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Senior web developers design and create websites, as well as other online applications, which requires knowledge of programming languages, UI/UX principles, graphic design, and search engine optimization. In addition to their web development duties, senior web developers are often responsible for training junior web developers. Most Fortune 500 companies are large enough to employ in-house senior web developers. Those who don’t work directly for a company find employment at a web development firm that services small and mid-size businesses. In today’s digital age, virtually every company in every niche needs a website, allowing senior web developers to find employment in any industry. Some specialize in certain industries, while others work for firms that have clients across many industries. Most senior web developers work in a traditional work environment, while some work remotely. As this is a project-based position, the number of hours worked in a week depends on one’s project load.

Senior web developers are in a leadership position and must prove competency through 3 to 5 years of experience as a junior web developer before ascending to this position. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for web developers is set to rise 13 percent through 2026.

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Senior Web Developer Duties and Responsibilities

Creating a functional website from scratch involves a wide spectrum of skills. We researched many senior web developer job descriptions to procure the following list of senior web development duties and responsibilities:

Meet with Clients to Determine Website Needs

At the start of new projects, senior web developers meet with clients to determine what they want out of their website. This requires active listening skills, as this information is used to create a project outline and estimate the project cost.

Create Wireframes for Website Pages

Wireframes are mock-ups that convey the layout of a site without getting wrapped up in branding and graphics. These wireframes are created and shared among the development team; often the senior web developer makes the final decision.

Write the Code for Website Applications

A fair amount of a senior web developer's day is spent writing the code for the various applications of a website. This requires an understanding of programming languages such as HTML, XML, HTML 5, CSS 3, and Javascript.

Test Website Applications for Functionality

Senior web developers not only are responsible for testing their own work, but they are also responsible for testing the work of the junior developers on their team, providing feedback to help them grow.

Work with Designers to Perfect Site Aesthetics

Although senior web developers possess a working knowledge of graphic design to conceptualize a completed website, the web designers actually create the website's graphics and animations. These two positions work together to make sure the finished website achieves the developer's aesthetic vision.

Train and Mentor Junior Web Developers

Senior web developers often lead a small team of junior developers. They are responsible for teaching them the specific way their employer does things and giving them constant feedback to help them become better web developers.

Senior Web Developer Skills

Senior web developers rely heavily on their communication skills to succeed. They need actively listen to understand what clients want and make it a reality. They also need excellent collaboration skills to work with designers and other developers as they work towards creating a finished website. Senior web developers need to be experts in programming languages, such as Javascript, JQuery, HTML, HTML 5, XML, and CSS 3, and in programming platforms, such as Apache. In addition, senior web developers need the following skills to obtain employment:

  • Listening actively to clients to conceptualize their web design needs
  • Brainstorming web page ideas with other developers using wireframing tools
  • Writing the website application codes using knowledge of popular programming languages
  • Collaborating with other developers to create a finished website
  • Testing all web applications for functionality and providing feedback on the work of junior developers

Senior Web Developer Tools of the Trade

Programming languages – programming languages such as HTML, XML, CSS 3, and several others are used to create web applications

Wireframing tools – used to make creating mock-ups easy

Senior Web Developer Education and Training

Many senior web developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, web development, or a related field. They also have at least 3 to 5 years of experience and proven success as a junior web developer.

Senior Web Developer Salary

According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for senior web developers is $111,229. Those at the top of the scale make above $138,000, while those at the bottom of the scale make below $73,000.

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Senior Web Developer Resources

If you aspire to become a senior web developer, check out the list of resources below:

International Web Association

Founded in 1996, this organization has since expanded to more than 300,000 members in more than 100 countries. It offers several different certifications for web professionals, including one specifically for web developers.

National Association of Government Web Professionals

This is an excellent organization for senior web developers who want to specialize in building websites for government entities.

Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is the goto publication in the world of web design and development. Each volume is jampacked with excellent articles from industry leaders. There is both a print and digital edition.

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

What makes this book great is it takes a technical topic and presents it in a writing style that can be understood by anybody. It's a great read for those just getting their start as a student of web development.

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