Essential Career Skills for Modern Web Developers
- Search Engine Optimization
- Core Programming Languages
- Machine Learning and Data Science
- Integrated Cybersecurity
- User-Friendly and Responsive Design
Like many other professionals working in the field of information technology, web developers enjoy plenty of opportunities to explore and grow their career in many different directions. However, they also needs to hone a wide range of essential skills, including technical ones, in order to to find long-term success. There is a lot of variability between different positions and industries, but there is a healthy selection of core knowledge that all web developers should keep in mind.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential practice that prepares a website or page to be found by users querying search engines. Since these engines are the main way that people find and visit sites, there is no substitute for strong SEO practices. Google and other popular search engines routinely update their algorithms to help users find relevant, high-quality results. This means developers need to stay on top of new updates and changes in best practices for optimizing their sites.
Core Programming Languages
Machine Learning and Data Science
While data science is a field in its own right, developers should at least be aware of its basic principles and applications. The fields of data science and machine learning are both growing quickly and have potentially profound applications for IT professionals. Many aspects of data science and machine learning are still in the early stages of development, but rapid innovations continue to propel them to the cutting edge of applied computer science.
Many companies invest in cybersecurity specialists to help secure their servers, networks and digital assets. Web developers may not need to be on the same level as a security specialist, but they should at least understand basic security protocols to build into their sites. This is particularly important on projects that involve user or customer interaction, like logging in or submitting payment information, as a breach of personal data can have extreme consequences for the company.
User-Friendly and Responsive Design
Creating a functional website is one thing, but making one that almost anyone can use is a bit more difficult. However, usability and responsiveness are now absolutely essential for any internet destination. Sites can instantly lose users, and prospective customers, if their pages are confusing or their media loads at a painfully slow rate. Responsive design is non-negotiable in many situations, so modern web developers need to understand these principles and how to integrate them into their site design.
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Even as the conventional internet continues to grow and develop, mobile-oriented and optimized experiences are also becoming a necessity for businesses. This is just one of the many factors fueling widespread demand for qualified and experienced professionals. Web developers who are willing to challenge themselves and build their core skills often enjoy a rewarding, diverse and flexible career.