Updated July 4, 2023
Introduction to Web Development Professional
With the internet becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives, the career prospects of a web development professional are getting increasingly better. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for web developers is set to grow 20 percent through 2022. A web development professional’s job involves creating websites, keeping them functional, and updating them when required. To do this, you need to know web design concepts and theories and have proficiency in programming.
You also need to know how various website elements come together, such as web applications, databases, and servers. Additionally, a web developer should be able to predict how users interact with a website and create an interface for optimum website performance in all conditions. As you can imagine, being a web development professional requires strong communication and technical skills. In addition, communication skills are needed to understand the client’s technical needs to translate those needs into reality.
Training to Become a Web Development Professional
A web development professional can come from any educational background. There are few entry barriers, with many of today’s professionals being self-taught. You can also enter the web development field if you have the know-how, interest, and dedication. Some clients look for developers with a college education or a related degree, but most emphasize skills and performance.
Programming knowledge is probably one of the most important requirements for a web developer. Web development or computer science educational programs should give you a good idea about programming.
Computer Science and Web Development Programs
Computer science programs teach computer architecture, computational theory, object-oriented programming, and data structures. They give you a good theoretical foundation, but a web developer must get down and code in the languages currently used in website development. This requires independent learning and tons of practice.
Learning Web Design
Web development professionals often work on the back-end structure of websites, but learning front-end web design can be a huge plus. Web design usually looks at a website’s usability and visual appeal. Designers focus on how users interact with websites to create websites that focus the viewer’s attention on the most important aspects.
As a web development professional, you can opt for short courses or degree programs in web design or go through online resources for self-taught web design to bolster your skills.
Whether you opt for a degree program or short course in web development, computer science, or web design, it is important to note that being a web development professional is a constant learning process. Most web developers continue investing time in learning new technologies and languages, even with a college education. As a web developer, you can learn the latest tricks of the trade from books or online communities or by simply trying the new tricks of the trade by creating a new website or application.
Certification and License Requirements
How Much Time to Invest?
A quick search online will get you web development boot campaigns and programs that claim to cover specific programming languages within weeks. But keep in mind that this would cover mostly just theoretical knowledge. Practical coding skills in one or more programming languages can take a long time to master. Many web development professionals have been interested in programming since a young age and have started honing their skills. However, many others are there who shifted to web development much later, putting in the time and effort to develop their skills. While the amount of time it takes to learn the necessary skills can vary from one person to another, it generally takes around a year to get enough knowledge to enter the field of web development.
Tools and Resources
Now that you know what it takes to become a web development professional, here is a look at the tools and resources you need to become one on your own.
1. Command Line Tools
As a web development professional, you must be comfortable using the command line. Suppose you are wondering what a command line is. In that case, it is a text-based interface that uses text commands to achieve the same functionality as a graphical user interface (GUI), which is when you use the mouse to navigate and operate a computer. You can open the command line through a Cygwin on Windows or a terminal on Linux or Mac.
2. Development Environment
A web development professional must also have a development environment that will include all the software tools needed for your work. The most important tool for your development environment will be your text editor. Word processors like Microsoft Word and OpenOffice are unsuitable for writing code because there would be a lot of extra formatting data stored along with the Text. The best text editor for a web developer would be those with functionality specifically to develop software or Integrated Development Environments (IDE). Sublime Text is an example of a great text editor with a library of extensions and plugins. Other options include Eclipse, TextMate,, and Emac.
3. Learning HTML and CSS
You need to know HTML and CSS, which are used to develop basic static web pages, before you can jump onto more advanced development elements or applications. If you prefer to learn in an old-school way, you could opt for w3schools from the W3 web consortium that sets the standards for both codes. Another good option for beginners is Treehouse, a platform that breaks down web technologies into testable and manageable components.
5. Ruby on Rails
There are many tutorials and other resources to take you through Ruby on Rails, like the Try Ruby 15-minute tutorial for beginners and the online version of Ruby Koans. Other options include Rubymonk, which follows the same concept as Ruby Koans while bringing your language understanding to the next level.
Rails Tutorial is also a good option, but it is based on the assumption that you already know Ruby. If you do, this tutorial will guide you through the development process for a web application similar to Twitter. It introduces key Ruby on Rails concepts like Test Driven Development and Model-View-Controller applications. Add in your CSS and HTML programming knowledge, and you can deploy a fully-functional and elegant Rails application by this end.
If you like to learn programming in a fun way, you can opt for Rails for Zombies. This is quite a popular option, too, so you should get plenty of support. You can opt for a course from educational institutes like the University of California at Berkeley for a more thorough approach to Ruby on Rails. The university’s EdX’s Ruby on Rails course introduces you to building Software as a Service, accessing APIs, Test Driven Development, Ruby on Rails, and more. However, it assumes that you already know some programming.
6. Version Control
By the end of your Ruby on Rails training, you should be fully proficient in all the key languages needed to become a web development professional: HTML, CSS, and Ruby on Rails. Of course, now that you know to code, the biggest part of your learning is over! But your skill set would not be complete without learning about version control.
Version control lets you monitor the current status of your files so that you can track major changes. It lets you set up, and access file restore points so you can always roll back to the most stable snapshot if things go wrong. Many version control tools are available, but Git leads by a huge margin among other tools. Git was written by the same person who began the Linux open-source movement.
You can store your projects on Github, a public repository for codes. If you prefer to keep your coding private, you can also pay a monthly subscription fee. Github also stores several open-source projects, and you need to be familiar with this tool to become a good web development professional.
Other General Skills
There are a few other peripheral and optional skills that you can develop to improve yourself as a web development professional. Programmers, for instance, use their keyboards more often than any other computer component. So learning to type fast and knowing more keyboard shortcuts can be a huge boon.
You have all the tools and knowledge to become a professional web developer by this point. Now, you need to sharpen your skills by practicing coding and keeping up with new technologies and programming languages.
Long-term Prospects for Web Development Professionals
The web development field is fast-paced, and you must be ready to learn new technologies, techniques, and languages whenever required. The last thing a developer should be is out of date. You can work independently as a web developer, get clients, or join a company. Within a company, you can advance to positions of more responsibility and possibly move to management roles. Independent developers can start with small clients and move up to bigger ones as they earn more experience and expand their portfolio of work. You could also focus all your efforts on an original application or start-up if you have a brilliantly original idea.
How to Find Work as a Web Developer?
If you want to join a company as a web developer, you can opt for general job posting websites, job boards, and other general tools to find suitable openings. You can also find job boards entirely for design and development jobs.
If you lack previous experience as a web developer, building your portfolio by making your website would be a good idea. You can also develop one for a charity group or a family for free or at a reduced price or start with smaller freelance work. Then, add up more small freelance jobs and build your portfolio to attract bigger clients.
If you want to know more about being a web development professional, you can always turn to the internet. Several communities are dedicated to web developers and are great sources of information to keep yourself updated with the industry. These communities are also a great way to address your doubts and get help when needed. These developers come from all walks of life with various levels of experience, and it can be an enlightening experience to discuss the field with them.
We hope that this EDUCBA information on “Web Development Professional” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information.