Everybody uses the computer these days, but only some are computer geniuses. The IT field is probably the most popular one when it comes to work opportunities and this can make studying computer science a very attractive opportunity. In fact, you actually think of learning or developing some technical skills so you would become more marketable and grab a better job. That is actually a very wise decision.
Tech specialist or not, you have surely heard or saw in a job add the term IT/web developer. Let’s find out what does this job title mean and how you can become one.
Main types of IT development jobs
The IT development field covers jobs such as: web developer (which can be divided into frontend developer and backend developer), and software developer.
The main two: web developer and software developer are not so different, as they deal with the same tasks, one builds websites and the other builds software.
- The frontend developers are the ones that are involved in creating, making changes and solving issues of the main interface or platform of the website, which is the same users can see. The frontend involves less code writing and deals more with understanding and improving user experience.
- Backend developers are responsible for the database and the performance of a website or application. They will have to write codes, understand programming languages, databases and the server architecture. Backend developers have to make sure the website runs smoothly and fix any errors that may occur.
You could say the frontend developers are the directors of a play and the backend developers deal with what happens “behind the scenes”.
You’re probably well aware that web developers build websites, but there’s much more to it than that. Web developers must also analyse user needs to ensure the proper content, graphics and underlying structure are used to meet both the goals of the user and the website’s owner.
Daily responsibilities of web developers include:
- Use and write scripting languages to build websites, software or applications
- Writing, designing and editing web page content
- Identifying and correcting problems uncovered during testing or by users’ feedback
- Convert written, graphic, audio and video components to compatible web formats
- Check and fix bugs
- Research new techniques and technology
Steps to land a web developer job
1. Apply to any degree in the computer science field
A certified degree will help you advance in your career as a web developer
Although you will find or probably know people that have become successful developers without having graduated from a technology degree or any degree at all, this is not something recommended today. Web developers with no higher education diploma that were trained on the job was somewhat ok about twenty years ago, but this practice is no longer available these days. In addition, after years of experience at a workplace, at one point, you may want to advance to a higher position, possibly become an IT manager, and that won’t be possible without holding a degree diploma.
Online IT courses – recommended for enhancing skills
Of course, you can opt for online courses that guarantee to provide the proper training and teach you everything there is to know about web or software development. The truth is these online courses will never have the ability to teach you ‘quite everything’ from A to Z so you can become an IT expert in just a few months.
Online courses are always a good choice and quite recommended for current and future tech and computer specialists, but they are more dedicated to adding some new skills and maybe learning new software or programming languages, rather than actually building the foundation for what you’re looking to become: a professional web developer.
Choose from a wide range of study options
In terms of Bachelor degrees in Computer Science and Technology provided by most universities worldwide, you literally have tons of options to choose from. You can focus your studies on:
- general Computer Science knowledge;
- Business Information Systems;
- Big Data;
- Cloud Computing.
The beauty of web developer jobs is that they don’t require a specific degree in computer science, as long as you can prove you have the right skills and knowledge of certain programming languages or software. Here comes a small downside: during your three or four years of study, you won’t learn all the computer programming languages that exist. So for a useful tip, read the following steps.
2. Decide for a future career goal
Yes, things are clear. You want to become a web developer, but that may not be enough; you’ll have to know exactly in which industry you’d like to work as a web developer. Sure, it may sound like it’s a little too much to ask, but it may come easier than you think and the best time to decide is after your first two or three years of your Bachelor’s degree. After this period, chances are you have figured out which path you want to make a step forward:
- you want to work in a renowned and big tech company
- you want to get involved in a start-up
- want to work as a developer in an industry you adore (it can be any business field: finance, law, health care, etc.).
As you can see, it’s not such a big decision and it’s not a must, it’s more a recommendation. Many web developers have tried all three of them until finally deciding for one that was THE BEST for them. So no worries here! You will eventually figure out, but IT experts say it would be better sooner than later.
3. Choose programming languages you want to learn and specialise in
As mentioned above, a generic web or software developer is not enough these days. Not for the competitive IT job market anyway. The best developers are specialised.
If you want to make your life a little easier, this is where the logic of step no.2 (from above) comes in. Knowing exactly where you want to go career wise, makes it easier and clearer in terms of which programs should you focus to specialise in. For instance, if you plan to grab a developer job at Google, just do a research and find out what are their exact technical requirements, including the software and computer programs specialisations. This will narrow your list of possible computer languages you will have to master.
4. Always practice, learn new things and keep up to date with technology news
This may sound redundant since you are a web and technology fanatic and you already know you have to do all these things. Things are always easier in theory, so remember to plan ahead, organise your schedule and be a small project manager. Never limit yourself to what you will learn in computer science school and make your own plan with the tech skills and software programs you want to learn and simply do it!
Just browse through websites, find interesting elements that attract you, practice writing codes and write your own documentation, or anything that you think is useful for developing your tech abilities.
Realise your tech specialist potential
In a nutshell, the web developer job is quite exciting and full of benefits. You just have to find out by yourself if this is the right career path for you. If you usually enjoy the challenge of solving problems of all kinds, and you also take into account realistic considerations, like timeframes and budgets, these are important signs that should make you think you have the right portrait for a developer.
So, apply to a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and start creating some cool websites!
Also check out international Computer Science Masters worldwide.