduction to Web Development.
Welcome to Introduction to Front-End Development, the first course in the Meta Front-End Developer program. This course is a good place to start if you ...
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1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Web Developers and Digital Designers-Job Outlook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm#tab-6.” Accessed May 24, 2022.
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Web Developers and Digital Designers-Pay, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm#tab-5.” Accessed May 24, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.