- Create, develop and maintain websites and services
- You'll need excellent technical and coding/programming skills and problem solving ability
- Progress into senior roles, project management, or set up your own company
There are several different types of web development role, from those where the focus is very much on programming to those where design is the main part of the job, and some web developers will cover all aspects of website or application creation. There are also increasingly specialist roles for programmers and designers - so you might focus on front end development (the way the site looks to visitors) or back end development (the structures, functions, and databases that make the site work), and you might have a specific programming language that you specialise in.
Depending on your role your job might include:
- Meeting clients to discuss what they want their site to do
- Preparing a technical specification and/or design plan
- Designing pages using design software
- Programming and building site structures, functions or pages,
- Adding features like sound, animation and video
- Uploading the site to a server
- Testing and improving the design and site
You'll be mainly office-based. If you work for a company you'll normally be at one site, but if you are self-employed, you might work from home or on the client's premises.
You could work as part of an in house team within a company, where your work would be focused on creating and improving the websites just for that organisation, or you could work for an agency (or for yourself) where you'll work on different projects for different organisations.
You'll need excellent web and database programming skills, a good appreciation of design, usability and interactivity, creative skills to turn clients' ideas into workable plans, and excellent problem-solving skills. You may need project management skills for more senior roles or freelance work.
Choosing computer science or other technology based subjects at school is a good start. Most developers will then go on to do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like web design and development, computer science, digital media development, or software engineering.
As an alternative you could do a college course like a Level 3 Diploma in Web Development, a Level 4 Diploma in Software Development or a Level 5 Diploma in Computing that may help you to get a trainee developer's job. You can also take a T level in Digital Production, Design and Development.
Or, you could take a software developer higher apprenticeship, a higher apprenticeship for IT, software and web professionals, or a digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship.
You may be able to start in a junior position with other IT qualifications if you can show excellent skills in web development technologies.
With experience, you could specialise in a particular field or move up to a more senior role like lead programmer or project leader. You could also move into other IT fields, like systems analysis or IT project management.