Dream of a Career in Web Development?

May 1st, 2017 Mike Gecawich

Write the Code Behind the Web as a Web Developer

How many times do you go online in a day? Every site you visit was created by somebody, built from nothing into a useful or entertaining destination. Web developers are the people behind this online magic. It’s a pretty great gig:

  • You can work from virtually anywhere there’s an internet connection.
  • You get to make things!
  • It pays well, in some cases very, very well.

It’s also a career that’s in high demand and growing rapidly. The field is expected to grow 27% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s much faster than most other occupations.

Web developers take home a median annual wage of $64,970 per year, or $31.23 per hour. Quite a few work as freelancers, though many coders also work full-time for a single employer.

What Web Developers Do

There are two primary types of web developers: front-end developers and back-end developers. They have distinct areas of expertise.

The front-end people write the code that users interact with. They’re the ones responsible for making stuff happen when you click a button on a web page. When a web designer draws up a vision for the appearance of a site, the front-end developer turns that mockup into a functioning interface.

Back-end programmers write the code that underpins a site’s functionality. They do things like generate database queries and enable data exchange between the front end (often a website) and a server that delivers up the data it needs.

Front-end developers primarily work with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and closely related languages and frameworks. Back-end developers are experts in one or more server-side languages, such as PHP, MySQL, C# .Net, and Java.

People who can work both front and back are called full stack developers.

Breaking In

Unlike some other types of programming jobs, web developers don’t always need deep systems analysis and computer science skills in addition to coding skills, so a 4-year degree isn’t necessarily required.

To land your first job as a web developer an associate’s degree or higher in web design or computer programming will often do the trick.

Alternatively, many career switchers are now turning to coding boot camps to learn the trade. During a coding boot camp, students work intensively on hands-on coding projects to gain skills quickly. As the name suggests, it’s an intense, immersive experience delivered in a compact, high-speed format. The goal: Learn to code as quickly as possible.

It’s also feasible to self-train to become a web developer. There are many online programs available. You can gain meaningful experience building your own website and branch out from there.

To succeed, a web developer must be able to turn out lots of lines of code, quickly. Accuracy is crucial, as a single mistyped letter can result in hours of debugging, trying to hunt down where things went wrong. As you might guess, mediocre typists don’t make very good candidates for this job.

Fortunately, becoming an excellent typist is one of the easier aspects of mastering web development. We’ve got everything you need, right here, for free.

Use our online typing lessons to learn highly efficient touch-typing. Practice just 15 minutes a day for just a few weeks and your fingers will be flying over the keys in no time.

Throw more fun into the mix with our typing games. The Keyboard Climber will make you take accuracy seriously!

Web development is a cool career that pays well. It’s a typing-intensive, creative job that’s within reach of nearly anyone whose willing to work at it. What more could you ask for?