To the outwardly, it can seem like a sophisticated, confusing, and somewhat inaccessible field.
So, to shed some light on this fascinating industry, we’ve put together the ultimate introduction to website development and what it takes to become a fully fledged web developer.
If you opt web development is for you, the further action is to start out learning important skills.
1. Is 2022 a good time to become a web developer?
Before you jump into a new career, it’s necessary to contemplate the trail ahead.
Can your new industry provide you ample opportunities and stability? How likely are you to get employed after you’ve graduated from your chosen program or Bootcamp?
In the wake of the past 2 years, these queries are more important than ever.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on the economy and on employment.
Initially, in 2020 the pandemic caused hiring to slow down, as international lockdowns took place.
However, the vaccine rollout and economic bounce-back led to a rise in 2021, with hiring only slowing towards the end of the year, in step with a report by Glassdoor. However, the report additionally points out that 69 percent of the employment shortfall comes from the leisure and hospitality, education, and healthcare industries, which are particularly Covid sensitive.
This is one more indication that workers are gravitating towards industries and roles which are more “Covid proof”, such as tech. With that in mind, let’s take a glance at the state of the web development industry in 2022.
Are web developers in demand right now?
Whether it’s scrolling through our favorite social media apps, checking the news, paying for something online, or connecting with colleagues using collaboration software systems and tools, most of what we do relies on some form of technology. Behind this technology, there is a team of web developers who have not only built it but constantly maintain it to assure it works cleanly.
Those who can build and maintain websites, apps, and software have a vital role to play in today’s technology-driven world and this is reflected in the web development job market.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of web developers is projected to grow thirteen percent from 2020 to 2030-much faster than the average.
But does this still stand after the uncertain twists and turns of the past 2 years?
yes: web developers seem to have weathered the gale relatively well.
Full-stack developers came in 2nd on Indeed’s list of the best jobs, and we can see this continuing through 2022 and beyond.
Just explore the web for the most in-demand tech skills in 2022 and you’ll find things like web development, software engineering, cloud computing, and DevOps.
Full Stack development will continue to be highly attractive to employers. In response to the pandemic, the ability to do full-stack development will make engineers extremely marketable as companies across all industries migrate their business to a virtual world. Those who can quickly develop and deliver software strategy thanks to full-stack methods have the best shot to be at the top of a company’s or client’s wish list.
If you’re keen to quantify the demand for web developers, explore for “web developer” or “full-stack developer” roles in your area on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn.
As you can see, because of the coronavirus pandemic, web developers continue to be in high demand. Speaking of which, how has Covid affected the web development industry? Let’s take a look.
How has Covid-19 affected the industry?
While several industries have struggled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the tech industry has handled relatively well.
Many organizations are relying on digital tools to enable them to work remotely, placing even more importance on technology and the people who build it.
As such, many are anticipating an industry boom: according to Market Data Forecast, the tech industry can grow from $131 billion USD in 2020 to $295 billion in 2025.
Definitely, new and aspiring web developers can expect some changes as a result of Covid-19.
First, it’s necessary to consider the rise of remote work.
When it comes to finding your 1st job within the field, you should be prepared to work remotely at least some of the time, if not on a full time basis. Luckily, web development is a career that lends itself to remote work.
We’re anticipating that web developer jobs will increase in certain sectors as a direct result of the products and services that are most in demand right now.
For example, sectors like healthcare, media and entertainment, online banking, remote education, and ecommerce will continue to grow to reflect consumer needs and behaviors in a more socially distant world.
In all, the impact of the Covid-19 on the tech industry, and on web developers, has been minimal compared to other sectors.
Although the situation is still unfolding, new and aspiring web developers can feel hopeful that they’re embarking on a future proof career.
So…should you become a web developer in 2022?
So what’s the decision? Is this a good time to become a web developer?
Looking at the jobs and projected employment growth, We hope the answer is pretty clear.
Now is the best time to become a web developer! If you’re thinking about joining this industry and building the technology of the future, we say go for it.
But first, let’s get back to basics. What is web development, and what web developers do?
Keep reading to find out.
2. What is web development?
Web development is a process In which websites and apps are created for the internet, or for an intranet(a private network). It is not concerned with the design of a website; rather, it’s about the coding and programming that powers the website functionality.
From the most simple, static web pages to social media platforms and applications, from e-commerce websites to content management systems, all the tools we use via the internet on a daily basis have been built by developers.
Web development vs software engineering
A hurdle to those who are curious how to become a web developer is all of the jargon and buzzwords-including for the role itself! Some people say they are software engineers, some say they are web developers, and others software developers! Are there major differences between them?
While normally software engineers tend to work more on operating systems and web developers on internet-based technologies, the reality is different.
Both roles share programming languages and technologies, and as a result which term is used can depend on location, industry, and the company.
