What Does a Web Developer Do? [Roles, Career And Salary of Web Developers]

Let’s do a small activity- imagine a web developer working hard at work.

Did you think of a lonesome developer wearing headphones staring at a computer screen typing furiously?

Most people do. But web developers are not always coding. Although writing functional codes is a very important part of their job, web developers have many more responsibilities and roles to play in a company. After all, there is a reason web developers earn so much salary.

Let’s find out what the daily tasks of web developers are to better understand their job.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

Web developers create websites and web apps like Disney+, Twitter, and Amazon that you see on the internet. They code the logic behind each feature of the website, create web pages using the designs given by web designers, and take care of all the data the websites collect from the users.

To be a successful web developer you have to understand the client’s problems and requirements and devise a feasible solution. Then you get to use your actual programming skills to convert the solution into a website.

Let’s look at the main responsibilities of web developers.

What are the Responsibilities of Web Developers?

Of course, the main responsibility of a developer is coding the web application. A web developer must have extensive knowledge of programming languages and logical thinking abilities to provide the best web-based solutions for clients.

But apart from coding, there are many tasks that come under the profile of a website developer.

Whether you are working as a freelancer or in a multi-national company there are some additional jobs that you will be responsible for as a developer.

  1. Collaborate with client/team (to decide specifications and understand the features required)
  2. Convert wireframes and designs into a working user interface (making the actual website/web app)
  3. Code application logic (writing a step-by-step instruction manual for the computer or browser)
  4. Create cross-platform web apps (sites that work great on a mobile, tablet, desktop and sometimes even Smart TVs)
  5. Test codes and remove errors (review your own or other developer’s programs)
  6. Update existing websites

Which Skills are Needed for Becoming a Web Developer?

What Skills are Required to Become a Web Developer?

Today, just being a good programmer is not enough to get a web developer’s job. Along with in-depth knowledge about web development languages and frameworks, successful developers also need to have communication and interpersonal skills.

Here is a list of the basic skills you require to become a skilled web developer-

  1. HTML5
  2. CSS
  3. JavaScript
  4. Data structures and algorithms
  5. Web programming languages
  6. Version control systems
  7. Testing and debugging
  8. Web performance principles
  9. Responsive design
  10. Server hosting

Along with technical proficiency, aspiring web developers also need to have strong interpersonal skills to work in the tech industry. Some soft (personal) skills you will require-

  1. Strong problem-solving abilities
  2. Analytical thinking
  3. Creativity
  4. Strong communication
  5. Collaboration and teamwork

Types of Web Development Job Profiles

Job Profiles For Web Developers

The roles and responsibilities of a developer changes with the kind of job profile and company they work in. Freelance web developers or startup tech teams require knowledge of both back-end and front-end development. But enterprise-level companies have dedicated jobs for developers that require specialization in a programming language or technology.

There are mainly three types of profiles for web developers available today-

  1. Front-end web developer
  2. Back-end web developer
  3. Full-stack web developer

We will look at each of these profiles closely and some basic requirements and qualifications to get a job.

  1. Front end Developers

    Let’s take the example of Netflix.com to understand the main role of front-end web developers. A trailer of some new releases will be playing as soon as the page loads. You can swipe to see the previews of 5 or 7 popular movies and series. If you scroll, you will see a grid of movies and tv shows for viewing. Hovering over any movie will start a preview.

    This is called the layout of the website. What users see when they open the site and what happens when they interact by scrolling, right/left-clicking, and keyboard keys. This is the main responsibility of frontend web developers- designing the look and feel of a website, to create an enriching user experience.

    Wondering what skills you will need as a frontend developer?

    If you are aspiring a career in front-end development, here is a list of skills you need to develop to have a successful career.

    • HTML and CSS – for building the layout of the website
    • JavaScript – for adding dynamic content like images, scrolling, animation
    • CSS frameworks like BootStrap, Foundation or Bulma and CSS preprocessors like SASS or LESS offer templates and pre-written code snippets for efficient coding.
    • JavaScript frameworks and libraries such as jQuery, EmberJS, React or VueJS for simplifying and speeding up the entire development process.
    • Responsive design for cross-platform compatibility, that is the website looks good on any device be it a smartphone, tablet or desktop.
    • Version control for managing different updates and keep a track of changes in code
    • Testing and debugging process for an error-free code
    • Building and automation tools and web performance optimization (WPO) techniques for enhancing the performance and speed of websites.
    • Optional – Google Developer Tools and Browser tools to optimize website for different web browsers
    • Optional – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  2. Back-end Developers

    Back-end web developers code the logic behind the website. They instruct the servers, database, and browsers to interact with each other and display the right content on the web page when a user requests something.

