Viewing your new website is something most business owners will get a kick out of. A brand new, professional looking site – something that ticks all the boxes that were required – is something genuinely exciting and it can feel like turning a business idea into an official, operating business.
However, the work and cooperation that goes into completing a reliable and accomplished website is something that is (understandably) often overlooked.
From having a designer to a copywriter, when using a professional agency to build a site, each aspect of the website is normally completed by a different member of the team. Now, it is fairly easy to hazard a guess at what the designer does, or at what the copywriter does.
But, what does the web developer do? This is a question that curious clients of ours often ask, so where better to answer that question than right here. And who better to answer it than Max Horrocks, our in-house web developer.
As the in-house developer at WADEDIGITAL, it is essential to stay up to date and informed with all new and current developments on the websites that we are working on. So, each morning after arriving and switching on my machine, we have a team meeting. This is basically to run through all projects at where the team are at.
Following our morning meeting, I usually spend several hours (it can be the entire day) solving small, medium or large technical issues – most of which have come up in the morning meeting. Problem-solving is a huge part of the web developer’s general day, and it often requires a lot of thinking and a lot of patience.
A more general list of tasks that I would carry out include:
- Creating and testing applications for websites.
- Working alongside graphic designers.
- Maintaining and updating existing websites, including security improvements.
- Monitoring web traffic.
- Staying up to date on new technologies (which are constantly evolving).
How does a web developer differ from a web designer?
Put simply, a web designer is a graphic artist who is generally responsible for designing the layout, usability and visual appearance of a website. A web developer, on the other hand, is someone who builds and maintains the core structure of the site.
The way I often describe the difference is based on questions we receive from our clients. The comments and questions aimed at our designers will be things like, “Could we try another image here?” or “Can we change the colour scheme here?”.
Whereas a common question for developers is more likely to be something like, “Why isn’t my website working?” or “Can we add this feature to my site?”.
So, a developer will work on functionality and features, as opposed to things like layout and colour scheme.
How does one become a web developer?
Spending time learning will sharpen your understanding when it comes to technical ideas and issues.
What’s your favourite thing about being a web developer?
Luckily, I enjoy problem solving on a daily basis, whether it be in independently or in a team-based environment.
Perhaps my favourite thing about working as a web developer is the ever evolving, changing and updating technology. I’m sure that in every industry people are learning new skills on a regular basis, but in tech-based roles it feels like you are leaning something new almost every hour. Whether that be grasping ideas on a new evolving technology, or doing some deeper learning into pre-established topics.
There is rarely a day that goes by when something new and intriguing doesn’t come up!
Are there different types of web developers?
Yes, there are three main types of web developers. These are frontend, backend and fullstack developers.
The frontend developers will generally focus their attention on features that are visible on the website. Whereas the backend developers will work on things behind the scenes such as database management. A fullstack developer will be able to do both.
What technical skills are required?
The skillsets required are quite broad, but it is usually a good idea to specialise in a few web based programming languages.
As technical positions are always evolving, it is important to keep up with what is popular, whilst ensuring you continue to hone your craft in something that you find interesting.
What workplace skills are required?
As I’ve mentioned previously, problem solving is a huge part of any web developers brief. Very often, the client isn’t entirely sure of the solution that they require, so my job is to solve the issue and find the most appropriate solution. An issue like this involves a high level of research, and back and forth communication with the client.
So, problem solving, researching and communication are all high on the list. Personally, I think being able to communicate is important in any environment, and a technical environment like ours is no different. There is a lot of teamwork involved in creating a finished site, so we are constantly in communication.
If you are experiencing technical issues with your website, or want a specific feature adding, why not get in touch and speak to Max about it!