Being a web developer is not just writing code. It is literally breathing life into a website. It is making help, beauty, information and communication available for thousands and millions of people around the world. It is allowing stunning, stylish and user-friendly designs get live and do their best job. It is spending hours in the complicated and mysterious word of characters and signs enriching personal and professional progress. That is making wonders right from your desk and your computer.
Who are web developers and what do they do? One of our previous articles here in Tubik Blog has already unveiled a bit of basics on their job, let’s go further today. A lot of people conceivably count that web developers just provide technical side of building websites, but the job goes far beyond this simple definition. Professionals of this sphere are also required to analyze user’s needs to ensure that proper content, graphics and underlying structure are created and maintained to meet the goals of both users and website owners.
What are web developer’s responsibilities?
Generally, all web developers can be divided into three groups. The first group focuses solely on the underlying software and databases (back-end development), while the second one works on the interface and visual design (front-end development). There’s also the third group whose representatives combine both directions (full-stack development).
Daily responsibilities include:
- debugging, refactoring and optimizing existing code;
- fixing bugs in existing projects;
- testing new features thoroughly to ensure they perform the correct task in all cases;
- testing performance of created web application or website;
- building and testing Application Program Interfaces (APIs) for applications to exchange data;
- converting written, graphic, audio and video components to compatible web formats;
- participation in creating UX (logic and transitions) and UI (visual design performance) design in tight collaboration with designers at pre-development stages;
- building and maintaining databases;
- deciding on the best tools, technologies, languages and frameworks for the project;
- planning and prototyping new applications or websites;
- staying up to date with new trends and advancements in web development;
- informing designers, developers and project staff for progress updates;
- gathering requirements and wishes from clients and users.
The list can be continued longer and longer and amaze users and customers by its diversity.
What should a web developer know?
A web developer (particularly, front-end developer) should know how to activate web content via code in a user-friendly way. This task provides a challenging aspect to website development and maintenance. The website should not be too simple for advanced users, nor should it be so intricate that the beginner is easily lost in the surfing process. This is the point on which UX/UI designers and developers are advised to support each other uniting their effort and professional knowledge and skills. Effective collaboration of these sides usually results in user-friendly efficient web product in which design finds sophisticated ways to support usability and harmony of logical and visual presentation while development sets the elegant methods to activate and maintain those solutions in live websites.
Here are some examples of client-side programming languages:
A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology that connects user-facing side of the website to its server side. The back end of a website consists of a server, an application, and a database. In an effort to make the server, application, and database communicate with each other, back-end developers use server-side languages like PHP, Java, Ruby, .NET and others to build an application, and tools like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save, remove or change data and send it back to the user in client-side code.
Back-end developers use these languages and tools to create or contribute to web applications with clean, portable, readable code. However, before writing the code, they need to collaborate with clients to understand their particular needs and wishes, then translate those into technical requirements and come up with the most efficient solution for architecting the technology.
Here are some examples of server-side programming languages:
And these are some examples of widely used tools:
-Microsoft SQL Server
What skills are advantageous for web developers?
On the basis of everyday routine here in Tubik Studio, it’s easy to state that web developers have to display comprehensive diversity of technical knowledge in the spheres such as client-side languages and development, server-side languages and development, web application frameworks and relational database management systems (RDBMS), as well as experience of dealing with version control systems and understanding of the architecture of web applications, web security and encryption.
Let’s look closer at skills and qualities that could be beneficial for people choosing web development as their professional sphere.
Good communication skills
Developers should be ready to various types of communication, depending on every particular case and deciding on the most effective one:
- Online chat;
- Social networks;
- A variety of instant messaging apps.
As a web developer, even one who works remotely, they need to be able to communicate confidently and effectively with clients, users, superiors, colleagues and perhaps other developers from outsource companies.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Websites and back-end requirements may change over time. Clients can be inconsistent by various reasons, alter considerations or critical details, perhaps as their businesses change. It is important to be flexible and adaptable, while also setting boundaries so that the scope on the project doesn’t creep too far. It means:
— Having to learn new languages, frameworks, skills, etc.
— Being ready to take on extra responsibilities
— Dealing with the situations when a project you are working on is cancelled
— Adapting to the changes in your working hours
— Ability to work independently and in mixed teams
— Staying up-to-date with new tools, methods of coding, etc.
It is an important part of any web developer’s job. Developers may not be responsible for the overall web project, but will still find themselves having to prioritize tasks and deal with other participants of the process who also have their own deadlines and parameters to keep.
Logical approach to problem solving
One of the hardest parts about being a web developer is addressing challenges. Before making decisions, research and thorough analysis are needed for finding out what is the problem and its roots.
Attention to detail
It will become a key to the kingdom for those who want to program because in huge number of cases code is long and complicated. Lack of attention and healthy pedantry has direct influence on the level of productivity as well as speed and quality of web product performance.
What is a career perspective?
Web developers in companies or tech organizations usually start their careers as junior or entry-level developers before becoming senior or mid-level developers after around couple years or even faster, depending on abilities to learn and speed of skills practicing. Comparing to freelance projects, job in organizations often means getting involved into creating complex and serious digital products, meeting more clients, leading client meetings and working on large and longer-term projects. Senior developers might also manage junior developers.
After reaching advanced professional level, the next position is lead developer, technical lead or head of development. Generally, these promotions involve managing a team of web developers and contributing to the organization’s technical strategy and goals. It also means the amount of actual coding work will decrease. The next step can be a senior or even board-level position, for example Chief Technical Officer (CTO) or Technology Vice President.
The Bottom Line
When you open a web-browser, chose website and load it, the site, designed and developed properly and thoughtfully, will load instantly opening the variety of operations to your disposal. It sometimes knocks you down with its awesome layout, well-constructed pages, useful information and impressive visuals. Who is responsible for this positive experience? Sure, it is the team of designers, creating idea, logic and visual performance, content creators, planning and writing appropriate filling for the webpages, and web developers who seem to be a sort of magicians able to enliven all the stuff and bring it to the user quickly and efficiently. Web development has many ways for professional growth and self-fulfillment, and all of these directions are complicated but professionally rewarding.