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What is a Web Developer & What Should You Look for in a Web Developer?

What is a Web Developer

What is a Web Developer & What Should You Look for in a Web Developer?

Made up your mind to build your own website? Well, then one aspect you should consider is web developer.

So, what is a web developer and what is web development?

You may very well know that a web developer ensures that all the technical aspects of a new website are put together smoothly.

Well, what are the skill sets that you should be looking for when you turn to a web developer.

This can be a tricky question. Besides, it is also important to identify whether you require a web designer or a web developer for your project.

Well, wait a minute – do you know what makes these two different?

What is a web developer and how is that different from web designer and web programming?

Today, in this article let us take a closer look at what is a developer and all the specific talents and skill sets that a web design and development professional should have.

This will help you to identify what is it that you are looking for and clearly understand what the web related skill sets are when it comes to building the best website possible for your business.

What Exactly is a Web Developer?

What is a web developer? This is one of the most frequently asked questions.

A web developer is nothing but a programmer who is skilled to create applications and programs for the world wide web.

A web developer will always know how exactly he should build a specific website right from the scratch.

The web developers will also be equipped to develop custom codes which accommodates all your unique needs – thereby creating everything right from the web layout to the functions and features on your website pages.

What Do Web Developers Do?

Your next question would certainly be “what does a web developer do” and “what are the web developer requirements”.

Well, to answer this, we first have to divide the entire process of web development into three different parts.

1. Server-Side Scripting- this is the code that gets executed on the web browser and empowers all the mechanics of the website that are behind the scenes and defines how it works.

2. Client-Side Scripting- this is a code which executes within the web browser and then determines what exactly your clients or customers will be able to see when they reach your web page.

3. Database Technology- this is also a part of the function which ensures that the website keeps running smoothly.

The basic task of a web developer would typically to build a website right from the scratch by leveraging the skills across one or more of the above mentioned web development areas.

In fact, very often large scale web development projects end up dividing these three major tasks between different web developers.

While one developer will be asked to go ahead with setting up of all the back end of a website, the other developer will be made to pay attention to the client requirements in adding functionality and style to the website.

Well the major benefit of developing a website from the scratch is that you can keep it original and the one that fits the specific needs.

What Skill Sets Should You Look for in a Web Developer?

Web Developer

The best way to look at the skill sets of a web developer would be to split the overall description of the skill sets into three different areas – database technologies, server-side languages as well as client-side languages.

Let us evaluate each of these one by one:

Database Technologies

Being one of the major skill sets that you should be looking at while choosing a web developer, it is important for you developer to be familiar with the database technologies.

In order to function optimally, every single website should have a database where it can store all its files, images, codes and various other data.

Following are some of the most popular rational database management systems also known as RDBMS for the applications that are web based:

  • MongoDB
  • IBM DB2
  • Oracle
  • Apache
  • MySQL

Server-Side Languages

This is a unique technique that is used by most of the web developers while developing the back end of your website.

What makes it so important for your new website?

The storage of a web browser is hugely limited by the computer of the end user.

The person using the website – those using your website. So, your website should always host the images and files that make your website function in a database across a web server.

Server-side languages

Basically involves construction of the framework that enables databases on the web servers to effectively communicate with that of the computer used by the end users.

To make this work, web developers often embed scripts in the website.

So, when somebody using your website will take any kind of action, the server will be able to display information or set images.

Inherently, sever-side code is extremely secure, as the one using your website will have no direct access to the proprietary databases, source code or any other data that is beyond what is being specifically showcased to them.

Some of the major server-side languages include:

  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • Java
  • C
  • NET
  • Python

Client-Side Languages

This basically refers to the development of different web applications which execute themselves within the computer of a web user.

This might include basic flash games, storage of the user data within the cookies or any other kind of web applications that are interactive.

Furthermore, it might also include the usage of the languages such as Javascript, HTML or CSS for developing the look, feel and layout of a website.

Examples of these languages include:

  • Flash
  • CSS
  • HTML
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • JQuery
  • JavaScript

Web Developer Versus Web Designer

Web Developer

The actual line of difference between a web developer and a web designer is often very blur as a lot of their work overlap.

In general, the focus of a web designer lies on the feel and look of your website while the focal point of a web developer will always be technical aspects of your website.

Nevertheless, web developers involved in the client side programming are often known to deal with the look, feel as well as the layout of the website.

For this reason, most often web developers and web designers both know JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

However, in case of bigger and large scale web development projects the roles will be well defined as follows:

1. Web developers should always understand the art and aesthetics aspects which are often carried out by a web designer while they handle client side scripts.

However, their primary focus will still be on the features and functionality of the websites such as shopping carts, payment gateways etc.

2. On the contrary, the web designers often use graphic design software such as InDesign, Adobe PhotoshopIllustrator etc.

To develop the layout, logos and the graphics of the website, which often define its feel and looks.

After all, both these skill sets are equally important if you want to build a functional website that is aesthetically appealing.

Often, we designers are not the ones who write the source code of the website.

Besides, in cases like this, the graphic designers will develop visual representations of the web layout and web developers on the other hand will use the code to convert the layout into a reality.

Web professionals have constantly honed their skill sets in the following way in both these disciplines:

  • For web developers, they should get an understanding of the website’s art direction. This will in turn equip them to write better codes.
  • For web designers, they should try and understand coding websites. This will help them to communicate better with their fellow web developers thereby developing a robust team.

Those who have mastered both these techniques will be able to become excellent project managers who provide a perfect blend of function and form to any given web development project.

Hope this answers what is a web developer and leaves you with what exactly you should look for while choosing a good web developer.

Please feel free to share your insights in the comment boxes provided below.

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