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How to Become a Web Developer

What Skills do You Need to be a Web Developer?

Ready to start your career in Development? Find out more about BrainStation's Web Development Bootcamp

As the core of web development work involves writing code, Web Developers must have advanced programming skills, and be fluent in a number of programming languages and libraries.

What Essential Skills Should Every Web Developer Have?

  • HTML and CSS Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the foundation of any Web Developer’s knowledge. HTML is the standard markup language used to build web pages, while CSS enables you to program the appearance of the web page, with things like colors and fonts. Together, HTML and CSS are the building blocks for web development.

  • JavaScript, which is often abbreviated as JS, is a crucial programming language, which enables website functionality on both the front-end and back-end.

  • Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language that is designed to manage, query, and manipulate data stored in a database.

  • Python is an object-oriented programming language used for many data science applications, including machine learning.

  • jQuery. A JS library that helps with the efficiency of JavaScript programming by providing a library of common tasks in a compressed, single-line format.

Beyond programming languages and libraries, becoming comfortable with commonly used tools like Git, or other version control software is a skill every Web Developer should have. Version control is a method of tracking different versions of code to ensure you can access it or restore it at any time.

There are also a number design skills that are useful for Developers to have, with an understanding of responsive design being perhaps the most crucial. Responsive design is a method of web design that ensures a website responds to the screen size or platform used to view the content. With over 52 percent of global web traffic coming from mobile phones, 43 percent from desktop, and the remainder from tablets, the screen size used to view websites is extremely varied. To ensure that the experience is seamless across all platforms and screen sizes, Developers must be fluent in responsive design.

While Web Developers are not typically tasked with the overall site design, it’s an advantage for Developers to also have a solid understanding of common design principles. Front-end Developers, in particular, program the screens that users interact with – they can be far more successful with a good grasp of user-centered design.

What Soft Skills Do You Need to Become a Web Developer?

As Developers must work with diverse teams, there are also a number “soft skills” that are important to develop:

  • Communication. From design, to marketing, to management, Developers are in communication with a host of departments to create products and services. Effective communication is essential to stay on track and complete projects.

  • Problem-solving. Because a portion of every Developer’s day involves debugging and maintenance, problem-solving skills are high on the list of requirements. Developers need to think critically and find creative workarounds and solutions where others have failed. They’ll also have to work independently when need be.

  • Time Management. Developers are frequently tasked with multiple short-term and long-term projects, and must know how to prioritize tasks and accurately gauge time-to-completion. Having excellent time management skills also makes working with large teams easier, resulting in timely project delivery.

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