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The Role of a Web Developer

Monday / September 26, 2022

Simply stated, the role of a web developer is to create and maintain websites. Web developers can work in-house or freelance, and the specific tasks and responsibilities they have to carry out vary depending on what kind they’ll be.

Web developers are responsible for building a solution that meets both the client’s needs and those of the customer or the end user. Web developers collaborate with stakeholders, clients and designers to understand the vision: how should the final website look and function?

A major part of web development also revolves around identifying and correcting bugs to continually optimise and enhance a website or system. Web developers are therefore keen problem solvers, regularly coming up with solutions and workarounds to keep things going smoothly.

Granted, all web developers are proficient in certain programming languages. However, different developers will work with different languages depending on their specific job roles and areas of expertise. If you want to learn how to become a web developer, you may have to decide whether you’d like to become a frontend, backend, or full-stack developer.

The role of a Frontend Developer

It is the frontend developer’s job to code the frontend of a website or application, that is, the part of the website that the user sees and interacts with. They take the backend data and turn it into something that is easily understandable, aesthetically pleasing and fully functional for the everyday user. They will work from designs provided by the web designer and bring them to life using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

What does a backend developer do?

The backend is the brains behind the face (the frontend). A backend developer is thus responsible for building and maintaining the technology needed to power the frontend, consisting of three parts: a server, an application, and a database.

The code that backend developers create ensures that everything the frontend developer builds is fully functional, and it is the backend developer’s job to make sure that the server, application, and database all communicate with each other.

So how do they do this? First, they use server-side languages such as PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java to build the application. Then they use tools like MySQL, Oracle, and SQL Server to find, save or edit data and deliver it back to the user in frontend code.

Just like frontend developers, backend developers will liaise with the client or business owner so that they can understand their needs and requirements. They will then deliver these in many ways depending on the specifics of the project.

What does a full-stack developer do?

A full-stack developer is someone who understands, and can work across, the “full stack” of technology: i.e. both the frontend and the backend. Full stack developers are experts in every stage of the web development process, meaning they are well-equipped to get hands on, but can also guide on strategy and best practices.

Most full-stack developers have gathered many years of experience in many different roles, giving them a solid grounding across the entire web development spectrum. Full-stack developers are well-versed in both frontend and backend languages and frameworks, as well as in server, network and hosting environments. They are also highly familiar with both business logic and user experience.

Mobile developers

Web developers and software engineers may also specialize in mobile app development, either for iOS or Android.

iOS developers build apps that run with the iOS operating system - the one used by Apple devices. iOS developers tend to be fluent in Swift, the programming language that Apple created specifically for their apps.

Android developers build apps that are compatible with all Android devices such as Samsung smartphones. Java was the official programming language for Android, but has since been replaced by Kotlin, the latest arrival.

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