Not many people fully understand what web developers do. Most would probably just assume that they design a website for a person or company and then maintain it daily, updating when needed and changing the layout every so often to keep it fresh. But web development is more complex than that, and often more nuanced than most would expect.
What Developers Do
Since web developers often modify the same websites they design, they need to make sure the site is meeting the needs of the clients and its visitors. Documenting the server load, database performance, bandwidth, and web browser and devices used to view it are essential for clean operation. If a developer notices that seventy percent of the users viewing a website are doing so from mobile devices, then he or she might optimize the website more for mobile devices.
Behind the Scenes
While monitoring the technical aspects of websites for their clients, developers need to make recommendations based on those findings. This includes evaluating and recommending server types, their hardware and software, monitoring security system logs, detailing website features, activities, programming languages, and registering the site to increase visitors. This information is communicated with other people involved in a website’s function. The more people involved with a website (i.e. a small business or company) the more people that need to know specific information about it.
Where They Work
Despite the freedom of location that can come with web development, only 17% of web developers are self-employed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most worked together or traveled to specific locations for their work. That’s because, as mentioned before, web developers communicate with multiple people in the design and managing stages of the site. For sites the feature time-sensitive information, such as news sites, there is a constant demand for updating and new content. Having all web developers in the same building reduces the time it takes to communicate new ideas and problems.
What They Need to Know
Some employers require web developers receive a four-year bachelor’s degree in web development or computer science before hiring them, although others are perfectly fine accepting applicants that can prove their skills and experience through portfolio work. Depending on the company are the nature of the work, further education or continuous education may be required so that employees remain current with new technologies and the latest problems concerning the field.
While web developers mainly work to create websites that fit a user’s needs, they often do much more. They need to ensure that everything works across multiple systems and monitor the information from that site for further updates. However, most find the work enjoyable, whether from a company location, or an at-home office.