How to Start a Career in Web Development

Web Development

Looking to get your web development career off the ground? We’re here to help. You can become a web developer in 3 steps.

 What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer creates and maintains websites.

And that’s a necessary task these days: Can you think of a business, service, or product that doesn’t have its own dedicated webpage? If so, send them a sympathy card, as they’ll be going out of business any day now.

Web presence is a necessary dimension of advertising today. The right website can provide a great deal of information to potential consumers and persuade them that you do what you do better than anyone else.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

In creating a website, a web developer will need to make sure, first of all, that the website looks appealing. It shouldn’t be fussily decorative or difficult to navigate; make sure information is easily — ideally intuitively — accessible, and adjust pages as needed to optimize performance, capacity, and search metrics.

In other words, a web developer wears many hats: Design, UX, SEO, sometimes even general copywriter, technical writer, proofreader, or fact-checker.

How To Become a Web Developer in 3 Steps
1. Develop Your Skills

These days, web developers are highly skilled in a range of tasks that are occasionally — but, increasingly, less frequently — balkanized.

Can you code? Are you good with coding version control? Visual design and SEO? Are you up to date on market trends? All these skills among others such as, per Nexcess’ WordPress hosting page, “premium image compression, built-in CDN and advanced caching” are in-demand or even required by potential employers.

2. Construct Your Portfolio

Once you’ve acquired your skills and have spent some time putting them to use, it’s time to put together a portfolio.

This is where you get to show off, and to market yourself as one kind of developer over another. For instance: Are you more design- or SEO-focused?

There are many different types of web developers:

  • Back-end web developers write and maintain a website’s code.
  • Front-end web developers work primarily on design, utilizing HTML and other coding languages. They’re responsible for a user’s interface experience; that is, they make a site visually appealing and easy to navigate.
  • Full-stack developers. Create websites soup-to-nuts. They do it all, and thus are quite agile in terms of employment: Companies small and large can afford an all-in-one web developer whereas a suite of different developers may be cost-prohibitive.
  • Webmasters update websites: They make sure links work and keep data current.
3. Get Your Certification

You’ve worked hard to learn your stuff and you’re good at what you do. So prove it to potential employers. There are many certification options, such as:

  • Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSD)
  • Zend Certified PHP Engineer

Among others. Many universities offer coding and development certification, as do independent, time-compressed “boot camp” programs, which can get you upskilled and on the job market in just months.

Get It Going, Developer!

You’ve got the skills and can prove it.

Now get out there!

Your new career as a web developer starts today. Learn what you need to learn, master it all, and make sure no one can say you’ve done anything less.

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About the Author: John Watson

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