Who is a web developer?
As the name suggests, a web developer is the one who is typically involved in or expertized in, creating and developing world wide web applications. Since the applications are built using a client-server model, a web developer must have the ability to manage both the front-end and server-side logic. Apart from the required front-end and back-end technologies, a web developer must be familiar with the web content management systems (WCMS), a platform to create and manage website applications along with the capabilities of website authoring, collaboration and administration tools.
A role of three-tiers & interdisciplinary:
The web application has been divided into three tiers - front-end, back-end and web server & database systems and to be a web developer, one must be expert in one or more of these tiers. At times, the tiers can be more than three, and it changes based on the size of the team and company a developer works in. With reference to the section/side a web developer works in an application, he/she will be referred to as a front-end developer, back-end developer or a full-stack developer. Apart from working in different sections of a web application, a web developer may be expected to take an interdisciplinary role, i.e. to work closely with UI/UX designer, marketing advisor, project manager, software architect and so forth.
To build and maintain the technology required to power the front-end and ensure that everything the front-end developer built is fully functional. Must have a thorough understanding of the server-side languages such as PHP, ASP, ASP.NET (C#), Java, Python, Ruby, Perl, Node.js, Go, CFML - CloudFusion and tools like MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server.
Also, the back-end developers must be proficient in deploying content using Content Management Systems (CMS). Further, to create and manage the database, one must be familiar with API integration, web server technologies and operating
systems as well as testing and debugging any back-end elements of a system and application.
Full-stack developers: To be an expert in both the front-end and back-end development, i.e. well-versed in business logic as well as user experience. To guide the best practices and strategy. Must be proficient in managing the communication between the client and server - of HTTP, managing a web server and a database system.
Apart from these, a web developer may be also specialized in mobile development (called Mobile App Developers) for iOS and Android operating systems. In the case of iOS app development, a programming language Swift must be mastered, whereas, for Android, it is the Java language. Doesn't all these things sound super-important but at the same time, seem to take a long way to find one such web developer who has mastery over all these technologies? Bother not, reach out to our team to get the right web developer you’re looking for.
Must know technologies & skills:
The widely deployed JS library, jQuery is used to simplify HTML DOM manipulation, Ajax interactions, animations, event handling and much more. Using JS frameworks like Angular, React, Backbone, Ember, and Foundation allow one to lift the burden off the shoulders by providing the pre-written JS codes to be used for common programming tasks.
- CSS Preprocessors & frameworks:
With preprocessors like SASS, LESS and Stylus, some of the limitations of CSS such as the arithmetic operations and defining variables can be easily done, which in turn makes CSS viable. Front-end frameworks like Bootstrap, Bulma and so on give one a ready-made structure for the CSS code.
It also allows one to reuse available UI elements since the initial CSS for every project is the same. Both the CSS preprocessors and frameworks give one a jumpstart in speeding up the CSS coding and thereby helps to speed up the overall development process.
- Modular Bundles:
- Task Runners:
It helps to reduce the development time to a considerable extent. With Sass and Less one needs to run the CSS compiler, post each edit manually and then refresh the browser. On the other hand, with task runners like Grunt and Gulp, all one needs to do is to set the task runners up for detecting changes in the Sass/Less files. Upon finding any changes, the task runner automatically compiles the CSS and updates the browser.
- Guides and Methodologies:
Either SMACSS (Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS) and BEM (Block, Element, Modifier Methodology) must be well-known, while the former helps in fostering consistent approach for the app development when used with CSS, the latter is the naming convention for the HTML and CSS classes. Some companies prefer SMACSS and some of them BEM, but it is worth knowing both.
- Testing and debugging:
It is important to test the code once it’s written and crucial to have good testing and debugging software at one’s disposal. It aids in analyzing elements on a web page and in detecting errors. Further, the debugging process must be done very patiently, which ensures that a similar error will not be repeated while working on bigger projects. There are so many debuggers out there, popular and easy-to-use of them all are Dreamweaver, Firebug, JSHint/JSLint and IDE built-in debuggers like Firebug (for Firefox), Developer Tools (for Microsoft Edge) and Chrome Developers Tool
- Version control systems:
Using version control, one can view, analyze and merge changes if preferred before committing the code. It enables one team members to collaborate - to download the current version of the application and to keep track of the version they’re working on. Also, you have the option to have independent code versions for the benefit of maintaining the different development efforts separately and can merge all the files to form a final working version whenever needed. Almost every standard team prefers Git, and the second widely-opted version control system is the Bitbucket.
Other essential must-know skills include:
- Project management skills
- Internet security best practices
- To comply with W3C web standards
- Analytical skills & Interpersonal skills
- To meet cross-browser compatibility
- Understanding user behaviour
- To write SEO- friendly code
- Knowledge about copyright and cyber laws
- Must be a self-starter and multi-tasking
- Excellent written and verbal communication
Contributions to open-source projects:
Experience is something that always goes one step ahead of qualifications and skills; it indeed becomes the defining factor of one’s profile. To be a web developer, one must be an expert in front-end development, back-end development and sometimes in both, full-stack development. To be proficient in all these three sub-fields, one must possess superior practical knowledge and a solid portfolio to showcase one’s experience. Here’s where the contributions to open-source projects turn out to be an adding feather to one’s cap.
Being part of open-source projects helps one to expand their existing skills, improve the software they rely on (by finding bugs in the open-source software they use), find people of similar interests, get support from mentors and experts, build public artefacts for remarkable reputation and so forth. Thus, one’s contributions to the open-source project allow oneself to stand out from their competitive web developers and indeed, proves that they’re not just a web developer but a web developer with impeccable practical knowledge. Some of the open-source projects to be counted for contributions and must be considered to choose a competent web developer are as follows.
- GitHub #beginner-project
- First Contributions
- First Timers Only
- Code Triage
- Awesome for Beginners
- Up for Grabs
- Open Source Friday
- 24 Pull Requests
Having registered all these must-know things and technologies that every web developer must be proficient in, there’s always something more to what we originally think of. One such phenomenon is possessing experience in shipping the real-products - building an application is not an easy-peasy thing, be it developing an e-commerce store, weather app or company website, it demands strategy, in-hand tricks and hacks, knack over handling bottlenecks, handling pressure, meeting deadlines, an eye over forthcoming hurdles, etc. All these things cannot be learnt; it must be acquired from experience and practical knowledge and thus, to be a competent web developer, one must have adequate experience in shipping the real products on a various scale, sector, demands, budget and audiences. Want to recruit one such web developer for your team contact us to get you the right talent within hours.