Web development is rapidly becoming the most attractive area for many beginners in the IT sector. Virtually every major company or business has a web presence. The market dictates the rules – and an elaborate website and smart social network promotion are essential for many business projects.
- The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 2020’s median pay for a web developer as $77,200 per year and 174,300 job openings in 2019.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks web developer as #8 in Best Technology Jobs and #59 in 100 Best Jobs
By using platforms like WordPress and Wix, people can easily create pages without any programming knowledge or web development skills; however, such services certainly cannot replace a team of experienced web developers. At a certain stage, any growing company meets the challenge of establishing an online presence.
How hard is web development? Like any other field of specialist expertise, it takes time and effort to become a web developer. And while junior positions require more universal web developer skills, senior roles imply a certain skillset that programmers usually gain with time and real-life experience.
What Are Web Developer Skills?
To outline what makes a good web developer, you first need to understand what this profession implies. In general terms, a person in this position is responsible for creating and maintaining the company's web resources. Traditionally, there are three main types of web developers depending on their foremost tasks.
- The backend developer works on the server-side of web applications, making programs that collect and process user data and establish site-server interaction. They are responsible for a website’s operations that users don’t see. Backend developers use PHP, Java, SQL, Python, or Ruby as their primary instruments.
- The full stack developer usually has years of experience and extensive knowledge both in frontend and backend development. Fullstack developers often fulfill senior positions and supervise the overall development process.
The result of the web developer's work is an intuitive, user-friendly digital product that everyone uses daily, whether it's a social network platform, an online shop, an online banking system, or a video streaming service.
This field includes a wide range of closely interconnected technologies, and skills for a good web developer usually emerge from a deep understanding of all of them and how they work together.
Web Developer Skills Examples
While some skills may appear universal, others are highly specific and essential to web development. Here’s a detailed guide to the skills that are most required for web developer jobs.
HTML and CSS Skills
Developers consider HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to foremost be frontend web developer skills. In simple words, HTML forms basic elements on a web page (forms, buttons, text, and image blocks), while CSS is responsible for its appearance (size, position, color, transparency).
HTML is a standardized markup language for documents to be uploaded and accessed on the Internet. Almost every site you’ve ever visited contains an HTML markup description. Browsers recognize and interpret the language so that your PC or mobile device monitor can display text or digital content in a required form. Beginner web developers usually start their journey by acquiring HTML skills.
CSS is the formal language used to describe the document's appearance. It’s a tool used to describe and form the appearance of Internet pages written using HTML and XHTML markup, as well as XML documents - SVG, XUL, etc. If HTML is a tool for managing content on the Internet, CSS is an instrument for styling this content.
Responsive Design Skills
Do you notice how a site's layout changes according to the size of the device screen? This happens due to the implementation of responsive design principles. It's not a separate technology but rather a set of practices for creating a layout that can respond to the device used to view content.
Web developers use specific CSS features – media queries – to change styles based on the target device. It can be a full range of adjustments (width, display type, height, etc.) or only one of them that is necessary to adapt the content to different screens.
Testing and Debugging
From a website of a local bakery to a sophisticated online banking platform – bugs are an inevitable part of the development process. To create a high-quality end product, you need to test the code for bugs in each project’s stage.
Whether it’s the unit testing for the smallest bits of code responsible for individual operations or functional testing to check if your code does what it needs to do, testing and debugging skills are crucial for a successful web development career.
Think of websites you like. Most likely, they have easy navigation and a pretty interface. These features are only the tip of the iceberg. The backend of any web project is a complex system that allows the application to share information with the user, securely and safely store data, and work with external systems.
Backend developers are responsible for everything the user doesn't see. Put simply, a nice data entry form or a shopping cart are the frontend, while data storage, the interaction between registration forms and shopping carts, or an automated newsletter are only possible with the properly set backend.
Many entrepreneurs start their company's website optimization sometime after the page has been created and put online. However, a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy starts at the development stage.
