Web Developer Job Description
A Skill In High Demand
The Digital & IT industry is certainly a hot topic at the moment with growth in the industry predicted to continue to grow in many of its fields! If you’re looking to gain employment within an industry offering variety, career progression and security, then the Digital & IT industry is ‘IT’ !
Diverse Employment’s Sheffield branch have a long history as experts within the IT recruitment sector, supplying IT professionals filling IT jobs in some of the sectors key organisations throughout Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
One field which is currently, and has been for some time, in high demand is web development. Web developers are in high demand as companies try to supersede their competition, whether that be in the e-commerce market or just their online digital presence.
Web developers are specialist software engineers who use their technical ability and creative vision to develop web applications, such as content management systems, e-commerce solutions and other bespoke web-based products.
Although their work usually focuses solely on the underlying software and databases known as the 'backend development', some web developers work on the user interface (UI) and visual design (a 'front end developer'), while others, such as our in-house web developer here at Diverse Employment, are able to do both and are known as ‘full stack developers’.
Web developers also need to think about cross-browser compatibility , i.e. how the web application will function across various different browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari.
As you can see the role of a web developer can be particularly varied with possibly many projects to work on simultaneously and lots of meetings with clients / management / project leads to discuss their requirements and update them on progress.
However the web developer's principle task is to write, test and debug code to produce reliable and high performing applications and services, whilst maintaining their knowledge of programming languages.
What does a Web Developer do?
While it can be difficult to generalise, most web developers will be involved in:
- Creating websites using standard HTML5 / CSS3 practices
- Planning and prototyping new applications
- Deciding on the best technologies and languages for assigned projects
- Testing websites and applications in different browsers and environments
- Fixing bugs in existing applications / projects
- Testing new features thoroughly to ensure they perform the correct task in all cases
- Running application performance tests
- Building and testing API’s for applications to exchange data
- Meeting designers, developers and other colleagues working on the same projects for progress updates
- Gathering requirements from clients and users
- Learning and testing new frameworks and languages
- Staying up to date with new trends and advancements in web development
- Building and maintaining database systems such as SQL or MySQL
- Optimising existing code
What hours do Web Developers work?
Web Developers usually work a regular 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday week, covering a typical 35-40 hour week.
However, those working within an agency or freelance will very often work longer hours than this and/or at unsociable / irregular hours to meet client’s required deadlines for example.
What skills & qualifications do Web Developers need to have?
- Great attention to detail
- A logical approach to problem solving
- Ability to work independently and in mixed teams
- Self-development skills to keep up to date with fast-changing trends
- An understanding of the latest web trends and their role in a commercial environment
- Excellent organisational and time management skills
- Experience with server-side frameworks such as python, ruby, php, Java, ASP, ASP.NET
- Experience with database systems such as MySQL and Oracle
- Basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Possibly Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator skills if performing frontend development tasks
Although a degree is not strictly necessary for entry into this line of work, completing an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, such as computer science, software engineering, maths or physics, may boost your chances of securing an entry-level position.
Another way to boost your employability is to get work experience with a digital agency or IT company.
How much does a Web Developer earn?
Entry-level web developers tend to earn between £21,500 and £28,000 per annum.
Senior web developers, however, can earn up to £80,000 a year, and freelance contractors can earn considerably more.
Typical employers of Web Developers
- Website design and development companies
- Digital marketing agencies
- Retailers looking for an online presence
- The government
- Any organisation that has its own website
What knowledge and experience is required?
Relevant experience is often more highly valued than specific qualifications, although excellent understanding of the required code for a particular project will always be an essential requirement.
Temporary roles are usually plentiful and can more often than not lead to permanent employment with in the organisation and/or digital agency.
Employers value experience and a strong work ethic; having an excellent portfolio of work you’ve produced to show examples to prospective employers/clients can often be paramount.
Is it the right job for me?
If you find yourself struggling to do more than one or two things at a time, get distracted or find your concentration wavers then maybe this role isn’t quite right for you.
If you’re great at multitasking, enjoy coding & are good at both mathematics and juggling different projects at the same time, then this is a role you should definitely consider.
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