Now though what’s vital is that web development and software engineering bootcamps tend to teach you the same programming tools and technologies. Once you’ve graduated and are entering the job market, keep in mind to look more at the technologies in each job description than the title itself to see if they match your own.
Types of web development
We can divide Web development into three layers: client-side coding, server-side coding and database technology.
Let’s take a glance at each of these layers in more detail.
Client-side scripting or frontend development, indicate everything that the end user experiences directly.
Client side code executes in a web browser and directly relates to what we see when we are visiting a website. Things like layout, fonts, colors, menus all are driven by the frontend.
Server-side scripting, or backend development, is all regarding what goes on behind the scenes.
The backend is a part of a website that a user doesn’t actually see.
It is responsible for storing and organizing data, and ensuring that everything on the client-side runs well.
It is done by communicating with the client-side.
Whenever something happens on the client-side, a user fills out a form, the browser sends a request to the backend.
The server-side responds with relevant information in the form of client-side code that the browser can then interpret and display.
Websites also rely on database technology. Databases contain all the files and content that are necessary for a website to function, storing it in such a way that makes it easy to retrieve, organize, edit, and save.
The database runs on a server, and most websites typically use some form of RDBMS (relational database management system).
To summarize: the Client-side (frontend),Server-side (backend), and database technology all work together to build and run a fully functional website or application, and these three layers form the foundation of web development.
Difference between web development and web design
Just like with software engineering, you might also hear the terms “web development” and “web design” used interchangeably, but they are different from each other.
Let’s Imagine, a web designer and a web developer working together to build a car: the developer would take care of all the functional components, like the engine, the wheels and the gears, while the designer would be responsible for both the visual aspects of how the car looks, the layout of the dashboard, the design of the seats and for the the user experience provided by a car, so whether or not it is a smooth drive.
Web designers design how the website will look and feel. They model the layout of the website, making sure it’s logical, user-friendly and comfortable to use. Which button, drop-down menus and scrollbars should be included, and where?
Web design is a very large field, and can be broken down into more specific roles such as User Experience Design, User Interface Design, and Information Architecture.
Job of a web developer is to take this design and develop it into a live, fully functional website.
A server-side (backend) developer builds the more advanced functionality of the site, such as the checkout function on an e-commerce site.
In short, a web designer is the architect, and the web developer is the builder.
3. What does a web developer do?
The job of the web developer is to create and maintain websites. If you want to start your career in web development, you have to decide whether you’d like to become a client-side (frontend) developer, server-side (backend) developer, or full-stack developer. Full-stack developers expertise in both the frontend and backend.
Web developer is responsible for creating a product that meets both the client’s needs and the user. Web developers collaborate with clients and designers in order to understand the vision: how should the final look of a website be?
A big part of web development is identifying and fixing bugs. Web developers are there to solve problems, regularly coming up with solutions and workarounds to keep things running smoothly.
Surely, web developers are skillful in certain programming languages. But, different developers will work with different languages depending on their job title and expertise.
A comparison of the work of a frontend developer vs. backend developer vs. full-stack developer.
What does a front-end developer do?
It is the frontend developer’s role to code the frontend of a website or an app. They collect the backend data and change it into something that is easily understood, attractive and fully functional for the daily user.
Frontend developer tasks
The frontend(client-side) developer implements the website’s layout, interactive and navigational elements such as scrollbars and buttons, internal links, and images.
Client-side(fronted) developers are also responsible for ensuring optimal display across different devices and browsers.
They will code a website and make it responsive or adaptive to various screen sizes, so that the user gets the same experience on mobile, tablet or desktop.
These developers will also carry out usability tests and fix bugs that occur. At the same time, they will maintain software workflow management, and develop tools that ameliorates how the user interacts with a website in any browser.
What does a backend developer do?
The backend is essentially the brain behind the frontend.
A backend developer is therefore responsible to build and maintain the technology needed to power the frontend, consisting of three parts: a database, a server, and an application.
The code that backend developers create ensures that everything the frontend developer builds is fully functional, and it is the backend developer’s job to make sure that a database, a server, and an application all communicate with each other.
So how do they do this? First, they use backend languages such as Python, PHP, Ruby, and Java to build an application.
Then they use tools like Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server to find, edit or save data and deliver it back to the user in client-side code.
Backend development tasks
Like frontend developers, backend developers also contact the client in order to understand their needs and requirements. After that they will deliver these in a number of ways depending on the specifics of the project. Typical server-side development tasks include creating, integrating and managing the database, creating backend software using server-side frameworks, developing and deploying content management systems, API integration and operating systems, working with web server technologies.
These developers also handle testing and debugging any backend elements of a system or application.
What does a full-stack developer do?
Full-stack developers are expert in all stages of the web development process, meaning they are well-equipped to get hands-on, and can also guide on strategy and best practices.
