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What Does a Web Developer Do?

Fri Dec 23 2022

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Thinking of becoming a web developer? This is a great career path that has a lot of overlap with Data Science. To be a great web developer, you’ll need to be good at coding, but you’ll also need an artistic eye. These skills will enable you to create user-friendly websites and apps. Below, we explore what a web developer does, what skills you need to become one, and how a career in Web Development compares with Data Science.

What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer creates and updates websites and applications, taking projects from a design to a user-friendly product. Web developers may work on different kinds of projects, such as maintaining a website for a large business, developing an e-commerce storefront, or even building apps for a startup.

Front End Development vs. Back End Development

Most Web Development work is divided into two categories: Front End, and Back End. A front end developer programs the parts of a website that a user interacts with. That includes laying out the page, creating sections and headers, and programming the design. This is where graphic design skills come in handy! The central task for a front end developer is to make sure that the website is fully functioning and intuitive to use. A back end developer, on the other hand, works on the behind the scenes programming. This includes programming the website’s server, databases, and any applications, such as payment portals for example. A back end developer’s key goal is to make sure the website works smoothly, with fast loading times. Although creating fast websites requires the collaboration of both backend and frontend developers, the backend developer needs to make sure the requests on the server are handled rapidly and the frontend developer needs to make sure to optimize the website’s assets and use lazy loading to ensure a great user experience for the end users . So if you are considering a frontend or a backend developer, you need to be able to write clean code that maximizes efficiency.

What Skills Does a Web Developer Need?

The most important tools in a web developer’s toolbox are programming languages. An experienced web developer may know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and even C++. As new coding languages emerge, web developers may want to learn them to stay ahead of the curve, and be able to create new kinds of apps, especially for front end developers. It’s also important to create visually appealing experiences for end users. So many web developers also learn at least the basics of graphic design. If you have an artistic streak, you’ll be able to put it to good use as a web developer.

What Can a Web Developer Do?

Web developers can use their skills on a variety of projects, from creating your own app to working on massive online experiences.

  • Building websites This may seem obvious – it’s practically in the job title. Web developers build a wide variety of websites, from simple landing pages to complex web solutions like e-commerce stores.
  • Creating mobile apps Have a great idea for an app? Or want to work for companies that need a mobile presence? As a web developer, you can make your own mobile apps, by leveraging your web stack to build hybrid mobile applications.
  • Creating virtual art Programming is an excellent skill for artists. With web developer skills, you can create incredible graphics, interactive art, or even virtual reality worlds. If you have a creative mind, the possibilities are endless.

Web Development vs. Data Science

Web Development and Data Science draw on similar skill sets, and may be appealing to the same kinds of people. So you may be debating which is right for you: Being a data scientist, or a web developer? Web development uses more coding and graphic design. Data science requires a broader skill set including statistics, mathematics, and advanced machine learning. Generally speaking, it takes longer to learn how to be a data scientist. To become a web developer, you can focus more exclusively on learning programming languages and the principles behind website design. To become a data scientist, you’ll need to learn to code and to use a range of advanced analytics tools. The scope of the work is also different. As a data scientist, you’ll often be tackling big-picture problems, and thinking through how to use analytics to create solutions. As a web developer, you’ll typically be working on more concrete projects. You’ll often be working from a given design or set of instructions – unless you’re working for yourself. Both kinds of work can be challenging and fulfilling; it depends on the kind of work you find appealing.

Who Makes a Good Web Developer?

Web development is a great career path for people who want to combine artistic and technological skills. You can code while keeping your creative side active. As a web developer, you’ll also be regularly learning new skills. If the idea of keeping up to date with new programming languages and platforms sounds like an appealing challenge, you would probably enjoy this element of the work. People who enjoy Web Development are also typically people who feel happy working independently. You will need to collaborate with a team, and understand a client’s needs, but much of your work will be spent coding individually on your computer. You need to have a strong sense of self motivation, and be able to work without close supervision. For a lot of people, this kind of independence can be one of the most attractive parts of a career in Web Development.

Learning to code can open up a lot of opportunities for you as a web developer. If you love working on independent projects and using both artistic and technological skills, this could be a great career path for you.

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