Also known as...
Programmer; Coder; Front-End Developer; Back-End Developer.
The role in brief...
Web Developers are computer programmers that specialise in the creation of websites and applications that run within web browsers, either on a computer or mobile device. They answer clients’ business needs by translating the design requirements and desired functionality of websites into the code that delivers them. Web Developers can specialise in either Front or Back-End Development. Front-End Developers work with the visible parts of the website that users interact with, coding everything from fonts and colours to drop-down menus and sliders. Back-End Developers build and maintain the technology that powers the behind-the-scenes links to servers, databases and other websites and applications. Sometimes developers acquire cross-disciplinary knowledge and experience to offer the full package of Front and Back-End skills, when they become known as Full Stack Developers.
- Internal: Other Web Developers; User Experience Designers; User Interaction Designers; Web Designers; Search Engine Optimisation; Digital Project Manager.
- External: Testing teams; Web Developers from other, linked, sites; Client Marketing team.
- Web Developers usually report to a Technical Director. Those in senior roles may also have management responsibility for more junior Web Developers.
- Working closely with User Experience and designers to bring mock-ups and wireframes from development stage to delivery: coding, building, analyzing, and maintaining the website.
- Supporting the wider web development team in scoping the work and assessing the feasibility of website and application designs.
- Implementing design ideas by writing the code that delivers them.
- Developing code to facilitate interactions with servers, databases, and third party websites and applications
- Working with test teams to identify and eliminate problems (or ‘bugs’) before the website goes live.
- Supporting the development team after the website has gone live to refine and improve the code in response to data and feedback gathered from user interactions.
Those who succeed are...
- Logical thinkers and problems solvers who aren’t afraid to experiment and try out new techniques.
- Passionate about the internet and the creative opportunities it offers.
- Focused on the detail, while understanding the wider context of their work.
- Able to communicate complex technical issues in simple terms, verbally and in writing, to non-specialist audiences.
- Excellent team players who work well in an agile environment and under time pressure.
- Constantly updating and improving their programming skills.
Where they come from, and where they go...
Web Developers have often gained a good university level qualification in a technical or design-related subject such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Business Computing, Physics, Software Engineering, Animation, Graphic Design, Interactive Media or Computer Games Design. Alternatively, they may have gained considerable independent computer programming experience, possibly even self-taught, and enter through an Apprenticeship route. In either case, knowledge of some programming languages is essential. Web Developers can progress to more senior web development roles, overseeing larger projects before some eventually become Technical Director for their agency. Others may transition into roles such as User Experience Design, Web Design Management or Content Management, while many choose to work in a freelance capacity for a variety of agencies on specific web development projects.