Full-stack developers are expert in both client-side and server-side languages and frameworks, as well as in server, network and hosting environments.
Web developers and software engineers may also specialize in app development, either for Android or iOS. iOS developers build applications that run with the iOS operating system-the one used by Apple devices.
iOS developers are experts in Swift, the programming language that Apple created specifically for their apps.
Android developers build applications that are adaptable with all Android devices, such as Samsung smartphones.
Java was the official programming language for Android applications, but has since been replaced by Kotlin, the new kid on the block.
4. Programming languages, libraries, and frameworks
In order to create websites and applications, web developers work with languages, libraries, and frameworks.
What are languages?
In the field of web development, languages are the building blocks that developers use to create applications, softwares and websites.
There are various types of languages in this field, including programming languages, markup languages, style sheet languages, and database languages.
A programming language is a set of commands and instructions which tells the computer system to produce a certain output. Developers use high level programming languages to write source code. These languages use symbols and logical words, making it easy for humans to read and understand. High level languages can be classified in two ways: either interpreted or compiled languages.
Java and C++, for instance, are compiled high-level languages. They are first saved as a text based format that is adaptable for human programmers but not for computers. To run the source code for the computer, it needs to be converted to a low level language; i.e. machine code. To create software applications Compiled languages are used.
Interpreted languages like PHP and Perl don’t need to be compiled. Rather, source code written in these languages can be run through an interpreter-a program that reads and executes code.
Interpreted languages are used for running scripts, such as generating content for dynamic websites.
Languages that can be directly recognized by and executed on the computer hardware are Low level ; they don’t need to be translated or interpreted. Assembly language and Machine language are examples of low-level languages.
These languages are used to indicate the formatting of a text file. This kind of web developing language tells the software to display the text how the text should be formatted. Markup languages are completely readable to the human eye, they contain standard words, but the markup tags are not visible in the final output.
The two popular markup languages are HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and XML (eXtensible Markup Language). HTML is used for the creation of websites. HTML tags describe how this document should be displayed by a web browser, When added to a plain text document.
The HTML version of bold tags would be written as follows:
<b>Make this sentence bold!</b>
When a browser reads this, it will display that sentence in bold.
User sees: Make this sentence bold!
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) is a markup language very similar to HTML. HTML was created to display data with a focus on how it looks and XML was created purely to store and transport data.
Unlike HyperText Markup Language, eXtensible Markup Language tags are not predefined; rather, they are created by the author of the document.
The point of eXtensible Markup Language is to simplify data sharing and transport, data availability and platform changes, as it provides a software and hardware-independent means of storing, transporting and sharing data.
Style sheet languages
These languages are used to style documents that are written in markup languages.
Consider a document written in HTML and styled using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a style sheet language.
The HTML is responsible for the content and structure of the web page, and CSS determines how this content should be presented visually.
Cascading Style Sheets can be used to insert backgrounds, add colors, change fonts, and insert borders, with these style forms. Also it is used to optimize web pages for responsive design, ensuring they adapt their layout to whatever device the user is on.
Web Development Languages are not only used for creating apps, software and websites; they are also used to build and manage databases.
To store huge volumes of data databases are used. For example, The Spotify music app, uses databases to store music files, and data about the user’s listening preferences. Social media apps like Facebook use databases to store user profile information.
It’s essential to have a language that databases do understand, like SQL (Structured Query Language).For accessing and manipulating relational databases, SQL is used and it has its own markup, and enables developers to work with the data held in a database system.
What are libraries and frameworks?
Web developers also work with libraries and frameworks, they are not the same thing, they are both there to make the developer’s work easier.
Libraries and frameworks are sets of prewritten code, libraries are used for more specific use-cases.
Library contains a set of useful codes, grouped together to be reused. Library’s purpose is to enable developers to reach the same end goal while writing fewer code to get there.
A framework contains ready-made elements and tools that empower the developer to do coding faster, and lots of frameworks also contain libraries.
It gives the programmer a format to work from, and the framework you choose to work with will largely dictate the way you build your app or website, so choosing a framework is a serious decision.
Some popular frameworks include Angular, Bootstrap, and Rails.
If you want to understand libraries and frameworks then imagine you are building a house. The framework provides the foundation and the format, with instructions completing certain tasks.
Like creating a website, you can write the code from scratch or you can take alredy written code from a library and easily insert it.
How to become a web developer
The employment growth for web developers will be 13 percent and for software developers will be 22 percent between 2020 to 2030 (Predicted by The Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Web developer was ranked as the 6th best job title in tech based on salary and employment rates, with software developer finishing 2nd!
Decide your learning pathway
The first step to a career in web development is to learn the important languages, libraries, and frameworks.
You’ll also need to familiarize yourself with some of the web development tools.
It’s your choice whether you want to focus on frontend, backend, or full-stack development.