What is a web developer? What are his missions? How do you become one? If you are interested in this job, you are at the right place. As a computer technician or engineer, the web developer oversees designing websites, web applications or software… In short, “intelligent solutions”. Even if computer science and the web are such vast universes that it is complicated to be an expert on all the subjects related to them, the developer must be flexible and curious to adapt to new techniques and customer needs. We propose you understand this job which is not reserved for geeks and men only but to all people passionate about the web, computer science but also innovation.

Also, the developer (also called web integrator) will have to know the essential languages involved in the design of a website or a web application: the mastery of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP are already a good gateway to be able to get a job as a web developer.

#1 The missions of the web developer

A web developer’s main mission is to create a website or an application in compliance with a set of specifications and under the responsibility of a project manager. His/her responsibility is sometimes to make choices in terms of languages and technologies to opt for the most relevant ones for such project or such functionality. Depending on the project, he may decide to work on a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress, Prestashop or Drupal (tools to facilitate the layout of websites) or create a website from scratch.

The developer is not only in charge of coding a website or an application, he or she must make sure that all features are active and functional by testing them. Depending on what has been agreed with the client, he or she may continue to add features, perform updates, ensure maintenance work but also provide training to make the site administrators autonomous once the project is delivered. He can be brought to write technical notes on the specific use of his creations or to help the customer with the use of his site when this one is delivered.

It is a job that is highly sought after by companies and that is constantly evolving. In general, he is autonomous and collaborates with the project manager, the product owner, or the sales team.

In this job, the web developer must program and accomplish several tasks while knowing several languages and frameworks too to be able to achieve the technical needs requested. He must therefore be versatile.

To summarize, here is an overview of the missions that a developer can accomplish:

  • The realization of technical analysis.
  • The creation, design and programming of a website, a module, a software-specific development.
  • The ability to develop several verification tests.
  • Correcting bugs.

#2 Qualities to become a Web developer

Beyond mastering computer languages, curiosity, and an appetite for problem-solving assets to be a good developer. The latter can be tested for his logical mind and his ability to look for new solutions, qualities sought by recruiters. Because this job is constantly evolving, the developer must be able to keep up to date with the latest news and trends in the industry. The best ways to keep up to date with new technologies are to regularly monitor various blogs, community sites and read books.

We often imagine the developer as a person in his bubble, a little isolated, staring at a screen with incomprehensible lines of code. The fault of Matrix surely… And yet… Know-how is an increasingly important concept in the eyes of employers. The web developer is often required to work in a team, a good relationship will be expected especially during contact with customers. For example, he/she will have to show pedagogy and patience when dealing with people who are sometimes unfamiliar with the world of the web.

The web developer is likely to work with other developers but also with other professions at different phases of a project: the web designer, the web editor, the SEO consultant for example.

InToeTotand this profession, it is necessary to dissociate the Front-End web development from the Back-End development since they are different professions.

  • The front-end web developer deals with the client, what is visible to the end-user displays the site in his browser. He takes care of the presentation of the pages (design) and the consistency of this design on the different browsers and devices used by the visitors, the ergonomics, etc. HTML, CSS and JavaScript are generally the languages of choice.
  • The back-end developer works with “server-side” languages. He oversees the design and deployment of the functional logic of the code. The back end corresponds to what is hidden “under the hood”: it is the place where all operations on the data will be done. These operations are transparent will rather work with the Java ecosystem, PHP, and SQL, a language used to link a website and its database.

To summarize, a developer must not only have a technical and theoretical background. He must have the following qualities:

  • curiosity and passion
  • Ability to increase competence in technologies not mastered at the beginning. One cannot be an expert in everything…
  • rigor and speed of execution

#3 Training to become a web developer

A diploma of Bac + 2 in computer science is possible to go into web development. For example, there is the BTS SN (Digital Systems) or the BTS SIO (Computer Services for Organizations) which can be done both remotely and in person.

Deciding to take a BTS in computer science as a work-study program is also a good strategy to facilitate integration into the job market, if you find out which companies can take on a work-study student given their activity. Indeed, doing a work-study program in an ESN can be complicated by the type of services they offer. In the context of technical assistance services, ESNs place “technical consultants”, i.e. developers, within the clients’ IT departments to meet specific needs for short or long-term projects/missions. It is therefore not easy to take on a work-study student in an ESN that performs this type of service “on a contract basis” when it is required to place a consultant on a full-time assignment. It is therefore important to find out more beforehand. However, some ESNs can recruit work-study students to perform other types of services, within the ESN and not on a contract basis: service centers, custom development, software publishing.

A DUT in computer science can also be a good way to become familiar with programming to move into the web development field. Some people may go for a computer science degree, or even a Bac + 5, to hold a position of responsibility from their first job. Nevertheless, the recruiter will always ask you to prove yourself in the field before entrusting important responsibilities.

There are also many short web developer training courses for people who already have a minimum command of computer tools. Web development courses of a few months or one year for the most motivated can pay off in terms of results.  They can land a first job as a junior web developer or choose to specialize by continuing with another training. Some of these accelerated web developer training courses lead to a professional certification, which can be a plus on the job market, although today’s recruiters pay more attention to know-how and interpersonal skills than to diplomas. This is the case of the accelerated training of the Wagon where you can learn to code without any technical background.

All web development courses are not generalist, and it is possible to address specific points according to the program of each one. Thus, there are training courses of a few days to learn how to develop on a CMS like WordPress or Prestashop, but also courses dedicated to the learning of a specific language like PHP.

Several training centers offer distance learning courses, which is an interesting alternative for people who prefer to work at home and at their own pace without having to suffer the potential constraints of office face-to-face training. open classrooms are an example of a platform allowing distance learning and certification at the end of the program (paid version).

As far as the salary is concerned, it fluctuates according to the number and complexity of the languages mastered and the years of experience.

In terms of evolution, the career of a developer can be rich in different experiences. He can evolve to the position of technical project manager to coordinate teams of developers, product owners, technical director… As a freelance, the Web developer can join a team to carry out a project, offer consulting services for analyses or propose his services to design the needs of the customer.

As you can see, the job of a web developer can be exciting on several levels:

  • for its variety of skills, know-how, professional contexts/environments in which it can evolve
  • for its wealth of experience
  • for its constant evolution

Would you like to get more information about web development? Contact us today.

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