Web Programmer Job Description
Web programmers use a variety of programming languages to create web applications. They create these applications based on requests from clients and feedback from end users. They focus on the non-design aspects of the development process. Web programmers usually work during regular business hours, although evening and weekend availability may be required when tight deadlines need to be met or when a web application is compromised. These programmers often work in-house for an agency, many of which incorporate perks like allowing programmers to work from home, bring their dog to the office, or work flexible schedules. Some web programmers have their own office, but it’s common for technology companies to have open floor plans that encourage a collaborative environment. Many web programmers work as independent contractors or as freelancers for a variety of different clients.
Web Programmer Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for web programmers vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all web programmers, such as:
Before they start any coding work, programmers first consult with clients and end users to discuss the project’s requirements and specifications. This helps them determine the proposed web program’s objective.
After a web programmer gathers information about the application to be created, they “scope” the project by identifying what needs to be done, how to do it, and when it needs to be finished. They also choose an appropriate scripting language for the job based on the project’s scope.
Code Web Applications
After gathering information and scoping the project, the web programmer writes code for the web application. During this phase, they usually conduct automated testing, because programming and testing at the same time makes projects more efficient.
Test Products and Code
After the programming process is complete, web programmers conduct further testing. This includes fictional testing to make sure the code works and user testing to make sure the program fulfills the end user’s requirements.
Maintain and Update Programs
It’s the web programmer’s responsibility to repair, modify, and update programs and applications as needed. They’re also responsible for detecting and fixing any bugs found before the product launches.
Most web applications and programs are database-driven, so programmers need the ability to develop and manage these databases.
Web Programmer Skills and Qualifications
Multitaskers who enjoy working with technology and have an eye for detail thrive as web programmers. Specific requirements to become a web programmer will vary throughout the industry, but employers prefer candidates who possess the following skills:
- Coding – web programmers are knowledgeable in a wide variety of programming languages and use these skills to develop a range of different of web applications
- Creativity – the skill set of a web programmer isn’t just analytical. Troubleshooting problems that arise in websites and applications takes a creative mindset too
- Perceptual thinking – web programmers determine what a client or end user wants and create a conceptual solution before coding an actual product
- Project management – this job requires the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously as well as the ability to manage a project from start to completion to delivery
- Communication skills – these programmers need strong communication skills to understand the client’s and end user’s needs. By communicating effectively, they avoid errors, confusion, and missed deadlines
- Problem-solving skills – web programmers strive to give clients what they ask for and devise creative solutions to problems as they arise
Tools of the Trade
Web programmers work with web applications that require the use of specific programs and coding languages, such as:
- Design software (such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator)
- Testing and debugging software (such as BrowserStack and Firebug)
- Web development software (such as Notepad++ and Sublime Text)
Web Programmer Education and Training
Entry-level jobs in web programming typically require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. However, it’s not uncommon for web programmers to complete bootcamp courses or teach themselves coding basics. Most web program training is done on the job and supervised by a senior web programmer. Some companies also offer in-house training sessions. Web programming expertise comes with experience, so it’s essential for web programmers to stay on top of industry developments and continually teach themselves new skills.
Web Programmer Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers, which includes web programmers, earn a median annual salary of $67,990. The lowest 10 percent of web programmers earn less than $32,830, while the highest 10 percent earn over $122,320. Web programmers typically receive benefits like paid time off, retirement, health insurance, and other perks depending on their employer.
The job outlook for this position is expected to grow 15 percent over the next decade, which is much faster than average. This growth will be fueled by the popularity of e-commerce and mobile devices.
If working as a web programmer sounds like the job for you, check out these recourses to learn more about what it takes to break into this field:
WebProfessionals.org – this professional organization supports people who create and manage web programs. It offers information on education, training, and certifications, and provides community support for aspiring web professionals
The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide – beginners and seasoned professionals alike benefit from this in-depth guide, which explores the ins and outs of a career as a programmer. It covers how to choose a language to master, how to boost your technical skills, and how to stand out from the crowd
Web Professionals Connect – this LinkedIn group helps professional web developers and programmers connect and support each other
“Ultimate DIY Guide to Becoming a Web Developer” – this Degreed article links to free resources that help readers learn programming languages and become a web developers without formal degrees
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