Careers in Web Development and Design Offer Variety

Careers in Web Development and Design Offer Variety
Careers in Web Development and Design Offer Variety

Have you been contemplating a career in the IT field and in web design or development in particular? Whether you're young or not so young, it's possible to choose among dozens of job categories and niches within this exciting, growing career. Most people ask questions like, "how do I get started?," or "what are the best jobs in the design/development sector?" The best way to begin, in answer to that initial question, is to figure out what kind of preparation you need.

Next, decide how you'll pay for your training or education, and finally, get a firm grasp on specific job descriptions for the seven key positions you'll likely see on employment boards. The best aspect of choosing a career in web creation and/or development is the variety. 

You'll never be bored and never have to worry about finding work because the entire IT sector is literally growing faster than anyone expected. 

Plus, pay and benefits are highly competitive, which is always good for those who are thinking about joining the industry.

How to Prepare

There's a not so old saying in the computer industry about the way to prepare for a career in that you either get a degree or teach yourself. There's probably a happy medium between the two, but if you check with employed pros who have been at it for a few years, they all tend to fit into one of those two categories. If you are the DIY, teach yourself anything type of personality, you will already be immersed in books on programming, browsers, coding, applications, servers, and similar subjects that make up the whole realm of digital knowledge. Several years ago, it was much more common for new hires in the industry to be self-taught. Nowadays, the standard way to learn the trade is by earning a college degree in one of the many technology majors.

Getting a university diploma is probably the most efficient strategy, the goal being full-time employment at a decent starting salary. Don't worry if you currently lack the funds to pay for a degree. In fact, taking out a private student loan cab be a great idea for several reasons. First, you have access to reasonable terms and competitive interest rates. But perhaps more important is that fact that private loans have higher borrowing limits than other kinds of education debt. So, if you are intent of gaining a foothold in the tech sector, give serious consideration to applying for a private student loan to finance your four-year degree. 

Functional Overlap

It's important to remember that there are thousands of micro size startups in IT, and functional descriptions of what people do are often quite fuzzy. There's also a lot of disciplinary overlap. For example, if you are one of a half dozen members of a startup, expect to be engaged in multiple tasks in diverse categories. One day you might be helping to create the user end of a site. The next day, you could be immersed in code while working on a quality control chore on the server side of the operation. In larger firms, where you are one of hundreds of technical hires, chances are your tasks will be much more defined, with little overlap. Each situation has its pros and cons, so don't worry too much about deciding right now about whether to seek a large or small employer. 

Different Positions and Categories

Before exploring particular jobs in website design and development, understand the salient differences between the two main types of positions: front-end and back-end. There's a good chance you already know the difference but are not familiar with the official terminology. For example, front end professionals deal with everything a user would encounter when visiting a site. That includes creating visually appealing and fully functional pages. If you end up choosing a front-end position, expect to become conversant in JavaScript, CSS, or HTML, because those are the languages you'd be using every day.

Other aspects of front side tasks include load times, performance, analytics, SEO, and everything pertaining to browsers. In short, the front side relates to making pages that users can easily navigate, read, understand, and interact with. There's also a very large dose of aesthetics because front side experts need to create attractive pages that draw the attention of prospective visitors. That's why this category of positions is often referred to as the browser side of the discipline.

On the back, technical pros take care of everything that is not seen by users, like memory storage, servers, databases, and apps. Experienced server-side employees make sure all the behind the scenes tasks get taken care of in a timely fashion. In the film industry, they use the term behind the camera for analogous kinds of chores. Whether you opt for browser-side or server-side opportunities, there are plenty of openings, excellent pay, and tracks that lead to upper management. 

Back-End (BE) Web Developer

If you're interested in being the creator of most everything that comprises the back end of a website, this title might be an ideal fit. Of course, the languages in this realm are quite different than on the front, which means learning Java, Python, PHP, or Ruby as a beginning. And on this side of things, you won't be interacting with designers much at all but will be digging into detailed site structure and security issues. Chances are, you have already noticed titles like software engineer, web app developer, server-side technician, and programmer. There are dozens of different titles that describe the people who do similar work, so don't let names mislead you. When in doubt, try to find out exactly what someone does rather than focusing on what their title is. 

Back End Quality Assurance Developer

Virtually every company that produces goods or services has a need for quality control personnel, and the IT universe is no exception. As a server-side QA specialist, you must be able to root out potential bugs and verify that each line of code is error free and meets the exact requirements of the developer. In many companies, you'll need a couple years of experience before moving into the quality control department. QA development skills are learned from doing and are not easily self-taught. 

Back End Product Manager

After gaining several years of experience in the discipline, workers tend to move up to the product manager stage. Here's where some of the large-scale planning takes place and where management personnel guide development from concept to end product. Managers assign teams and make long-term action plans in order to reach goals in the most efficient way. 

Front-End (FE) UI Design

UI designers live up to the design in their title. Not only are they the least technical of all the technicians in a typical company, they are more connected to the final look of a site than anyone else. Often, these professionals have a background in art or graphic advertising. They know how to make a page look great, and they understand what potential customers want to see. There is little emphasis on computer languages, coding, and implementation. The central aspect of their daily tasks is, as their name implies, interface with customers and site visitors. Some companies call these folks interaction design pros or visual techs. 

Front End UX Designer

The old expression, this is where the rubber meets the road, applies to the work of UX designers. UX is shorthand for user experience, the primary effort of team members who take on these challenges is making users happy. Put yourself into the mindset of a typical website visitor who wants to purchase a product. You want to be able to browse the inventory easily, click from one product description to another without delay, send an item to your cart with just one click, and check out in a minute or less.

What is the main focus here? It's all about bringing visitors back to purchase and browse and shop again and again. Buttons should be easy to find, every page should load quickly, and ambiguity should be kept to a minimum. Potential customers should not hit any snags in the selection, purchase, or check-out processes. 

Front End Development & Designer

These browser-side pros create and write every line of code that brings pages and sites to life. They need to optimize their creations to show up perfectly on screens of all sizes, on every kind of browser, and on the many kinds of mobile devices. They must be conversant in the various kinds of testing, in JavaScript and HTML at least, understand SEO in detail, have a keen insight into accessibility issues, and know how to minimize load times. Plus, they are at home when dealing with analytics and performance challenges as well. 

Front End Designer

Whether you wish to design apps for mobile devices, create highly responsive sites for mobile devices, or design and create standard websites, this is the job category for you. Like their FE development counterparts described above, these technicians need to be conversant in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Careers in Web Development and Design Offer Variety Careers in Web Development and Design Offer Variety Reviewed by Opus Web Design on August 15, 2020 Rating: 5

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