How Can I Become A Web Developer In 2020?

A career in the web development field is as promising as having the necessary skills to put you at the forefront of this digital age.

You may probably ask,”How Can I Become A Web Developer?” Firstly, you need to learn how to get into web development, web developer degree, education in web development and also, schools that will help you to become one.

With the introduction of new technologies, becoming a web developer is a good strategy for people who are tech-savvy. However, it will take some work and learning.

This article will explain who a web developer is, how to become one, the jobs and salaries of web developers. In addition, you will get to know the educational path to becoming a web developer, web development school and cost, licenses and career outlook.

What Is Web Development?

Simply put, web development is a specialized type of computer programming that focuses on websites and web applications.

Web development is the work involved in developing a web site for the Internet or an intranet. It can range from developing a simple single static page of plain text to complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, and social network services.

Who Is A Web Developer?

Generally, web developers design and create websites. According to Wikipedia, a web developer as a programmer who specializes in or is specifically engaged in, the development of World Wide Web applications using a client-server model.

Web developers take a web design created by either a client or a design team and turn it into a website.

What Does A Web Developer Do?

Basically, web developers are responsible for the look for a site. They are also in charge of the technical aspects of the site, such as its performance and capacity.

However, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the web developers’ job description also includes the following:

  • Meet with clients or management to discuss the needs and design of a website.
  • Create and test applications for a website.
  • Write code for the website, using programming languages such as HTML or XML.
  • Work with other team members to determine what information the site will contain.
  • Work with graphics and other designers to determine the layout and design of the website.
  • Integrate graphics, audio, and video into the website.
  • Monitor website traffic.

Specialties In Web Development

Certainly, there are different types of web developers. However, while some focus on either the front end or back end of the web, there are full-stack web developers who are skilled in both.

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Nevertheless, below are the web development specialties:

  • Front End Web Development
  • Back End Web Development
  • Full Stack Web Development
  • Webmaster

Front End Web Development

Front end developers work with the visual parts of a website that users see and interact with through their web browser.

Generally, the front end covers what you see when you visit a website; everything from images to videos, forms, and drop-down menus. That is, everything you can see, hear, or click is part of the front end.

Furthermore, if you are more creatively minded, then, this specialty will appeal most to you.

Back End Web Development

Typically, back-end developers make sure that the features on the site work. They use programming languages such as Python and Ruby to design, build and integrate applications from front-end development into the back end.

The back end generally is the part of the web you cannot see when you visit. It is where most of the maintenance happens. Back end developers deal with apps, servers, and databases.

Furthermore, if you are a logical person, then, you will find the back end attractive and well-suited for your natural skillsets.

Full Stack Web Development

Full-stack web development consists of both the front and back end web development. As an aspiring web developer, it is advisable you pick a specialty that you find easier and eventually grow into a full stack developer over time.

Generally, becoming a full stack web developer expands all of the benefits you can get through either specialty. They demand higher compensation from their services and also qualify for more positions.

In addition, potential employers and clients will appreciate the added value of having a one-stop-shop web developer.

WebMaster

Webmasters maintain websites and keep them updated. They also ensure that websites operate correctly, and they test for errors such as broken links.

Furthermore, many webmasters respond to user comments as well.

What Are The Qualities Of Web Developers?

To succeed as a web developer, you must possess and develop some qualities and skillsets. Below are some of the important qualities every web developer needs:

  • Creativity
  • Concentration
  • Customer-service skills
  • Detail-oriented

Web development typically involves designing the appearance of a website. Therefore, web developers must be creative in order to make sure that the website is appealing as well as functional.

Web developers must concentrate in order to sit at a computer and write detailed code for long periods.

Webmasters have to respond politely and correctly to user questions and requests.

Web developers need to be attentive to detail, as a small coding error can prevent an entire Web page from working.

What Are The Skills Of Web Developers?

As a web developer, understanding and mastering a wide set of skills helps for high-quality work on the front-end and back-end of sites. Also, your skill sets can affect what you earn.

Therefore, whether self-taught or trained with a web developer degree or certificate, aspiring professionals in the web development field must possess a variety of specialized programming skills. 

These skills can be grouped into front-end and back end web development skills.

Front-end Web Development Skills

Back-end Web Development Skills

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • JavaScript / NodeJS
  • Ruby / Ruby on Rails

Though HTML is not a programming language, however, it is the foundational element of any website. Basically, HTML is a markup language used to provide structure to content on the web.

It includes the core elements of how a page should look. Typically, web developers use HTML to form the fundamental rules of web pages, which include whether content should be recognized as paragraphs, headings, lists, links, or another element type.

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In addition, the most current version of the HTML standard is HTML5.

Cascading Style Sheets – CSS

Generally, CSS manages the way a page looks and also, serves as the guiding style instructions for a website from its fonts to color.

Web developers basically use CSS to control the design and appearance of elements across several pages of a site. 

CSS Frameworks

CSS frameworks are used to structure and develop websites. Generally, they provide custom style guides that are used to help developers maintain industry best practices. Examples include Bootstrap and Foundation.

