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What Are the Different Web Developer Careers?

Web developers might plan and design sites upfront or help maintain and manage sites once they're up and running.
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  • Written By: Page Coleman
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Web developer careers can cover a number of job roles with various skill sets. A web developer job may be involved with the design, programming, implementation, maintenance and management of a website, for example. Depending on an organization’s definition and size, a web developer career may require skills ranging from programming, design, and information architecture to usability, database development, and web server administration. These positions also often require writing and project management skills as well.

Web developers are frequently thought of as those who write code for web pages and applications. For this position, a four-year degree in web development or computer science is often required. The web developer job description may indicate a need for expertise in hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS), along with least one web programming language, such as .NET, Java, Ruby, Perl, or PHP. Depending on the position, the web developer might not need database development skills, but in some cases this may be among the web developer requirements.

Web designers frequently work on the layout and graphic design of a site’s web pages. People in this position often have at least a two-year degree in a related field, though some designers may be self-taught. The designer will likely need to be skilled in a production-quality graphic design software program. At some organizations, this role may also need to have expertise in HTML, CSS and a scripting language, such as Javascript.

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To help create websites that are well-structured and usable, a company may employ information architects and usability professionals in its web developer jobs. Information architects help determine the structure and display of website information. Usability professionals plan and conduct tests to verify the site is useful and easy to navigate.

Many web applications make use of a database to store information, such as inventory for an e-commerce application or membership information for a premium content site. A web database developer will need training in developing databases and creating stored procedures to maintain data. This position often requires a four-year computer science degree.

The web servers need someone to look after them, and this is the role of a web server administrator. This role frequently requires a four-year technical degree. Training and experience in a particular web server technology, such as Information Index Services (IIS), may also be needed.

Professional who work as web content writers create compelling content to engage a website’s users. Though not always required, a four-year degree in journalism or a similar writing-related degree can be helpful. Some writers have experience in a specific field, such as law or health, and specialize in writing content for that area.

In some organizations, project management may be considered among the web developer careers. The project manager may have moved into this role from a web programming position. Some organizations may wish their project managers to have four-year degrees and project management certification.

Regardless of the specifics of the role, those who thrive in the various web developer careers often share certain personality traits. Job seekers who are interested in this type of position should enjoy technical challenges and should be willing to keep up on new technology. People in these roles often need to work closely with others, so the ability to work well on a team, which may be either local or geographically dispersed, is useful.

A web development career has many good features. A position in this field is usually well-paid, and the job outlook is fairly good. The physical working conditions are typically in a comfortable office environment. People working in this industry can choose to work as an employee, a consultant, freelancer, or set up their own web development firms.

Some challenges with web developer careers include the need to keep up with rapidly changing technology. At times, web developers may need to work long hours to complete projects on time or to maintain or fix systems. In some organizations, some web development staff may be on call; this is particularly true of web server administrator staff. Though the environment is comfortable, workers in this role usually spend much of the day on computers and may be at risk for carpal tunnel or other repetitive stress injuries, along with eye strain.

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