So, you’re considering a career in web development? The world of web development is a broad, exciting one, filled with plenty of opportunities for those keen to code, or passionate about PHP; indeed, if you’ve ever considered a career with computers there’s a chance you’ve looked into web development. As with other, similarly encompassing careers, though, it pays to know what you’re getting into. Web development is one of the world’s fast growing and most in demand careers to date. Have you got what it takes to keep up?
What is web development?
Why is web development important?
Web development is integral to the modern world of business; websites are vital platforms for communication and enable consumers and clients alike to see what it is a company is offering, and how they compare to the competition. Websites are consumers’ window to a brand – their first opportunity to have a look at the products and services on offer and to get a feel for the company’s philosophy. More than that, a business’s website is often a customer’s first point of contact and their very first impression of the company. It is essential, therefore, that a business’s website is clear and concise, reflective of the brand and its concept, and consistent. From the website’s layout and mobile optimization to the user experience or brand consistency, a web developer’s job is virtually never done – which is why the process of web development is so essential to the modern world.
The road to becoming a web developer
As you’d imagine the road to becoming a web developer is a competitive one; with so many skills and specialties out there, there are likely to be numerous developers fighting for the same roles as you. The great news is that web development is integral to businesses, organizations, and governing bodies around the world, whether their focus is entertainment, retail, information, education, or policy; indeed, very few institutions are without a website these days. This means that web developers and designers will always be in demand, regardless of how many applicants there are battling alongside you.
Of course, there are plenty of steps you can take towards improving your chances of securing that dream career.
Get the right education
These days it’s not essential for web developers to hold a degree, but a good grounding in basic programming, coding, or design is going to stand you in good stead; the skills and knowledge that you’ll accrue during college may become vital in your quest for a career later on in life. Employers will want to know that you understand your way around a computer, and a degree will certainly equip you with such knowledge. An online course, such as those provided by UAB online will enable you to further your understanding of web development while working, thoroughly enriching your job prospects.
Create a portfolio
Aside from looking at your qualifications and background, most employers are going to expect to see a portfolio to judge your skills; can you code as proficiently as you’re promising? A portfolio site is your opportunity to show off, and to prove to future employers that you’ve got what it takes to create and maintain an impressive website for his or her business. Furnish your folio site with previous projects, freelance work, and examples of your abilities, including coding, customization, and the templates you’re confident working with.
Gather experiences and opportunities
Web development is perhaps the most competitive career out there at the moment, meaning that your hopes of a successful, profitable career don’t only lie with you, but the hundreds of other developers vying for the attention of the same employers. Take all opportunities afforded to you, especially if those freelancing projects can be used towards your portfolio. Ask for constructive criticism each time you complete an assignment, and always take suggestions for improvement on board.
Networking is one of the most important things that a budding web developer can do, enabling you to meet all manner of contacts that could become useful to your career aspirations. Join local social media communities for those in your area of expertise, and scout forums for meet-ups and conventions that you might be able to attend. Web development isn’t just about what you know, but whom you know; what have you learned about your field of expertise today, and what information can you pass on?
Above all, you must be open to innovative ideas, and to the prospect of learning something new. Oh, and it helps to keep abreast of the news, too. Web development is one of the world’s fastest growing occupations for good reason; there’s always something happening. Many web developers will learn on the job, picking up knowledge and skills from those around them, and the tasks they’re completing. As a web developer, you’re never really done with education. Are you ready to head back to school?