IT is possibly the most favoured career option among youngsters today. There has been an upward trend in software engineering and web development jobs in recent years and it is expected to rise over the next decade. As per reports, an estimated 8% growth is forecasted in web development jobs by 2029, which is the fastest among all tech jobs in the market today.
If you are looking to start a career in web development or are already working as a web developer, the disruptive nature of technology demands that you constantly upskill yourself to attract lucrative opportunities in your career.
In this article, we will discuss the top 5 hard and soft skills that will help you stand out among your peers within and outside your organization, and take you ahead in your career.
A strong knowledge base in engineering concepts and competence in programming languages is important to advance in your career. As the job of a web developer includes both backend and front-end development, it is important to be well-versed in multiple languages to increase your chances of success as a web developer.
Trends in popularity are likely to vary, with one programming language enjoying greater usage amongst developers at a given point of time. However, languages like C, Java, Python, and C++, among others, are consistently listed as the most popular languages by the TIOBE Index, year after year.
Despite decades having passed since their invention, they continue to be the most sought-after skills by top tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google, and Netflix.
The advantage of building competence in one of these languages is that you can easily scale up your programming skills in other languages as well. Since they are closer-to-human, high-level languages, the learning curve becomes easier.
Another exceptional technical skill in web developers is their ability to effectively test code. A good and well-experienced developer makes sure to close all loopholes in his code. He tests code functionality well before it is checked-in or handed over to the testing team. It not only ensures a quality end product but also saves a lot of rework. A good developer, thus needs to be a good tester too.
Unlike many other desktop-based applications, web applications need to have a better user experience (UX). As a developer, you need to understand what your user wants, which feature he uses the most, how he uses it and then based on this understanding you need to develop the app. In this digital world, the user is the king. If he does not like your app, he will move to the next and never be back.
User experience has numerous variations. Starting from how you navigate to the different pages in your application to the time it takes for the user to search for something on the page. A good understanding of these aspects, helps the developer to create web pages or applications that are accepted well by the users. Hence, an understanding of UX is very important for a web developer as well as for the app he develops.
Technology is evolving at a drastic pace. While we may have started with C and C++, things are different now. Java which was the hot topic a decade back has now given way to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. Also, staying updated with the latest app development trends is necessary for developing relevant, useful websites or applications.
Hence, it is very important for a good web developer to constantly learn and stay abreast of the latest changes in the field.
To keep yourself informed, you should subscribe to technology-related google groups or forums, invest some time regularly to check out the discussions on professional networks like LinkedIn, follow industry leaders, and also know what is happening in other companies working in similar domains.
While staying abreast of developments is important, it is also important to find out how you can best contribute to the growth of a company. For this, web developers must join courses and programs to upskill themselves in order to gain competitive advantage. Owing to the growing interest in online education, there has been a steep rise in this domain, and the eLearning industry is expected to hit USD 1.96 billion and 9.6 million users by 2021.
Domain knowledge is the next important factor for any web developer. Domain knowledge means an in-depth understanding of the industry for which you are designing your web page of applications.
For example, if your website is related to news and information, then you need to make sure the headings are big and attractive. You also need to make your website able to cater to daily changes in the content and more. Similarly, if you are designing a website for a financial institute, then security needs to be given the greatest importance.
Greater knowledge of the industry and the role of the website will help a developer to develop it more appropriately. It is also advisable that we look at similar sites and pages, before starting something new. This helps the developer get new and innovative ideas, on how to make his creation better.
Communication is the key not only to web development but in every field you work in. It is more important in web development because of the different levels at which you need to explain your thoughts and actions.
Starting from the requirement discussions to the final application or website handover, you will be required to question, analyse, and express your understanding of the application. The quality of your deliverable and accuracy could deteriorate based on how well you are or aren’t able to communicate.
Clear communication is a must for every developer. There are several courses that the company would invest in to improve the technical communication ability of its employees. This just proves the importance of communication.
Technical communication, business email writing, empowered communication, business ethics, etc are some areas you should focus on to improve your communication
While these skills are important, it is ultimately your hard work that will pay off. No job is easy or tough. It is you who has to put in the efforts to excel and bring out the best. Web development is a technically creative field with a lucrative pay. Aim to be the master in your field and there will be no looking back in your career.
Rajamanickam Rajan is the director at Skein Technologies, a leading web development company in coimbatore. He has expertise in analysing, designing, & developing hybrid and native applications.