What Web Developers Do?
A majority of web developers focus on the underlying code that makes up the website. This code dictates where page elements are positioned, styling and sizing information for fonts, files and scripts that are integrated into the design. Some developers use scripting languages to create code snippets, custom plugins, and open source script alterations to better work with the website coding. They work alongside graphic designers to create a complete functional website. For freelance and contractor web developers, they may handle the graphic design on their own or sub-contract that work. Some use tools, such as Twitter Bootstrap, to facilitate the design process.
Many businesses and individuals use content management systems. These systems have a templating system that pulls in different template tags to output page elements. A CMS handles a majority of the back end coding, so the web developer’s job concerns adjusting each element to customize it for the business, or working with the overall layout for a consistent look and branding purposes.
How Much Do Web Developers Make?
The amount that a web developer makes depends on whether they’re in-house, solely working in web development and not graphic design, is freelancer, or work with a contractor agency. The median salary for web developers is approximately $50,000. If the web developer also works as a web software developer, this salary goes up to $70,000. Web software developers work with programming languages such as Java, Ajax, and Ruby on Rails to create applications for the web, instead of working in HTML, CSS, and database scripting alone.
What Education and Skills are Required?
You don’t need a formal education in web development to break into this field. A large portion of the workforce is self-employed, and many of those individuals taught themselves over the years. However, certification courses, two year, and four year programs are available in web development and design. Generally, you want to focus on the strength of your portfolio over the formal education that you achieve, although in-house positions may require a certain degree level. Web software developers are more likely to have a formal background in programming, although others opt to work on open source projects to learn the logic and methodology of creating code. Once you have a few years of experience under your belt and a killer portfolio to show, most employees are not going to care whether you have the college degree or not.