What Do Web Application Developers Do?

Laura M. Sands

Web application developers are software developers who specialize in designing and maintaining applications that perform specific Internet tasks or functions. Such functions, known as applications, may include streaming audio or video from the web, Internet games, business tools and educational tools. Using complex mathematical, analytical and computer coding skills, web application developers create applications that end users can access and use online.

Many developers are skilled in writing coding language that translates algorithms into language that a computer understands.
Many developers are skilled in writing coding language that translates algorithms into language that a computer understands.

During the process of creating new web applications, developers write detailed algorithms which act as commands to make web applications perform as intended. While many developers are skilled in writing coding language that translates algorithms into language that a computer understands, many developers prefer to leave such tasks to computer programmers who specialize in writing code. Whether an application developer simply creates algorithms or performs the extra task of writing coding language, however, the targeted result is to create applications that end users can rely on for business, personal or entertainment value while on the web without having to necessarily download the new application to a computer or mobile device.

While developing web applications is a large part of a developer’s job, many are assigned to web application testing and maintenance, as well. After creating unique applications, such products must be routinely maintained and testing is necessary to determine how well an application is functioning. As needed, web application developers are also relied upon to create upgraded application versions, which must also be tested multiple times before they are ready for mass distribution and use. Web application developers must also frequently locate and eliminate bugs, which may cause applications to malfunction.

In many instances, web application developers are self-employed and work as freelancers. In this capacity, it is not unusual to find freelancers who are developing web applications for multiple clients at a time. Some web application developers, however, are employed on a full- or part-time basis by companies in need of web application development for internal use or market to the general public. A web application developer may individually work on such projects or may be assigned to work with a team of developers.

Some self-employed web application developers work long hours, but most work 40 hours per week or less. Many developers work from remote locations, but full-time employees working for medium to large companies often work in office environments, particularly when required to work with a team of other developers. Web application careers require intense focus, analytical skills, mathematical and computer skills.

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