Web Developer: Definition, Types, Responsibilities, Skills

Sandy Anugerah is a seasoned B2B writer specializing in work and employee content. Bringing expertise in crafting engaging, industry-relevant pieces that captivate audiences with insightful narratives.

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Web developers are currently very common to be found in many types and sizes of companies. Small, medium, even large organizations must have at least one or two web developers on their team. Web developers work closely with a company’s IT team to create, manage and maintain the company’s website.

Since web development is a skill that does not really need a formal education, lots of web developers come from a variety of different backgrounds. If they have what it takes to do the work, high-performing web developers are always in demand. That’s why most web devs are working as freelancers, even those who already have a steady job.

What is a Web Developer?

A web developer is a type of programmer whose main job is to develop/create, design, build, maintain websites, or any applications relating to the world wide web. Using a variety of programming language such as HTML, CSS, C#, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, etc. web developers write code and convert a web design into a customer-ready professionally made website.

Not to be confused with a web designer, whose main job is to deal with a website’s aesthetics, web developers work almost exclusively with the back end, or the programming aspect of creating a website. Although it’s very possible that some expert web developers are also equipped with web designing skills. 

Types of Web Developers

There are three types of web developer working on a website, front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. Each has their own skills and responsibilities. Let’s dig in and learn more about the difference between them:

1. Back-end Web Devs

Back-end web devs are programmers who work on the website’s systems, structures, write the code, and verify whether they’re working properly or not. Since back-end web devs are working behind the scenes, they need to be fluent with a variety of computer programming languages such as Python, Ruby, SQL, etc, must be good with logic, and a skilled problem-solver.

Some back-end web devs may also be specializing in mobile app development focusing on Android and iOS apps creation. Working with languages such as HTML5, C++, and Java, back-end devs working on apps will have to take a different approach when it comes to app development. From swiping functionalities, to scrolling dimensions, these devs must familiarize themselves with a variety of standardized app design elements. 

If you’re interested in becoming a back-end web developer, this back-end engineer course from code academy can be a good start.

2. Front-end Web Devs

Front-end web devs are programmers who focus on the visual and design elements of the website, the actual pages human visitors see and interact with. Front-end web devs worked on the website’s interface (client-side) using programming languages such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

Integrating graphics and programming language into the physical layout designed for each page of a website. It’s their job to make the website as intuitive as possible, where any user can navigate easily with little to no confusion. Working closely with a web designer, front-end web devs merge said design with the programming language into a fully functioning, and interactive web page.

Get more information and learn the skills to become a proper front-end web devs by taking this front-end course called the Meta's Front-End Developer Professional Certificate now.

3. Full-stack Developer

Now if you think front-end and back-end web devs are cool, meet the multi-talented full-stack developer. They are the ones who can do both back-end (server side) and front-end (client side) programming. Not only that, but these developers also have the knowledge to build a whole website by themselves.

Highly skilled in a wide variety of coding niches, programming languages, graphic design, database, machine learning, and even UI/UX management. You can find full-stack developers in smaller companies, or as freelancers due to their multi-usage abilities.

If you think you have what it takes to become a full-stack developer, head on to coursera and get yourself an IBM's Full-Stack Developer Professional Certificate.

Task and Responsibilities of Web Developer

Responsibilities of Web Developer

Task and responsibilities of a web developer may vary depending on a lot of factors, from budget to usage, projects to clients’ demands, there’s no day that feels the same for a web dev. Whether you’re a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer, here are some of the things you might experience on a day-to-day basis.

  • Writing and reviewing code (back-end, or front-end)
  • Creating architecture, servers and databases (back-end)
  • Work with web designer in designing user interface or new features for the web
  • Translating wireframe designs into a working code
  • Build functions to Integrate a variety of multimedia/content on to the site
  • Testing, maintaining, and debugging to ensure responsiveness and optimization
  • Secure a cross-platform compatibility
  • Bug-fixing, glitch patching, and troubleshooting web-related issues
  • API and REST Architecture based Web Services development
  • Overseeing the web’s security, maintenance, access, and scalability

Skills of Web Developer

If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, it’s imperative that you have the corresponding skills to back it up. Here are two main skills that a web developer should have, before offering their services both as a freelancer or as an employee:

Technical Skills

Engross yourself with a variety of the following technical and programming knowledge:

  • Front-end: HTML, JavaScript, CSS, cascading style sheets, etc. 
  • Back-end: Python, Java, Ruby, PHP
  • Version control systems: Git and GitHub
  • Database storage solutions: JSON, SQL, NoSQL
  • Servers: Apache, nginx
  • Design, communication, and visual skills
  • Responsive design for smartphone/tablets compatibility
  • Technical SEO so the site could rank on Google
  • Continuous testing and debugging skills

Soft Skills

Support those technical skills with the following supportive soft skills:

  • Analytical thinking: Good analytical thinking skills are crucial in web development. A web developer will have to ensure the coding is correct and the site is running as intended. Not only that, before deciding on a feature or page, a good web dev will have to consider the customer’s wants and needs.
  • Collaborative: Good interpersonal skills and collaborative mindset is a must. Web devs are bound to be working with a variety of people. From clients to fellow developers and designers, web devs need to have good work ethic, positive attitude, open body language, and actively listening. Top it off with good communication skills, you’ll be invincible.
  • Time management: Building a website takes a village, and good time management is key. Make sure to create a proper timeline for each stage. If you manage your time effectively, you’ll be able to work without being rushed, and therefore lessen the chance of finding errors in your coding.
  • Feedback receptive: Being receptive to feedback is always a good trait to have. Take any advice and critiques coming your way with an open heart. Use them as a fuel to become better every step of the way.
  • Detail-oriented: As a programmer, one small change in a code could make a significant difference in how a website performs. It’s best that any web developer pay attention even to the smallest of details.
  • Problem-solver: Issues, errors and problems are a dime a dozen when you’re a web developer. Have the patience and ability to face any tribulation ahead. Be a problem-solver, focus on solutions, and trust that there’s always a way out.

How to Become a Web Developer

If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, don’t hesitate to start. Nowadays, any skill can be learned online. No formal education needed, just have that tenacity to absorb any and all information you learned, implement, and continuously hone it. 

1. Online Course

Taking an online course in web development is the first and most logical step for you to take on your journey to become a web developer. There’s a lot of courses you can choose from, be it as a back-end dev, or front-end dev. Decide which one you’d like to become and start from there.

2. Formal Education

Even though this line of work does not require a corresponding degree, a supporting formal education such as computer science (back-end) or web design (front-end) can go a long way to kickstart your web dev career. 

3. Get Certified

If you’re looking to validate your newly acquired skill set, get it certified. Get certifications from highly respected vendors such as AWS Certified Developer Associates Certification, Adobe Certified Expert, or this Microsoft MCSA Certification Courses Training.

4. Build Portfolio

Nothing beats a good proof of work to impress your potential client or employer. Build a variety of web portfolios from several projects to show your range, and what you’re capable of. If you’re including code, don’t forget to annotate it to show them your thought process behind the code. 


Nothing is impossible, that includes your future career in web development. If you think you got what it takes to be a good web dev, go for it. Take that course, learn, and build your portfolio along the way. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s a part of your journey. Just take a breath and tackle each problem one issue at a time. If you're tenacious enough, you’ll be there in no time.

Loving this article? Head on to Talentport to read more information about career and workplace lifestyle, now.

Read more: What is a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer? Job Roles Detail


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