We all rely heavily on different web and mobile applications, from messaging apps like Skype and Zoom to social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

But have you ever wondered who’s behind those constant push notifications?

It’s the job of talented web developers to build sites and web apps that cater to the needs of a user or organization. They control what information appears on the page, ensure the app works with your system specifications, install new features and updates, and fetch information from databases.

We’ve helped graduates transition from all types of industries and launch rewarding tech careers. If you’re ready for your own fresh start, we’re here to help. Here’s an introduction to the different paths within web development, as well as the tried-and-true steps you can take to get hired in your first programming job.

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Types of Web Developers

Web developers are generally grouped into two main areas of expertise. A third group also exists, which is a combination of the first two.

  1. Front-End Developer: Anything a user can see and interact with is handled by a front-end developer. It includes fonts, color schemes, layouts, pop-ups, images, videos, and animations. The user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design is a large part of front-end development. Menu navigation and site layout must be clean and easy to use. If the user becomes frustrated with confusing buttons they’ll quickly leave the site and look elsewhere. A front-end developer deals with the client-side of a web application. They need a good working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to get hired.
  2. Back-End Developer: The core functionality of a website is the responsibility of a back-end developer. They deal with databases, scripting, and website architecture. Where front-end developers generally come from a design and artistic background, back-end developers are more technical. They must be experts at writing code and understand server-side languages like Python, Java, Ruby, SQL, and PHP.
  3. Full-Stack Developer: Full-stack developers are required to have the skills of both front-end and back-end development. They’re expected to know basic front-end skills like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but also have some working knowledge of back-end tools like Python, Ruby, and SQL. Full-stack developers are especially in demand in smaller organizations where projects don’t require large specialized development teams.

You can start your career as a front-end developer, and train yourself in some back-end skills, or vice versa. Develop expertise in one type of web development and have some basic working knowledge of the other. The more skills you can learn, the more web developer job opportunities will come your way.

How to Get Hired as a Web Developer

Entry-level web developer jobs usually require relevant technical skills along with some real-life experience in the field. Here are some tips on how to get your foot in the door and kickstart your development career:

Enroll in a Bootcamp: Online web developer bootcamps are a great way to build all the skills you need to get hired. They’re affordable, intensive, and laser-focused education programs put together by leading experts. Students not only learn the core principles of web development but also receive post-graduation support to get placed at a top web development company.

Get Work Experience: A great way to gain experience when starting out is to take on some freelance web development work. You might not earn much at the beginning, but the real-life projects will provide invaluable experience. You can add these projects to your portfolio and resume to help stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your commitment to the field.

Build a Portfolio: Every aspiring web developer should put together a professional portfolio. An open-source portfolio can be created at GitHub. A portfolio is a collection of your web development assignments that a prospective employer can look at to gauge your coding skills. Let your portfolio do the talking.

Connect with Professionals: Social media platforms like Reddit, Quora, and Facebook have groups dedicated to web development. You can connect with experts, find mentors, and build your professional network. Discussing web development topics with others can help you learn new skills. The connections you make could even lead to a job opportunity.

Start Prepping for Your Web Developer Interviews

Interviews are an inevitable part of the recruitment process. And for web developers, interviews can get pretty technical, fast: expect questions on programming language syntax, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, database design, server configuration, and web page optimization. Prepare in advance and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Since technical interviews can be tough to crack, candidates often focus on brushing up their technical knowledge and overlook soft skills. Most web developer jobs require you to function as part of a team so employers also want to gauge your interpersonal skills. They’ll judge your questioning ability, how well you communicate, and how strongly you can present your side of the argument. These are vital skills for a productive office environment. Companies are interested in candidates who are genuinely passionate about their work instead of being driven by salary alone. If you’re prepared to go the extra mile and work longer hours when necessary, you’ll appeal to employers and boost your chances of getting hired.

Web developers are also expected to have good writing skills. The way a person drafts an email reflects on the company’s reputation. Many organizations hire technical documentation writers to write release notes, software guides, manuals, and books. Some companies may expect their web developers to write release notes. This would call for proficiency in MS Office and other presentation tools like Adobe Captivate and Visio.

The interview process can start with an entry-level aptitude or technical test to shortlist candidates. This is often followed by a round of phone interviews, where candidates are judged on their knowledge of the field. Video conferencing tools are becoming more popular and some companies are transitioning to a fully remote interview approach. If you’re attending a remote interview, keep the following points in mind:

The final round is usually a face-to-face or a video-conference session with an interview panel consisting of technical experts. You might be asked theoretical questions or given practical coding assignments. In a face-to-face interview, it’s unlikely that you’ll use a compiler to check and debug code. To prepare you should practice writing code down on paper.

Web Developer Salaries

Web development is a growing market. If coding interests you, becoming a developer is a great career choice. According to Glassdoor the average salary for a web developer in the U.S. is $75,487.

Junior developers can earn about $65,000 a year. This can vary and depends on the company, the location, and your suitability to the role.

Senior web developers can earn up to $30,000 more. As you start out your web development journey, you can focus solely on either the front-end or back-end side of programming and specialize in just one or two languages. Then later expand your learning to become a full-stack developer.

Fast-Track Your Way to a Web Developer Job

If you’re set on a future in web development enroll in our full-stack developer bootcamp. During this intensive online learning program, you’ll learn the core skills required to get hired as a developer. Our team of experts will support you every step of the way. You’ll build a professional portfolio and receive one-on-one mentorship to help achieve your career goals.

If you have any questions, book some time with Admissions and we’ll walk you through the process, step by step. And if you’re still researching, browse our web developer blog for more insightful content for newbies.

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