To get hired as a web developer, you need a specific set of skills and abilities to help you achieve high performance and success in this profession. When you’re starting out, it might be difficult to figure out what skills a web developer should have, so we put together a list of the most sought-after skills in this field.
The web developer required skill set may vary depending on the employer, but you will surely come across many of the essential skills on our list while searching for a web development job. We covered both technical skills and soft skills so you can have a complete understanding of this role. Read on to find out what you need to make it as a web developer.
HTML and CSS
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the core markup language of the internet. Without HTML, a browser would not know how to display the text on a webpage as elements. Most websites are written in HTML, so web developers should be proficient in HTML. Luckily it is very easy to learn, and it is usually the first language any developer studies.
CSS is the style sheet language that dictates how page elements should be displayed on the screen. You can use it to add stylings such as background, colors, layouts, animations, and many others. Web pages would look extremely plain without the CSS styling. You can think of CSS as the language that enhances the HTML code by controlling the appearance of a web page, so the two languages go hand in hand.
Testing and Debugging
Developers should know how to test their code, which means verifying and validating that the code is bug-free. If they find errors/bugs, they shall proceed to the debugging stage, which implies fixing them.
Usually, testing is done by a tester, but the developer himself sometimes does it, so this is a skill you should have. The developer always does the debugging process because he is the one that wrote the code and thus the one who can fix any bugs in it.
Since front-end developers are not required to have any back-end language knowledge, this skill only applies to back-end developers and full-stack developers.
If you want to become a back-end developer or a full-stack developer, you should learn at least one of the most sought-after back-end languages on the market. At the moment, some of the most popular back-end languages are Java, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, and .NET.
GIT (Code Versioning)
Code versioning is a way to keep track of changes made to the code by creating different versions of the code any time you or a team member make changes to it. This way, if something goes wrong, you can revert to a previous version of the code. You also have a code history with all the bugs and fixes your original code went through. Every developer must know how to do code versioning, with no exceptions.
Git is the most popular open-source software used by developers for code version control, so being able to work in GIT is also a must-have skill for a web developer.
Even though it is not a dealbreaker, like other technical skills on this list, web optimization is a skill that front-end developers and full-stack developers should concern themselves with.
Libraries and Frameworks
Libraries are sets of frequently used code written by other developers. They are reusable and can help you write your code faster and easier.
Frameworks are supporting structures that you can use as a starting point for your projects. You fill the given structure with your own code, save time, and ensure your code has a great foundation.
Both libraries and frameworks speed production and provide a set of best practices and rules that have been tested by countless programmers before. So you should be familiar with the most popular frameworks for the programming languages you code in, regardless of them being front-end or back-end.
Keeping up to date with the Industry
The web development industry is dynamic, and it is in continuous change. Because of that, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest new and emerging web technologies. However, you should go out of your way to do this. The industry is moving at a fast pace, and it’s not waiting for anyone who gets behind.
New frameworks and tools can help you be more productive at your job, but they are valuable assets to your resume. So if you have a job that has you using the same tools and technologies day in and day out, branch out with your projects and do some learning on your own.
While some people may think that communication skills are not that important in the web development field, this could not be farther from the truth.
All developers need to have good communication skills because they come in handy when communicating with team members and writing documentation. They need to convey complex ideas in a way that even people with less technical skills can understand.
Developers are in charge of writing code but also of solving problems that appear within that code. Both these tasks require problem-solving skills.
When you look at a website or an app in its entirety, making it work flawlessly can appear like a daunting task. A skilled programmer should be able to tackle each problem individually and find solutions. So if you aim to work as a web developer, you should be inclined towards problem solving or try to cultivate this skill.
Attention to Detail
Being a web developer with attention to detail means that you are very thorough with your code and ensure that everything is up to your highest standards. This skill increases your productivity and makes you less likely to commit errors while coding.
Attention to detail is considered a desirable skill by all employers. If you list attention to detail on your web developer resume, you’ll send the message that you write quality code and are worth hiring.
Web development involves a lot of coding by oneself, but there are also many instances requiring considerable collaboration. You might need to do pair programming with someone or collaborate with more than one team member for a certain task.
Knowing how to work well with colleagues is essential for any job, including web development. Furthermore, lacking the skill to work well with other web developers could be a dealbreaker for some employers.
Web developers need keen analytical skills to see patterns, draw conclusions, and find solutions to complex problems that might appear during the coding process. Developers also use these skills to analyze the wants and needs of clients and make decisions that align with their interests.
A good web developer will be able to think both about the big picture and about the details. Don’t panic if you feel you lack analytical skills because they can be learned or improved, but keep in mind this must be done by exercise.
Critical thinking gives one the ability to think clearly and rationally and understand the connections between ideas. If you are a critical thinker, you can make reliable judgments by questioning, analyzing, and evaluating facts.
Critical thinking is strongly linked to problem solving, both vital skills in web development. Web developers who possess these skills can approach problems by analyzing all facts and coming up with multiple solutions.
Time management is an essential skill in any job. As a developer, you need to organize your schedule and plan your tasks accordingly. Sometimes you may have tight deadlines you need to stick to or multiple tasks you need to juggle. You must also estimate the time dedicated to specific tasks and set deadlines for your projects.
We hope you now have an accurate picture of the skills you require to become a successful web developer. There’s no need to worry if you don’t master these skills when starting out as a web developer. You can improve most of them through practice, so the more you work, the better you will become at working as a web developer.
Having your personal web development projects definitely helps with cultivating these skills. Try to contribute to open source projects and develop tools or plugins.