Longing to solve problems and provide digital solutions for clients through coding, design and analytical skills? Then you may be on the path to becoming a kickass web developer.
Web development remains a highly sought after profession with every single brand and company needing a digital presence. The story every company has to tell their clients will find its home on a website. And that’s where your skills come in.
Here are a few skills you will need as a web developer:
1. HTML/CSS Skills
Understanding HTML and CSS is a must if you want to become a web developer. Developers use HTML to create web pages as it is the most used markup language across the web – it’s generally the glue that holds everything together.
CSS is used for styling the website through fonts, colours and website design layout. It is quite easy to learn and very satisfying to see slight changes to code affecting styles throughout the website. It is probably one of the most popular codes in the web development world. And when you get into advanced CSS, well, any website is your oyster!
In short: HTML forms the foundation while CSS is the styling and decorating brush.
2. Analytical & Interpersonal Skills
As a web developer, understanding the needs of your customers is crucial. You will need to be able to analyze their needs and display agility in adapting it to what they would like on the website, balanced with being firm about what was originally briefed and the inevitable additions and adjustments to that original brief that will come and that can cause you much grief. You gotta stand your ground while keeping them happy.
The more you can understand the client, the more in tune you can be to create a well-matched website to meet marketing goals. Part of understanding your client means having various social and interpersonal skills such as good body language, active listening skills, the ability to collaborate, to be firm on getting VERY detailed briefs from them and an overall good work ethic and positive attitude.
3. Responsive Design Skills
Alongside agility in meeting a client’s everchanging wants and needs, you will need to be able to create websites that can adapt to changing screen sizes (desktop and mobile).
A phrase which is used a lot these days is “mobile-first”. People are looking at websites more on mobile phones than on desktop. Tablets occupy a very small percentage. So design and build a website as it must look and work in a mobile phone. Only then do you adapt it to a big screen desktop. Without a responsive website, it will not be compatible with either desktop or mobile and any screen width inbetween – your website needs to be “liquid” and the elements need to rearrange themselves pleasingly for any screen width.
The responsiveness of your design will also impact the number of visitors a website gets as visitors leave quickly if a site loads slowly or doesn’t display properly.
5. Debugging & Testing Skills
Once you’ve built a website, you will need to test it continuously for errors. Don’t forget to add this into your initial quote; it is a legitimate part of the project. If and when they arise, you should know how to debug it. Testing will allow you to check whether your coding is performing as it should and this will take the form of functional or unit testing. Consistently and effectively testing and debugging your webpage will be crucial for this role.