A formal education isn’t always necessary to become an entry-level web developer. Some web developers have an associate or bachelor’s degree in website design or computer science, but others teach themselves how to code and design websites. While earning a degree can make you a more competitive candidate, a strong portfolio can go a long way toward validating your skills to potential employers.
If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, here Pritish Kumar Halder explains some steps you can take.
1. Build web developer skills.
Employers and clients usually expect web developers to have certain skills that demonstrate their ability to deliver on website requirements. If you’re interested in a career as a web developer, these are some skills you can focus on to build a foundation for success.
Responsive design: People use a variety of devices to view websites. Developers should be able to create sites that look as good on smartphones and tablets as they do on computer screens.
Technical SEO: Many factors of website design can affect the site’s search engine ranking. Understanding how search engines rank sites is useful in a developer’s work.
Version control: This lets you track and control changes to the source code without starting over from the beginning each time you run into a problem.
Visual design: Understanding basic design principles, such as how to use white space, choose fonts, and incorporate images could boost your marketability.
Communication: Web developers spend time discussing design ideas with their clients and team members through each step of the project.
Customer service: A web developer creates websites for the client to use and should remain client-focused to achieve the best results.
Detail-oriented: Little details, like a small change in code, can make a big difference in how a website performs.
Organization: Keeping track of deadlines, project tasks, workflow, and budgets is helpful if you want to complete a website design on time.
Problem-solving: Web developers often run into issues when designing websites. They should have the patience and ability to identify problems in the design or coding and solve them in a methodical way.
2. Consider a degree in computer science or web design.
While you don’t always need a degree to get a job in web development, it can certainly help. If you’re already in school (or considering earning a degree), some majors might be a better fit for your career goals than others. If you’re more interested in back-end web development, consider a degree program in computer science. If you feel more drawn to front-end development, you might opt for a degree in web design or user experience (UX).
3. Take a course in web development.
By completing an online course in web development, like Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding from the University of Michigan, you can build skills while completing development projects for your portfolio.
4. Build a portfolio of web development work.
As a web developer, your portfolio is often one of the most important parts of your resume. This collection of projects shows potential employers what you’re capable of creating. Include the types of projects that represent the work you’d like to do. If you’re including code, be sure to annotate it to show your thought process.
5. Get certified.
Earning a certification can validate your skill set to potential employers. You’ll find a range of general and vendor-specific options, including:
- Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSD)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer
- Zend Certified PHP Engineer
Get started with Course
If you’re considering becoming a web developer, you can start learning today. Get an overview of web development from industry leader, Meta with Meta Front-End Developer Professional Certificate. If your career goals include a role as a web developer, learn more click here.
FAQ’s About Web Developers
Can Anyone Be a Web Developer?
Web developers usually need to demonstrate skill with learning programming languages and other computer-based applications. To succeed, many web developers also need professional training or education, plus the hard and soft skills described above.
Is It Hard to Become a Web Developer?
Given the intricacies of web design and coding, web developers must usually learn a lot before taking on their first professional project. In addition to completing academic coursework or online tutorials to learn programming languages and applications, web developers create portfolios and pursue hands-on training through internships.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Developer?
Many web developers complete four-year degrees, create portfolios, and take on internships. However, self-taught web developers may get a faster start, particularly if they know exactly what they want to learn and have an easy time learning programming languages and website design principles.
Do You Need a Degree to Become a Web Developer?
Some web developers learn their trade entirely from tutorials and other online resources, but many hold at least a certificate, associate degree, or bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field.
What Do Entry-Level Web Developers Do?
Entry-level web developers typically maintain, troubleshoot, or create websites by drawing from their repertoire of programming and graphic design skills and knowledge.