Used for both front and back end development, JavaScript is a programming language that controls how websites and dynamic web applications operate.

Currently, javascript can be seen on most modern websites. It is the fundamental programming language for the development of interactive web pages.

Basically, web developers use JavaScript to give “life” to pages by controlling behaviors like dynamic loading. They also determine an element’s response to user clicks, resulting in an infinite number of interactive possibilities.

ASP.NET is an open-source, server-side web application framework developed by Microsoft. It is an industry-standard framework that provides tools and resources to help web developers build dynamic websites, applications, and services.

Programming Languages

Depending on their professional specialty, web developers need to master programming languages and frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Python, or PHP.

PHP is a server-side scripting language used within web content management systems or embedded in HTML code, web template systems, or web frameworks.

As a fundamental to back-end development, web developers typically use PHP for server scripting to determine a site’s response to a user’s actions.

Ruby is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language created in Japan. Although it is not as popular as PHP or Java, however, it is still widely used to create web pages and apps.

How Can I Become A Web Developer?

Unlike other fields that require a particular qualification to practice, web development is a flexible professional field with several ways to practice.

Here, prospective students have multiple ways to gain the training and experience they need to start a career in web development.

Below are the steps you can follow to become a web developer:

  • Choose A Development Specialization
  • Get An Education
  • Develop technical skills
  • Practice Your Coding Skills
  • Launch An Online Portfolio

Choose A Development Specialization

Each element of a website is linked to something else, and also creating a successful website is a complex job.

Depending on their specific work, web developers will be competent to use various software such as JavaScript frameworks, version control, CSS. However, in the long run, most web developers will have not only the specialized knowledge that characterizes their roles but also an understanding of the whole process.

Therefore, before you begin, it is wise to understand the type of web development work you find interesting to pave the way for future education and training.

Get An Education

There are no specific degrees or educational path for a career in web development. As said earlier, the field is so flexible that it is possible to become a web developer with or without formal education or training.

Although it is certainly possible to learn coding languages ​​independently, web development is not limited to coding. However, with education, people who can implement coding skills in a broader context can have an advantage. This is where formal education can help potential developers gain a basic understanding of web development principles and practices. In addition, it will expose them to project management and situations that require problem-solving and also encourage them to think critically.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the associate degree is the most common minimum educational requirement for employment. However, Robert Half Technology notes that a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is traditionally required for career advancement.

More recently, coding boot camps such as Code Academy and App Academy have become short-term intensive training options to enable students to gain career-specific coding skills that can increase their employment opportunities.

Develop Technical Skills

Despite the real benefits of organized education, web development remains an area in which specific skills can void education with respect to employment opportunities. Companies want employees capable of producing, and how or where something has been learned is secondary simply because they can do it.

Potential web developers must have experience in the three main programming components: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They also need to know more about CSS and CSS frameworks such as Backbone, Bootstrap and Foundation.

Finally, to create applications, developers must master back end languages such as Ruby, Java, PHP, and tools such as Oracle and SQL Server.

Practice Your Coding Skills

Practice they say makes perfect. As such, most web developers learn by doing. You can do this by setting up a Github account and pushing code to the site.

Basically, an active Github profile can get the attention of employers searching through stacks of resumes. In addition, it shows what a candidate does to solve programming issues, and also the thinking and strategies behind those solutions.

Furthermore, practicing coding and getting used to using Git prepares an aspiring web developer on how to work as part of a team, as well as manage complicated site and application builds.

Launch An Online Portfolio

As a web developer, your portfolio is your online resume. Actions they say speaks louder than words. In fact, it is more important to show what you’ve done than tell people what you can do.

Therefore, most employers want to see results, for instance, current examples of successful sites and applications you have built.

With a portfolio, web developers can test new technologies and tools, as well as show their coding talent and technical capabilities.

Also, exceptional portfolios can help aspiring developers overcome this first crucial obstacle and that is, getting a job interview.

Educational Pathway Of A Web Developer | Web Development Degrees

As said earlier, there is no specific education pathway to become a web developer. The educational requirements for web developers vary with their work setting and the type of work they do.

Although the requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree in web development & design or related field is the most common requirement.

Notwithstanding, there are four ways to get a formal education in the web development field. They include:

  • Web Development Certificate
  • Associate Degree in Web Development
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development
  • Master’s Degree in Web Development

Web Development Certificate

A web development certificate is the best option for students who need practical and fundamental knowledge relating to web development. Although prior experience in programming and computer technology can be helpful, it is not necessarily a requirement.

Generally, these certificate programs can serve as a stepping stone to an associate degree in web development.

Web development certificate course work includes the following:

  • Introducing to Coding
  • Javascript Programming
  • Html Programming
  • Introduction to Web Design

There is no specified duration to run a web development certificate program. However, depending on the student’s commitment and course load, the program can last for a few months or several years.

Associate Degree In Web Development

The associate degree is one of the most popular educational paths for aspiring web developers. It also serves as a base for a future bachelor’s degree.

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Here, aspiring web developers learn extensive web development, computer science, and information technology concepts. In addition, they take general education courses to earn a well-rounded education.

