Although there are already over 120,000 web developers in the US, it is estimated that the American industry will need at least another 20 percent by 2020. You may think you already know a lot about computers and computer language, but it is a whole different matter if you want a career in web development. There is much more to the job than being able to write computer programs. You need to be a designer and be able to deal with people at all levels.
The Role of Web Developers
Building and maintaining websites and web applications is the main role of a web developer, but this can also include:
- Writing code in one or more programming or scripting languages
- Planning new applications
- Designing and testing the components of the application
- Fixing bugs in existing applications
- Testing new features including performance benchmarking tests
- Documenting code so that other developers can understand it
- Meeting designers, developers, and project staff for progress discussions
- Gathering information from clients and their users
- Staying up to date with the latest technology
- Building and maintaining databases
Being responsible for designing, coding, and developing websites to a client’s specification from start to finish is the job of the web developer. You may also be asked to attend, and maybe speak at web development workshops and conferences.
Learning the Skills
These web development courses do not take years, however, and can teach you about front-end development, most of them being available on campus or online. The flexibility of completing the course online means you can fit in the studying hours with other life commitments. This makes them accessible to many more students, even those already in full-time employment.
Once you have got the credentials you need, then you can start looking for your first job in web development.
Obtaining Your First Job as A Web Developer
Obtaining a job in a field that you do not have experience in can be a daunting task. The key is convincing a potential employer that you bring unique skills to the role and are qualified for the position. Here are some tips to instil trust and alleviate the difficulty that comes with finding your first job as a web developer.
- Create your own portfolio site, code it, and launch it online. This will showcase your skills and let any prospective employer see what you are capable of. You need to be able to have samples of your work available for them to view, so you will need to find work to put in your portfolio.
- Do some freelance projects to help build your portfolio; the money from them is always useful. It will also help you to get used to listening to clients and understanding exactly what they want.
- You can offer to do an unpaid job for local businesses or charities. They do not have to be huge, just as long as they show your abilities. These would be a good addition to your portfolio.
- Show that you are a team player by getting involved in an open source project. This will not only strengthen your development skills; it will also give you hands-on experience of working with other developers.
- Taking part in a hackathon can be very useful when you are looking for your first web development job. They show you are able to work as part of a team, as well as on your own, and let you show your skills. It has been known for agencies to watch the hackathons and to offer jobs from what they have seen.
- Keep up to date with the latest technology news, so you do not get caught out at the interview stage because of a new innovation you were unaware of.
- Don’t think you know everything and do not need to learn anymore. Keep learning and practicing to hone your skills even more.
- If you have the chance of an interview, make sure you attend. Even if you do not feel quite ready, it will be a good experience for when the interview for your perfect job comes along.
Starting The Job
You have passed the web development course and pleased the employer at the interview and now you have reached the first day of your career. Face the challenge head on and with confidence. Prove to the employer that they were right to give you a chance and be glad that they did.