With well over 1.2 billion sites online (and rising), according to Internet Live Stats, websites have come a long way since British physicist Tim Berners-Lee put up the first site online – info.cern.ch – in 1991. Two years later, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), where he worked, opened up the World Wide Web technology as a public domain.
The rest is history: the Web flourished and, over time, so did the growth of sites that occupy it. There’s even a global competition for the “Best of the Internet,” and the Webby Awards show how exciting the digital space has grown over the years, recognizing everything from user experience and interface to humor and best practices.
It takes creative teams to bring together new technological capabilities, design and insights into the user experience, and bring websites like these to life. Website developers are critical to getting it done.
Types of Web Developers
Web developers take websites through every life stage, from designing their look and framework, to building the structure and maintaining them. A key prerequisite is to be able to code and work with the software that drives the site’s performance, whether that’s gaming features or payment processing.
Under that broad category, though, are four specialties:
- Back-end developers – They create applications using server-side languages like PHP and Ruby, connecting them to a database, one of the components that helps a site function. These developers are concerned with the site’s workability and security, and less with appearance.
- Full-stack developers – Then there are the professionals who do it all, with the skills and knowledge on both the front and back ends to build a site from start to finish.
- App developers – Some developers specialize in creating software applications that can be used on computers or mobile devices (iOS or Android). Apps are used by specific customers or are made available to the general public.
As interest in and reliance on mobile devices and e-commerce expand, it may continue to drive demand for these professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected the employment growth rate at 27% through 2024, with the average pay as of May 2016 reported at $72,150 per year. A bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems may open up career possibilities in the field of web development.
Because salary potential and employment opportunities may vary depending on factors such as a candidate’s education and experience, as well as regional market conditions, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research.