Career Guide

Web Developer

Uni Compare  · Nov 5th 2020

Have you always been obsessed with the internet and websites and love to express your creative side?

Web Developer

Well then, the web developer career is probably the best job to allow you to continue doing that! It’s all about programming software, from the technical side which no one sees to the website or app design which everyone notices. Whether you’re not sure what area you want to work in, it’s an excellent job for creative individuals. Read our career guide for more information!

Web Developer Career Guide

What is a web developer?

Web developing consists of creating reliable applications and services that perform well. Web developers are sought after by organisations seeking a robust digital presence, who can offer a better service than their competitors.

A web programmer will work on the databases (known as the ‘back end’) and underlying software, or the interface and visual design (the ‘front end’). However, a website developer may also work on all these areas, referred to as ‘full-stack development’. They can work as a freelancer or in an agency while creating products to meet the needs of the client. A web developer’s work can be varied and involve working on multiple projects at the same time while conducting meetings with clients and discussing progress.

What does a web developer do?

The web developer job description encompasses writing code in scripting or programming languages, like JavaScript or PHP, planning app prototypes and fixing bugs on existing projects. Web development jobs cover designing the components of the app and deciding the best technologies and languages of the service, as well as testing it across various browsers and environments to ensure it works to the best of its ability. An entry-level web developer may research projects, run performance tests, and try out new features, so they offer the desired user experience.

Also, it's common for web developers to meet designers, staff and other developers to discuss the progress on a project, as well as meeting with clients to understand the requirements for the brief. The job role can involve staying up to date with new trends, reviewing codes written by colleagues, and gathering project requirements and feedback from clients and users.

The web developer UK salary for senior or mid-level positions ranges between £25,000 and £35,000.

A web developer may build and maintain databases, attend and speak and conferences and design information architecture within a website or app. Optimising existing code and carrying out code refactoring alongside testing APIs (Application Program Interfaces) are everyday tasks. The web developer career asks for individuals who can problem-solve, can work well with others and on their own.

How to become a web developer?

How to get into web development? Although there are no set web developer qualifications as such, there are technical degrees you can take to help with the job search. These include web design and development, software engineering, informatics and computer science. Therefore, if you’re searching for a web developer degree but find other subjects mentioned interesting, they may be a better fit instead. These courses will still help you on the journey of becoming a trainee web designer.

Aside from web development qualifications, knowledge and experience are highly required, including the core skills of application design and programming. Some entry-level positions that don’t ask for experience from applicants, and instead take you on a trainee position where you can undergo courses to become a web developer while working.

Postgraduate qualifications are not essential for this career; however, if you want to progress to senior positions studying a higher degree can help. You can embark on a Master’s or Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma after working in the field. Other options for web developers is to undertake short university courses on developing web applications in PHP and MySQL. You can also study an HND in a general subject, for example, computer science. Programming and web development can be provided by private training institutions online or face-to-face and weekend learning if you’re working while you learn.

Women are currently under-represented within the industry, and companies and people in leading roles are addressing this. So don’t let location or a type of gender you identify with act as a prohibitor.

Web Developer Career

What skills are useful for web developers?

Firstly, employers are looking for specific web developer skills which are obtained through various courses and studies. Becoming a web developer is much more than getting a degree and being interested in the field. The web developer career path needs passionate, skilled and creative individuals who not only hold the technical knowledge but want to ensure they stay ahead of the curve in terms of development and user experience.

A reliable approach to problem-solving and having attention to detail are both desired attributes of a web developer, as well as knowledge of control systems and a good insight into how web apps and security work. A web developer job may require you to work independently or in mixed teams and to keep in regular contact with clients, so communication skills are vital. You’ll need to manage an array of tasks, some of which may be complex or problematic, which need to be dealt with according to the deadlines agreed.

Can you work as a web developer remotely?

The web developer career path may lead you to working remotely or on a self-employed basis as all you need to complete the job is a decent computer and an internet connection (aside from skills). In the UK, most website developer jobs are found in offices based in Manchester, Leeds and London.

A web programmer will work on the databases and underlying software, or the interface and visual design.

What is a website developer salary like?

Now we have covered ‘how to be a web developer’ the next step is to discuss developer jobs and their wages. The junior developer salary in the UK typically starts at around £19,000, but this may fluctuate depending on whether you are a trainee web developer. Entry-level or graduate web developer wages may look at approximately £25,000 at more prominent companies.

The web developer UK salary for senior or mid-level positions ranges between £25,000 and £35,000. Lead developers, whether it is the back or front end web developer salary, can be around £35,000, increasing to £60,000.

However, location and the type of company you are working for can affect your earnings, with wages usually being much higher, for example, a lead role can earn £15,000 more in the capital than elsewhere. Working at a smaller company can see earnings reach higher levels faster as progression may be smoother. Still, if you’re in a senior position, you may want more opportunities in the city.

Freelance wages are set by how much you charge per project and depend on the number of clients you have. The junior web developer salary would be relatively low for someone self-employed without experience in an agency or a company, so you may want to work for a few years while networking before choosing to work for yourself.

Web Developer

What are software developer prospects?

After starting within web engineer or junior web developer jobs, you’ll most likely progress to a more senior position following experience. Most senior positions are filled from junior developer jobs or graduates with postgraduate degrees with extensive experience. After at least five years, you can work on significant projects, supervise colleagues and lead client meetings, and if you work for an agency, you probably will receive more clients and be handed important projects.

Optimising existing code and carrying out code refactoring alongside testing APIs are everyday tasks.

You may choose to specialise, and seek out front end web developer jobs if this is your interest, or choose to start a lead role or head of a department. The higher you move up the management chain, the less coding you tend to do as you’ll need to delegate and manage staff. Following this, a website programmer with several years of experience can even move into a board-level position, in the role of a chief technical officer (CTO).

In smaller businesses, there may be distinct grade bands that you can progress through, but promotions and wage increases should be possible over time. Some companies hire reputable web developers to act as an ambassador of their brand, where they will train others in new technology or systems developed in house. Finally, you may choose to set up an agency and to work with your private clients. After a time, you can build up a client base, work on multiple projects and even hire staff.

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