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What is a Web Developer?

Web design and development involve a certain amount of overlap, but the web developer’s responsibility is to ensure the client’s website functions the want they want.

They take the website design that the client liked and turn it into an actual website with which users can interact. It may also need to interact with other websites or databases.

Therefore, similar to a web designer, a web developer will need to understand the clients’ goals for each page before they can get started.

The Two Different Kinds of Web Developers

Technically, there are countless versions of web designers and developers. Each has their own specialty and unique experiences.

However, unlike web design, development can be split into two distinct groups.

  • Back-End Developers – These professionals create web applications for their clients’ sites. Applications can include security features, content management systems, data management tools, and much more.

For example, some companies want to decide which users can see which pages depending on a set of criteria. A back-end developer can create a web application that will allow them this kind of control. Another common job for back-end developers is deciding on a website will interface with the client’s database.

  • Front-End Developers – These developers (sometimes referred to as “client-side developers”) are more attuned to creating tools that will offer a better user experience.

A common example of this is when a company wants to implement a specific design concept that must be able to function the same way across multiple types of browsers and computers.

Otherwise, one person using a tablet and a satellite Internet connection might experience something completely different than someone who’s using a desktop.

Back-end web developers will be proficient in languages like:

  • Java
  • Pearl
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby

Front-end web developers will have more experience with:

  • CSS
  • HTML
  • Javascript

While many website designers may have a certain amount of competency with front-end computer programming languages like CSS and HTML, and may even some experience using common tools, their grasp will not be nearly as firm as back- and front-end developers.

One of the Most Important Traits for Successful Web Developers

Web developers must be adept at collaboration. Many who have never hired one before fall for the misconception that they’re shy introverts who struggle to come out of their shells.

In reality, a successful web developer needs to work well with the client’s team (which could include everyone from the CEO to those in IT to project managers, and more), the website designers, and even other web developers who may have niche specialties that the client needs to leverage.