Web developer: job description

Web developers build, and make improvements to, websites and web applications.

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What does a web developer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Web developers are a type of software developer . They specialise in using web technologies, which they use to create websites and web applications (website components that carry out a function for the user, such as email, instant messaging, online banking and online retail).

Web developers are different to web designers , who focus more on designing the user interface of websites and web applications.

Typical responsibilities of a web developer include:

  • discussing clients’ requirements and proposed solutions with a senior developer (for developers at mid-skill level and below)
  • implementing new designs
  • using development tools to write and test code to develop solutions
  • applying off-page SEO (search engine optimisation)
  • managing and uploading website content

Developers can either work in 'front-end' development (working on the part of the website that users will interact with) or in 'back-end' development (working on the server-side, managing the functions of the website).

Typical employers of web developers

  • Website design and development companies
  • Digital marketing agencies
  • Retailers
  • The government
  • Any organisation that has its own website

Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and by recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into web development for both graduates and school leavers. Graduates with a degree in computer science, software development or similar are preferred for many junior web developer roles but it possible to find a graduate web developer job whatever your degree background, as long as you have some practical knowledge of web development processes and languages.

Apprenticeships in web development are available. Applicants with some understanding of programming languages are likely to be favoured. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for web developers

  • Mathematical aptitude and strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest web trends and their role in a commercial environment
  • Teamwork skills, because most projects require input from individuals with different roles
  • Self-development skills to keep up to date with fast-changing trends
  • Programming languages such as HTML5, JavaScript and PHP

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