An SEO-friendly site is a web resource comprising pages available for scanning by a search robot. Such websites can be included in search engines’ index bases. Correct indexing is the first step to ensure your site’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
To create an SEO-friendly site, you need to plan and structure all the information carefully. Such details as metadata, which users usually don't notice, play a significant role in your overall SEO strategy. Experienced web developers assist in this process from the initial development stages.
Many professionals choose to skip the soft skills part in their CVs or neglect to develop some personal qualities that, in the long run, greatly impact the working process. However, leading recruitment consultants advise hiring companies to focus on the following skills:
- Multi-tasking and problem-solving
- Communication skills
- Stress resistance
- Flexibility and creative thinking
You’ll agree that lack of multi-tasking ability may be a significant downside for a member of a small team, or deficient communication skills may result in difficulties within a multicultural team.
How to Improve Web Developer Skills
After answering the question “What skills do web developers need?” promising specialists usually look for ways to remain fit for the rapidly changing environment. Web development skills are not static. As the technologies evolve fast, new practices appear every day. To stay up to date with the latest developments, even seasoned professionals have to put in some effort.
Expand Your Knowledge
Many top companies are now looking for full-stack developers who can work easily on different levels and various technologies and platforms. Such developers understand the application principle from the core level to the interface. It makes it easy for them to find a job and prevents creating complicated management policies, as the teams remain small and effective.
Use Agile Methods and Train Teamwork Skills
The flexible development methodology is taking a leading position in many companies. The ability to break up big projects into simple tasks, assign priorities, and readily adapt to changes can become crucial skills for the most important projects.
Besides, providing honest, friendly, and effective feedback during teamwork is only possible when you know people you work with. Often, giving and accepting criticism becomes the difference between a successful and a failed project.
Pay Attention to Best Security Practices
Thousands of businesses suffer the consequences of data breaches every year. Information security knowledge becomes a more frequent requirement among other web developer skills. With the cloud technology growth, enterprises accumulate more and more data from their customers. As a result, the consequences of unauthorized access incidents may be enormous.
The Most Demanded Web Developer Skills
BeamJobs, a popular resource helping tech professionals create their resumes, analyzed job postings from 130 companies. Here are the web developer skills employers are looking for the most.
The skills in demand on the labor market adjust to the latest tech and industry trends and innovations. Recruitment experts in web development recommend paying attention to the following skills.
- Popular Frameworks
Widgets made data more portable, interactive, and, most importantly, viral. Many companies opt for creating widgets to increase their audience and attract more attention to the product. Developers need JS and/or Flash and the parent-site language knowledge.
- E-Commerce Integration
Merging a language or a structure (PHP or Rails) with a payment gateway is a trending skill for web developers. The steady growth of e-commerce businesses and subscription-based income models requires a website and a payment system integration.
How to Certify Your Skills
What makes a good web developer is their actual skills and experience. Many programmers choose self-study and learning-by-doing options. However, larger companies require recognized certification of the candidates’ skills. Web developers have plenty of options to complete online training to increase the chance of successful employment.
- Udemy, one of the largest open online course providers, offers The Complete Web Developer Course that includes all aspects of professional web development.
- edX, an influential online learning platform created by MIT and Harvard, provides a great variety of courses - from Professional Certificates to MicroBachelors Programs. Beginners can become familiar with the field, while experienced specialists can find options to boost their web developer skills.
- W3Schools, another online educational platform, is specifically designed for learning to code and offers courses in programming languages.
Develux Web Development Services
An in-house web developer’s salary may not be a part of every company’s budget. Our professional and dedicated web developers are here to help your business develop, whether it’s a one-time project or a long-term tech partnership. E-commerce, fintech, logistics and supply chain, or IoT – our team consists of experts from various backgrounds.
The skills needed to be a web developer may differ from project to project. And we are ready to meet your challenge. Our team’s expertise in technology, design, and strategy helps build professional websites of any complexity. We know which web developer skills your project requires and assign our specialists accordingly.