Using computer languages, web developers construct websites and web applications.
Your primary task as a web developer will be to build long-lasting and high-performing web-based apps and services. The most common technique is to focus only on the underlying software and databases (referred to as the “back end”). Some web developers, on the other hand, concentrate on the interface and visual design (the “front end”), while others combine the two (‘full-stack development).
Whether you work for an agency or freelancer, you will aim to create products that meet your client’s needs. Work might vary, and you may be working on many projects simultaneously. You’ll meet with clients regularly to discuss their requirements and keep them informed of your progress.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- meet clients to work out what they need
- work with the design team to create plans and prototypes
- decide how the parts of the website will fit together
- write code in different programming languages
- build databases
- transfer information between databases using Applications Program Interfaces (APIs)
- use software to create the layout of buttons, links and pictures
- test and improve the design of a website
- upload the website to a server.
- Salaries for apprentice web developers can range from £19,000 to £25,000.
- Mid-level and senior web developers usually earn between £25,000 and £35,000.
- Lead developers typically earn between £35,000 and £60,000, potentially rising to £75,000 in London.
You’ll typically work normal office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, 37 to 39 hours a week.
However, if you work for an agency, you may be expected to work longer or irregular hours to meet deadlines, or to work on projects for clients in different time zones.
You could work in an office, at a client’s business or from home.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice web developer include:
- Level 3 Software Development Technician
- Level 4 Software Developer
- Level 7 Digital and Technology Solution Specialist
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship.
On a web developer apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to write computer programs
- persistence and determination
- analytical thinking skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to use your initiative
- maths knowledge
- to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications.
Almost every organisation will want web development services at some point. If the work is needed regularly, a company may hire in-house web developers; otherwise, a web development business or freelancer will be hired. Consequently, agencies are a significant source of web developer career prospects.
If you wish to work as a web developer for a specific firm or industry, look for chances in the same areas in which the company or industry advertises its positions, such as specialised press/journals.
Working with an agency on projects is often more diversified than working as an in-house web developer. However, although some web development businesses specialise in a specific area or have long-standing relationships with a single big client, this is only sometimes the case. Therefore, it is vital to do research before applying to a firm.
You may become self-employed or freelance if you want greater control over your work tasks. While your employment is more varied and interesting than an agency or in-house, it is also more unpredictable, resulting in irregular income and stress.
Maintaining a decent work/life balance may be more challenging for freelancers since they are responsible for finding and completing their employment.
Most of your training will be delivered by more experienced developers at a company or agency. This is especially true at the beginning of your career.
Independent research and self-directed learning are typically essential in small organisations or as part of non-technical teams. In addition, most learning tools needed to gain web development competence are likely to be accessible on the internet, usually for free. As a result, some web developers consider themselves self-taught.
Another option to obtain training and keep current on industry trends is to attend conferences, seminars, training camps, and meet-ups. There are events for almost every web development language, framework, and technology, and most companies encourage you to attend relevant events.
After five years of working as a junior or entry-level developer for an agency or tech organisation, you should be able to rise to a senior or mid-level development position. You will often work on bigger projects as a senior developer, manage more clients, and lead meetings. You may also manage one or two junior developers.
Being allocated additional customers, managing client meetings, and working on larger projects are common indicators of advancement within an agency. In addition, you may be in charge of one or two junior developers as a senior developer.
After ten years of experience, you may advance to lead developer, technical lead, or head of development. You will likely do less coding at this level, oversee a team of web developers, and contribute to the organisation’s technology strategy and goals.
After that, you may move to a senior or board-level position, such as chief technology officer (CTO) or technical vice president.
In non-technical or very small organisations, there may be similar grade bands to move through. Your experience and knowledge, on the other hand, will expand with time and should be recognised with more responsibility and pay.
Some companies hire ‘evangelists,’ who are highly experienced and well-known web developers. They promote and train people to use the organisation’s new technology or systems as ambassadors.