A Web developer is a programmer who is responsible for developing various Web applications or programs. With the popularity of social media platforms and mobile apps, the Web developer has become one of the most sought after, in-demand jobs in America. According to the National Salary Trend from Indeed.com, the median income is $86,000 per year, usually with 3-5 years of solid experience. Web developers are sometimes referred to as software developers, Web programmers, mobile applications developers, and Web engineers.
A formal education is not a requirement to become a Web developer; however a strong background in programming (coding or scripting) is a must. Colleges and many online tutorials can teach those who are pursuing the title of “Web developer” the necessary skills to reach their goals. Graduates with a four year college degree will have completed courses in the Information Technology or Computer Science field. Whichever method of education is chosen, advanced proficiency in the following programming languages are needed:
- ASP.NET, C, C#, Visual Basic.NET
- AJAX, JAVA, PL/SQL, XML
- Cold Fusion, Cobol, PHP, Perl, Python
Front-end Versus Back-end Web Developer
- Front-end Developer
- Back-end Developer
A back-end developer provides coding to the back-end (everything the end-user cannot see) of the Web site. These developers build the databases and frameworks that support Web sites and applications. They rely on advanced programming skills to write testable code, enable database storing, provide security, authentication, validation, integration with other Web services, and some server configuration. For instance, the aesthetics (look and feel) of a Web form are handled on the front-end, but the processing of the form or validation is handled on the back-end. The back-end developer will make sure that after the front-end developer placed the form in a logical location for customers to use, a database would be created to store the customer’s registration information. These developers will also have a strong understanding of object-oriented programming (OOP), a type of programming based on a hierarchy of classes, used to design applications and software programs. Back-end developers will use many platforms and frameworks like Microsoft.Net, MS SharePoint, Ruby on Rails, J2EE, J2ME, LAMP (Tomcat and Apache Server), AWS, Windows Azure, etc.
Both types of developers are important, but the complexity and skill necessary to build complex Web sites or enterprise application software makes a back-end developer an invaluable asset in the industry.
Because of rapidly changing technology, and the constant demands of programming, it is wise for a Web developer to choose either front-end or back-end development. Essentially, no one wants to be “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
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