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What does a web developer do?

Web development is all about creating websites by using code. This code is then read by computers that use it either to communicate with other computers, or with a user. The incredibly fast progress of computer science over the past 15 or 20 years has made web development essential to most companies. The web has created an entire industry around the digital economy.

Because there are so many different job roles in this field and because demand for talented and competent developers is so high, there are many career paths available, and many web developer vacancies to be filled. Web developers typically start their careers by coding what a client or company has specified, before becoming a project manager. Eventually, project managers can move on to a Chief Technical Officer position (CTO). The CTO is in charge of ensuring that all technical tools and features in the company operate smoothly. They are also responsible for coordinating different projects of the company to ensure they all go in the same direction. The great thing about a career in web development is the incredibly fast career evolution. If you show motivation and take the initiative there’s potential for you to reach a CTO position before you’re 30 .

What are web developers in charge of?

A web developer’s job can be broken down into three categories:

  • Front-end developers: They are in charge of all the user interface. Anything the user sees they are responsible for: design, animations to facilitate navigation, and of course content. They often work with web designers and copywriters.
  • Back-end developers: They are in charge of all the parts of the website that is hidden to the user. Whenever you ask a website for an answer, it’s their job to make sure the website gives a fast and accurate answer. They are also in charge of database administration, which means they store all the data concerning what users do on the website, which helps with optimisation of the user experience by front-end developers. The most widely used computer language for back-end is PHP, which means PHP developers are in high demand
  • Mobile developers: For mobiles, there are more and more developers dealing at the same time with both the front-end and back-end, thanks to smart Operating Systems (OS). There are different specialisations according to your favourite OS, there are therefore some iOS developers and Android developers who deal exclusively with a given OS.

If you are recruited to fill in a developer vacancy, no matter the specialisation, you will have clear instructions to follow when you first start. As you get work experience, you will learn to deal with technical issues. Soon, you will have a quite global understanding of the structure of a website.

The major difference between web developers and software developers is that the web developer should know, or at least understand how to link several computers together, in order to achieve much more processing power without having the user invest in heavy hardware. Web developers need to understand how to take advantage of this opportunity.

How do I become a web developer then?

The best way to land a web developer job is to hold a diploma in computer science. As a web developer you’ll be able to build up a portfolio of work, which you can show to recruiters,. It is easy to present a website you developed during an interview for example. This is why recruiters tend to focus much more on your observable professional experience than on any diplomas you may hold.

If you wish to find a project manager job right away, you are going to need solid experience and references. If you are considering a career in web development, you might want to consider getting some basic knowledge of mathematics, which will help your career a great deal. The best developers are the curious ones, with a strong interest in the field, always willing to try out a new function or line of code.

Finally, to reach management level positions, you will need to understand every aspect of a website, and the way they interact with each other. Don’t limit yourself to your field of expertise, and always be willing to learn about other parts of a website or web-based project.

If you love computers, don’t hesitate anymore, the sooner you start, the better you’ll be in a couple years. If you feel like the computer industry could be for you but have no experience in the area, you can start as a data entry operator to get used to computers, or learn online by yourself. Start applying now, register on Jumia Jobs and get in touch with the best recruiters in the Country.

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