There are literally millions of websites in the world, from massive e-commerce platforms like Amazon to modest small business websites. And there is someone behind each one: a web developer.
TRANSFORMING IDEAS INTO REALITY
Web developers bring ideas to life by building websites from the ground up. But they often don’t do it alone. Before they start writing code, web developers may meet with a product manager or project manager to learn about the project’s goals and the intended users’ needs. Then, to make sure they build something easy to use and easy on the eyes, they often work with user experience designers, visual designers and content strategists.
While there are many people working behind the scenes, web developers get the satisfying job of putting it all together to make something tangible.
FRont end, back end and full stack
Those who do both front- and back-end development are known as full-stack developers, and they are increasingly in demand.
DEMAND FOR WEB DEVELOPERS IS BOOMING
The career outlook for web developers is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth for this role to be 15 percent nationally through 2026 —more than twice the rate of average job growth.
projected job growth
Washington state: +50%
Median Annual salary
Washington state: $87,190
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET
With its thriving tech industry, Washington state’s, projected job growth is even higher — more than 50 percent — according to O*NET. A recent search on Indeed.com listed thousands of web developer positions, including openings at Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Zillow.
Katz attributes a lot of that demand to the growth in cloud technologies.
“Everything’s moving to an online model, so there is huge demand for web developers,” he said.
BECOMING A WEB DEVELOPER
Being able and willing to keep learning is incredibly useful in this constantly evolving field.
“One of the important skills you need is the ability to Google,” said Katz. “Being a developer you only spend about 30 percent of your time writing code. The rest of it really is in researching how to do new things.”
In the past, many web developers were self-taught. But with the complexity of today’s technology, it’s more common to have formal training, whether that’s through a computer science-related degree, a certificate program or one-off classes.
Formal training and an understanding of the technology can help would-be web developers build a portfolio, which is useful once you start your job search since web development is a “show me” job, Katz said.
“Junior developers really need to have a good portfolio to show to hiring managers — a really clean, simple website that's responsive with maybe a couple cool little animations, and if you do back-end, something interesting you did with the database,” Katz said. “It should get the point across really quickly of what you can do.”
ADVANCING YOUR EDUCATION IN WEB DEVELOPMENT
Ready to keep learning? If you want to start or continue your education in web development, UW Professional & Continuing Education can help. Check out the programs below.