Associate degree in web development course work includes the following:

  • Website Graphics
  • E-commerce
  • Web Page Multimedia
  • Database Management

Typically, an associate degree in web development lasts for about 2 years.

Bachelor’s Degree In Web Development

In a bachelor’s degree in web development, students get comprehensive education for web development and design, and also, an extensive general education background.

Bachelor’s degree in web development course work includes the following:

  • Website Usability
  • Social Media And Collaboration
  • Optimizing Websites
  • Advanced Web Design

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in web development lasts for about 4 years.

Master’s Degree In Web Development

If you seek advanced or specialized knowledge as you climb the web development career ladder, then, you should consider a master’s degree.

Generally, a master’s degree is the highest degree an individual can earn in web development. It is also open to those who are already in an IT-related industry but want to focus on web development.

Master’s degree in web development course work includes the following:

  • Website Usability
  • Social Media And Collaboration
  • Optimizing Websites
  • Advanced Web Design

Typically, a master’s degree in web development lasts for about 2 years.

How Much Does It Cost To Earn A Web Development Degree?

According to BestColleges, the cost varies among schools. However, most web development associate degrees cost ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.

Still from their report, in-state public school students typically pay the least, while out-of-state public school students and private school students pay the most.

Best Web Development Schools

With the rapid increase in the use of the internet, web development and design are gradually becoming one of the sought after field to work in.

To keep up with this field, some universities and colleges now offer degree programs in web development and design both online and on campus.

Below is a list of top schools where you can obtain a degree in a web development program. Do well to click on any of the schools for more information:

How Much Do Web Developers Earn?

From the report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary of web developers is $69,430. That is a web developer earns $33.38 per hour.

However, according to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Web Developer in the United States is $79,154.

Meanwhile, on payscale, the average web developer salary is $59,105 annually.

What Is The Job Outlook For Web Developers?

According to US BLS, the employment of web developers is expected to increase by 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and eCommerce.

Furthermore, web developers with a good mastery of several programming languages and digital multimedia tools will benefit more from these opportunities.

Where Can A Web Developer Work?

A web developer can work in almost all sectors and industries. This is because most organizations, institutions, groups own a corporate website and will need a web developer to design and also, develop the site.

Notwithstanding, web developers basically work in the computer systems design and related services industry. This covers both the public and private sectors.

However, some web developers are self-employed while others work in industries including publishing, management consulting, and advertising.

Web Developers Career Options

With web development skills and degrees, there are several career options you can pursue apart from being a web developer. Below are some of the careers with their average annual salary.

  • Software Engineer – $103,560
  • Computer Programmer – $82,250
  • Web Designer – $49,094
  • Graphic Designer, Web – $46,740
  • Computer Network Support Specialists – $68,050
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Web Developers Resources

Here are some resources that will help you as an aspiring web developer. These resources basically range from professional organizations to portfolio resources.

In addition, you can also click on any of the resources to get detailed information about them.

Professional Organizations For Web Developers

The following organizations will help both future and current developers as the advance in the field:

Portfolio Resources For Web Developers

Here are some resources to help you in building a portfolio:

Professional Web Development Resources

These resources will help you to advance and also, develop as a professional:

Finally, Resources For Web Developers To Find Jobs

Here are some platforms where you can meet potential employers. In addition, developers can interact with people in other industries on these platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs On How To Become A Web Developer

How can I become a web developer?

Below are some steps you can follow to become a web developer:

Choose A Development Specialization
Get An Education
Develop technical skills
Practice Your Coding Skills
Launch An Online Portfolio

What degree should I get for Web development?

There is no specific education pathway to become a web developer. However, aspiring web developers have four options to gatting a formal education in web development.

They include:

Web Development Certificate
Associate Degree in Web Development
Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development
Master’s Degree in Web Development

Can I become a Web developer without a degree?

The answer to this question is sometimes conflicting.

Although some persons will say yes in the sense that the core of web development is the skills the individual has. However, you will get a no as an answer considerering the fact that most employers will prefer a candidate with at least an associate degree.

Nevertheless, generally, the answer is ‘no’. Reason being that, one, most web developers acquire their schools from enrolling in a certificate program which is part of the educational requirements for becoming a web developer.

Two, a degree in web development will give an edge over others in the field in the long run if you want to advance your career.

How much does a web development degree cost?

The cost of most web development associate degrees; which is also the popular web development degree;  ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.

How Much Do Web Developers Earn?

From the report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary of web developers is $69,430. That is a web developer earns $33.38 per hour.

However, according to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Web Developer in the United States is $79,154.

Meanwhile, on payscale, the average web developer salary is $59,105 annually.

Conclusion

As the world keeps becoming a global village in addition to the increase of internet and mobile users, the need for web developers cannot be overemphasized.

In fact, the web development field is one of the industries at the forefront of this digital age. This could easily be seen in the job outlook and also, salaries of web developers above.

Furthermore, getting the required skills and degrees can put one ahead of others in the web development field.

I hope the guide above helps you in your decision of becoming a web developer.

Good Luck And Success!!!

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