    Continuing our example of Netflix, let’s understand what the role of a backend web developer is. Each user will get different recommendations on their Netflix page based on their watch history. This is because of the database that backend developers handle, which collects user data, analyses and runs an algorithm to recommend similar content. Apart from data management, as a backend web developer, you are also responsible for writing the codes for user login, and monthly/yearly payment management profiles.

    Wondering what skills you will need as a backend developer?

    For a prosperous career in back-end web development, here are some of the technologies you will require –

    • A strong grasp of one or more backend coding languages- PHP, Java, Ruby, JavaScript, C#, or Python
    • Backend web frameworks such as Django, Laravel, .NET, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, or Spring will provide libraries and templates so that you can work faster with the programming language.
    • Data structures and Algorithms – Data structures let you know how to store and manage data. Learning common searching/sorting algorithms is essential for performative, efficient code and building your problem-solving skills.
    • Database languages – SQL and NoSQL are languages that actually tell the device to store information in memory using data structures like tables or arrays.
    • Database management systems such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, or MySQL use SQL or NoSQL to create relationships between the stored data and perform operations on it like adding, modifying, searching or making queries.
    • Networks and servers to understand how the World Wide Web(www) works and how you can host the website on the internet.
    • Knowledge of APIs- They control the transfer of data between database and web servers.
    • Version control with Git to help you track changes in your code.
    • Optional – Server hosting environments like Apache, Nginx, IIS servers, or Microsoft IIS
    • Optional – Cloud hosting platforms such as AWS, Heroku, Google Cloud Platform

    Confused about which backend framework to learn? Check out our comparative analysis of the 8 Best Backend Frameworks For Web Development in 2021.

  3. Full-stack Developers

    Full-stack development entails working on the whole tech stack of a web project. This means working with a frontend framework, database technology, backend language, server, operating system, and testing tools.

    Full-stack web developers are involved throughout the web development process. Since they have both frontend and backend skills along with in-depth knowledge of databases, they can successfully build websites and web applications single-handedly.

    A wider knowledge base and multitasking are key requirements for a career in full-stack development. Apart from the front-end and back-end development skills, full-stack developers should also be proficient in-

    • HTTP and REST – the connecting link between frontend and backend codes
    • Web architecture
    • Basic design capabilities
    • Internet security

Now that you are aware of the roles and responsibilities of different web developers, let’s look at the range of web developer salaries.

What is the Average Salary for Web Developers?

In a world that is going online, web developers are, without a doubt, one of the highest-paid software developers. The range of salaries for web developers in Canada is $49,585 to $83,838 annually depending on the job profile you use.

We have created a list of average salaries for different job profiles of web developers in Canada.

Profile Avg per hour Avg per year
Entry-level developer $15.22 $49,585
Junior developer $27.26 $66,630
Senior developer $34.97 $80,803
Front-end developer $34.21 $79,207
Back-end developer $35.26 $81,603
Full-stack developer $36.22 $83,838

All the data is collected from- Indeed Salaries

The average salary of web developers can vary a lot depending on location, company, skillset, and industry. But rest assured, that most successful web developers make a lot more than the country average.

Web development is a rare field that doesn’t require a degree to gain success. With dedication and practice, you can become a web developer easily.

FAQ About Web Developer

Can I learn web development on my own?

Yes, it is possible to self-learn web development. There are many resources available online such as coding bootcamps, tutorials and coding sites. Find a comfortable site or YouTube tutorial according to your budget and keep practicing and experimenting with different projects.

What projects would I work on as a web developer?

As a web developer, you will work on developing websites or web applications. Most times, you will have to meet the client’s requirements and develop specific features. For example contact forms, animation on frontend, or even some online games. You will create web pages with unique designs and test them before deploying it.

How long does it take to become a web developer?

The learning time for a web developer depends on the specialisation you require. If you are starting with zero experience, becoming

  • A frontend web developer will require 3-4 months to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript and some libraries and frameworks like Bootstrap and jQuery.
  • A backend web developer will require 5-6 months to completely learn a programming language of your choice, related web framework and database systems.
  • A full-stack web developer will require a minimum of 6 months to get basic knowledge of both frontend and backend technologies.


Conclusion

With this blog, you have understood what exactly the day of a web developer looks like. If you are the kind of person who finds solving new problems exciting, applying creative solutions, and keeping yourself constantly updated with new technologies, then web development is the right career path for you.

Want to know how you can become a web developer? Wondering which topics to learn and what technologies to master? Check out our detailed 5-step guide on becoming a web developer.
For more information, you can explore our collection of web development blogs.

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Author Bio
Jigar Mistry
Jigar Mistry
Designation: Founder - Monocubed

Jigar Mistry is the Founder of Monocubed and is the main curator and writer of the content found on this site. He has 14+ years of experience in the information technology industry. He always believes in quality, in terms of code and application.