A web developer, sometimes known as a ‘front-end developer’, is responsible for creating the code that tells a website how to work properly and effectively for users. Web developers are responsible for building websites that take into consideration the needs and intent of all front-end users. This is why a key part of web development is the ability to make a website both look great and work as intended for both old and new users.
A poorly designed website can be easily identified and will turn people away from it. Often the poor design stems from a lack of navigability or a confusing site architecture. It is up to the web developer to streamline on-site navigation and ensure users can find what they need to as smoothly as possible. Programmers may be able to write great code, but it takes a developer with artistic flair to create a website that looks excellent and functions flawlessly.
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What does a web developer do?
A web developer’s job is to create and sustain webpages and websites with the end-user in mind. This means that the design of the website should be tailored to the users intent and make it easy for viewers to find what they need. Building an ergonomic and user-friendly website can take time and patience – but it is an essential skill for web developers to have.
Web developers must have an understanding of what a user-friendly environment is, as well as a practical grasp of user-experienced (UX) design. Developers also need to be able to maintain the webpages they create and tweak them as necessary to ensure the best user-experience. Web developers need to balance simplicity of design with more complex functionality, so that the final outcome is neither too plain and boring, nor so complicated it becomes unusable.
What skills does a web developer need?
A web developer needs to have a certain set of core skills – some practical, others mental:
- The ability to work with databases. Web developers make heavy use of database programs when designing and maintaining websites, so having a working knowledge of software such as Oracle or MySQL can be extremely beneficial.
- Patience! Web development work can take a long time to fine tune and so having patience and being able to hold your concentration for extended periods is vital.
What’s the difference between a web developer and a web programmer?
On the face of it, web programmers and web developers sound as though they do the same job, and while there is a certain amount of crossover between them, there are some fundamental differences between them that you need to be aware of.
A programmer is responsible for crafting the code that powers the website and enables it to function. Whereas a web developer is responsible for putting meat on the bones, so to speak, and works with code to create form, structure and function on webpages.
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