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What is a Web Developer?

12th February 2024

In the realm of website creation and maintenance, the term ‘web developer’ is frequently mentioned. But what does being a web developer actually entail? This article will provide a deep dive into the world of web development, outlining the roles, skills, and impact of web developers in today’s digital landscape.

The Role of a Web Developer:

A web developer is a professional who specialises in the development of applications relating to the World Wide Web or distributed network applications, which typically run protocols like HTTP from a web server to a client browser using associated programming languages like HTML, CSS, C#, Ruby, and PHP, to name a few.

Types of Web Developers:

Web development generally splits into three categories:

  • Front-End Developers: Responsible for the visual aspects of the website that users interact with (the client side). They use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create the layout, design, and interactivity of a website.
  • Back-End Developers: They work on the server side of web applications. Their role involves working with databases, servers, and applications to ensure that everything works behind the scenes. They commonly use languages such as PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java.
  • Full-Stack Developers: These developers have a combination of front-end and back-end skills. They understand how the web works at every level and can develop a complete website independently.

 Key Responsibilities of a Web Developer:

The responsibilities of a web developer can vary depending on their specialisation, but generally include:

  • Developing and Testing: Building websites and applications, followed by rigorous testing to ensure functionality.
  • Maintenance and Updates: Regularly updating applications and websites to ensure they are secure, efficient, and up-to-date.
  • Problem-Solving: Identifying and resolving issues with the performance of applications or websites.
  • Collaboration: Working with designers, UX/UI specialists, and other team members to create a cohesive product.

Essential Skills for Web Developers:

Some essential skills for web developers include:

  • Proficiency in Programming Languages: Knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other programming languages.
  • Understanding of SEO Principles: Knowledge of SEO best practices to optimise website rankings.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Ability to troubleshoot and solve issues efficiently.
  • Attention to Detail: Ensuring that all aspects of the website work as intended.
  • Adaptability: Keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends.

The Tools of the Trade:

Web developers use a range of tools and technologies, including:

  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs): Software applications providing comprehensive facilities for software development.
  • Version Control Systems: Tools like Git that help manage changes to the source code over time.
  • Frameworks and Libraries: Collections of pre-written code that developers can use to solve common programming tasks.

The Importance of Web Development in Business:

Web development is crucial for businesses in today’s digital age. It’s responsible for creating the online face of the business, enabling online transactions, and ensuring a seamless user experience.

Education and Training:

Most web developers have a degree in computer science, IT, or a related field. However, many have also learnt their skills through online courses, bootcamps, and self-study.

Career Path and Progression:

The career path for web developers often starts with junior positions, progressing to senior developer roles, and potentially leading to positions such as project manager or IT director.

The Evolving Landscape of Web Development:

The field of web development is constantly evolving, with new tools, technologies, and best practices emerging regularly. Developers need to stay informed and adaptable to remain effective.

The Freelance and Remote Working Trend:

Many web developers opt for freelance or remote working, offering flexibility and diversity in projects and clients. This trend has accelerated in recent years, thanks to advancements in technology and communication.

The Future of Web Development:

The future of web development is bright, with ongoing advancements in technology. Areas like AI, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are set to play a larger role in web development in the coming years.


Web developers play a critical role in the digital world. They are the architects behind the websites we browse, the apps we use, and the online services we rely on. As technology continues to advance, the role of the web developer will only grow in importance, making it a dynamic and exciting career path.

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