Web developers design, build, implement and maintain
new websites or upgrade existing sites in line with client
specifications. They can be responsible for the entire
development cycle or brought in to deal with a particular
phase. Web Developers work in a wide variety of sectors
including IT, local government, mobile communications,
education, tourism, finance, media, marketing and
commerce. Freelance work is also common.
Web developer projects vary depending on the employer's focus, but examples include:
Common tasks to all projects include programming, database administration, functionality and interface design, content management and site maintenance.
A typical brief begins by discussing client requirements from which prototypes and site simulations are produced to determine which proposal best suit client needs. Once agreed, the developer constructs the necessary framework or architecture of the site, including any functionality, for example, user interfaces, online payment systems and video/sound/animation capabilities. They also need to ensure that the site integrates smoothly with the client's existing network. The developer may also be responsible for the visual or graphic design of the site, or they may work on this with a designer.
Developers also implement procedures for access, security and authentication of users. A site under construction will be continually tested to eliminate any problems. On completion, the developer carries out error-checks or works with a testing company to make sure the finished product is fully functional and meets all the client requirements.
Depending on the contract, the developer may continue to manage and maintain the site once it is up and running.
Web developers employed by a company or organisation normally work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Some evening and/or weekend work may be required to meet deadlines. Self-employed developers work the hours necessary to complete their workload.
Developers work indoors in an office environment. Those employed by a company or organisation are normally based at one site, whereas self-employed developers may work from home, an office base or from clients' premises.Freelance developers are often respeonsible for providing their own software packages and computer equipment.
As a web developer, you should:
Project management skills may be required for more senior roles or for freelancing.
Opportunities for web developers are excellent as the
expansion of digital interactive media is set to grow over
the coming years with the convergence of IT and
telecommunications. Developers who are multiskilled in
some of the applications mentioned in Training are likely
to have more options.
Developers can specialise in a particular area, such as e-learning or e- commerce or move to higher level positions, for example, lead programmer or project leader. There may be opportunities to move into other IT roles such as systems analysis or IT project management.
Promotion options depend upon the size of the company. Defined pathways may be available in larger concerns, whilst developers in smaller companies or freelance workers will cover many roles within the same job. Web developers with fluent language skills may find opportunities both overseas and in the UK, for companies with international operations.
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