Web developers build and maintain websites and web applications. Although their work usually focuses solely on the underlying software and databases (known as the ‘back end’), some web developers work on the interface and visual design (the ‘front end’), while others combine both (‘full-stack development’).
Job titles vary according to the focus of the role.
In an agency or as a freelancer, a web developer’s job is to create products that meet clients’ needs. The work can be particularly varied with many projects to work on simultaneously and lots of meetings with clients to discuss their requirements and update them on progress.
In all cases a web developer’s primary task is creating reliable and high performing applications and services, which can be accessed over the internet.
Web Developer Responsibilities
A back-end developer is responsible for building and maintaining the back end, or server-side, of a web application, which includes the server, the application, and the database. Back-end development is all about what’s invisible to the user. It’s what happens behind the scenes to display the words you’re reading right now.
According to Pattem and Zhao’s study, employers favor back-end developers with experience in PHP, Python, and SQL. PHP is a server-side scripting language which powers giants like Facebook and Wikipedia, as well as any website built with WordPress or Drupal (hence its popularity with employers). Python is a general-purpose programming language prioritizing, clean, efficient, readable code, and SQL is a special-purpose programming language used to manage databases.
Web designer Responsibilities
Alternative titles: User Interface Developer, UI/UX Developer, Web User Interface Developer, User Interface Design Engineer
A UI Developer is similar to a front-end developer in that she or he uses client-side technologies to build the front end of a website, but differs in that UI developers put more emphasis on a website’s design and aesthetic (typography, iconography, design principles).