We live in the age of the Internet. Everything and pretty much everyone is connected and almost anything is available over the Net, as we like to call it. Its pertinent to note that this large amount of information that the Internet is spitting out every second is actually the work of thousands of dedicated and competent professionals working tirelessly to prepare and present that information.
The number of Internet users has grown exponentially since its advent in 1983 and it's only expected to grow at a higher rate in the coming years. The rapid way in which the Internet has settled into our lifestyles indicates there are still a billion steps to climb until the Internet goes into saturation. It is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing markets in today’s time and is swiftly taking over an enormous part of our lives. In fact, it accounts for a massive $175 billion of the world’s economic value.
The world wide net profit that the internet is expected to contribute between 2013 and 2022 is a massive $14.4 trillion. If that doesn’t shout web development, it's tough to say what does. As the face of the Internet improves and it's base increases, the jobs for web developers will only grow. This, in turn, spells huge potential for web development and its associated fields.
So how do we describe a web developer? It is vital to understand that a web developer is any committed individual with requisite knowledge using his monitor, keyboard, and ingenuity to build a digital landscape of information that is easy to read and understand and helps us stay informed and connected. Simply put, they build and maintain websites and are a crucial set of professionals when it comes to working on the Internet. Accordingly, all web developers need to equip themselves with a multitude of skillsets in order to fulfill the immense amount of responsibilities they are entrusted with. Some of the tasks that constitute the job of a web developer are:
1) Know your customers: The first and foremost prerequisite is understanding the audience that you aim to cater. Identifying the market helps reduce unnecessary forehead and gives a realistic idea of what will work and what won't.
2) Writing the code: The code will ultimately become the interface of a web page with an amalgamation of different markup languages such as HTML, XML, etc.
3) Improving User Experience: User experience decides where your website or webpage stands. It is important to employ methods to improve user interaction. For example, providing the ideal User Interface, UI, for a specific page and its unique visitors. People looking to find like-minded individuals to discuss the new Game of Thrones season are likely interested in an entirely different experience than people looking to purchase designer clothing.
4) Building from the scratch: Web developers should be proficient in utilizing a website creation tool like WordPress or Squarespace and such and construct a fully operational website from scratch.
5) Ability to create quick prototypes: Another essential quality is being able to quickly and accurately create a working model of a website or web page to explain available capabilities to potential clients. Being a novice is no big deal. As long as you are innovative, follow a robust work ethic and quick to learn, there are numerous tools available to assist you to learn and execute coding of any kind.
6) Basic HTML and CMS knowledge: Although there are several coding languages and more are being developed all the time, HTML still remains the base tool. It would be good to have a working knowledge of HTML and since most of this language evolve from each other, it should be no big task to learn new ones once you know the basic one.
7) Innovation is the key: In the beginning, the functional part of website designing appears difficult compared to the originality part. However, as you learn the basics and start developing, this idea will change. It's far more arduous to come up with a productive and unconventional idea than it is to learn the basic operational language.
8) Maintenance and update: It is imperative to maintain and constantly refurbish the website content in terms of changing environments. Fortunately, this is the easier part and once the original code is built perfectly the rest should be a piece of cake.
The responsibilities mentioned above are some standard duties that all web developers are expected to understand. However, since positions change swiftly in an industrial atmosphere, it is recommended to be professionally agile. Furthermore, different jobs and roles may display a different set of requirements and not all will be willing to pay as much, hence, it is advised to specialize in a given area of website development after gaining knowledge of all.
Then again, one may simply be drawn to one aspect of development more than the others. In that instance, one can familiarize oneself with different specialties like the below:
Front End: This is what we see when we visit a website. Anything that you can see, hear or click on including images, videos, forms and drop down menus constitute the front end. The front end is more appealing to persons with a creative bend of mind.
Back End: This is the invisible side of the internet. This is where most of the creation and maintenance is performed. The backend deals with apps, servers, databases and the like, anything that could be required in a website built up and management. Back end work requires the application of logic and more stress on coding, so anyone choosing this should do it carefully.
Full Stack: This part of web designing is for the know it all. Full stack developers undeniably have an edge on others who handle either the front or back end, both in terms of industry position as well as compensation. In fairness, if you put enough time and effort into it, anyone can be a full-stack web developer. But it is not uncommon for a new developer to pick a specialty that they may find easier before moving on to a full stack developer position.