Starting a career in web development can be daunting in terms of which niche to choose, which technical skills to develop and how to become one of the best in the industry to command a best-in-class salaries and profiles.

But you’ve got to start somewhere.. and where best to get started than to understand the basics of the field and build your way from there. This article will walk you through all possible career paths in web development, associated specializations and how to get there.



Web development is the process of designing, creating, and updating websites. It involves many different tasks and includes designing, developing, and maintaining websites.

There are many different aspects to web development, including:

1. Designing a Website

This is more about the look and feels of the site, not just how it looks but how it functions. This stage involves creating the face of the website by choosing colors, fonts, and images for it. A designer will consider things like accessibility, usability, and other factors that affect how someone interacts with a website while they’re designing it.*

2. Ideation

This is when the idea for the website is conceptualized. This stage can be done on paper or using a digital tool. Once this is done, it’s then moved to wireframing, which involves putting everything into a blueprint format without adding details like usability and colour schemes. The next step is to move from wireframes to mockups and prototypes. The last step before coding begins is to create designs that are ready for development. After this, the website has to be tested before going live on the internet.


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3. Web Publishing

This is where the website files are placed on a host server to be accessed via the internet.

4. Web Programming

This involves using programming languages such as HTML, PHP, JavaScript and CSS to create interactive features.

5. Database Management

Website content is managed within an organized database structure. It deals with any database the website or application uses to store data. This includes MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, etc.

6. Server-side Coding (backend)

This deals with programming code that resides on a server and is used to run dynamic content (for example, databases) or any dynamic scripts that are not executed on the client-side, including PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Web development is a highly-skilled job that requires many different skills and techniques. Web developers use programming languages (more commonly known as source code) to develop the website’s front end, back end, and database.

Developers are often required to work with other teams to ensure their ideas come alive. They may be required to work with graphic designers to ensure their design looks good on all devices. They may also be required to work closely with marketing teams to ensure the site will meet their objectives.


How to Make a Career in Web Development?

Treating it as a career path, Web Development requires many skills to be mastered to develop a website/application. Especially when you are looking at building complex applications or websites, it becomes difficult to manage everything on your own, so you might want to look for different frameworks or libraries that help you in your venture.

However, using these frameworks will also mean learning new concepts and languages associated with those frameworks and libraries. Many programming languages are used for web development, such as PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, C. Career paths in web development are endless. Where you start depends on the skills and experience and the direction you want to take.

A career in web development can pan out into a number of profiles:

  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Front-end developer (also called a UI developer)
  • Backend developer (also called an API developer)
  • Database administrator (DBA)
  • Webmaster
  • Information Architect

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There are many different classifications in web development, with each encompassing a different role. The most common titles are programmer, developer, and engineer.

Programmer vs. Developer – These terms are the same. Whether you have a Programmer or Developer on your business card, it means you’re able to write in multiple languages.

What do these words mean? Let’s break it down. A programmer is someone who codes. A developer is a person who builds code and programs to be used by others. So a web developer writes the code that will make your website work.

Web Developer vs. Software Engineer – These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they denote different roles. Web developers build websites using code to achieve the proper functionality and aesthetic look. Software engineers build programs, software and applications, and are less involved with customer-facing sites. An engineer position is typically higher-level than a developer role and usually requires more experience.

Software Engineer – This term describes someone with a higher level of experience than a programmer – typically someone who is more involved with conceptualizing and designing projects than providing hands-on coding for each task. It usually describes someone who oversees the project as a whole rather than focusing on individual features.

Front-End Engineer – “Front end” includes all customer-facing features of a website or app: text fields, images, buttons and banners. These engineers program the interface users to engage using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in front-end coding languages.

Back-End Engineer – The back end is everything that sits behind the scenes — databases, servers, etc.

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Full Stack Engineer –  A person who has knowledge and experience of programming language’s front and back end.

Tester: Their primary responsibility is to ensure that a program isn’t buggy or full of errors before it is released for public use. Depending on the project size, testers may be involved initially, or they may be brought in after everything else has been finished. The company usually hires QA (Quality Assurance) Testers to use the product, while IT (Information Technology) Testers work alongside programmers during development.

The big question here is, “What kind of job do you want?” If you know what you want to do, pick the title that describes it best and go with it!

As if there aren’t enough different job titles in the tech industry, new ones pop up all the time. From full-stack engineer to front-end engineer and more, you might have trouble keeping it all straight. 

How much does a Web Developer make?

As with other tech jobs, salaries vary widely based on the candidate’s skills and experience. Glassdoor reports that as of 2018, a mid-level web developer salary ranges from $70,000 to $90,000 a year. Web developers can also earn bonuses from their employers or freelance on the side to pad their earnings.

Here are some of the most common coding languages used by companies today, along with some of their primary functions and where they can be applied:

HTML5: HTML5 is an essential tool for web development. This markup language allows websites to display text, images and video. HTML5 also helps organize content on a page, and it allows online users to access multimedia content via their browsers. It creates dynamic content that provides interactivity and animation.

HTML is one of the most widely used languages in the world, so if you’re looking to get your foot in the door at any company, this is a must-have skill.

SQL: SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and it’s used to organize databases across multiple platforms (from desktop applications to cloud computing). It allows people to interact with databases to retrieve information.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): CSS is used to control the design and layout of websites. For example, CSS controls the font style, colour and size that appear in your browser window.

JavaScript: JavaScript makes web pages more interactive by adding things like drop-down menus and animations.

PHP: PHP is a simple scripting language that can create simple websites or complex databases. This language is often paired with HTML for data storage purposes (like online shops or blogs).

Ruby on Rails (RoR): A popular framework for creating interactive websites without much technical knowledge required from the user end. It also allows for faster development times due to convention over configuration.

Other Requirements For A Web Developer

You’ll need at least a high school diploma or GED to become a web developer. Many companies require at least one year of post-secondary education in computer science or programming. Some certifications can help you stand out among other candidates when applying for jobs. Online learning platforms like Treehouse and Code School offer courses in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript coding languages.

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