what is a web developer?

As a web developer, you use coding languages to build web applications and websites. Sometimes, a design team creates the website design, and you write the code that turns it into a functional website. Other times, you liaise with a client, discuss their needs or style for the website, and design it.

You also write the programming code that controls the functionality of a website. That means you ensure users can navigate the site easily and perform various functions. For instance, you build web pages like a paywall for recording payment details or a command to provide a newsletter or email.

Being familiar with web servers and technology is crucial for web developers. You also understand several programming languages necessary for developing a website. Some coding languages for producing modern websites include HTML, JavaScript and HTML5. As new languages emerge, familiarize yourself to stay competitive.

In addition to developing a user interface and layout, a web developer keeps the site up-to-date with content and fresh updates to improve its functionality. For instance, you regularly update the security protocols and ensure the site performs all the necessary functions.

Would working as a web developer suit your artistic skills and creativity? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a web developer role.

web developer roles

average web developer salary

According to Job Bank, web developers in Canada earn an average salary of $69,965 per year, which translates to an average hourly rate of $35.88 per hour. When you are in an entry-level position, your salary is lower than $54,613 annually. However, as your experience improves, your earnings increase, and you can take home over $104,693 yearly.

what factors affect the salaries of web developers?

Various factors determine your earning potential as a web developer. For instance, your experience and qualifications are crucial in salary determination. While some employers aren't keen on qualifications, adding certifications or a bachelor's degree improves your salary prospects. You can also negotiate a higher salary with a few years of experience and an extensive portfolio.

The location also influences your earnings. In Canada, various regions have diverse earnings for web developers. For instance, when you work in Ontario, your average hourly rate is $32, which increases to over $54.81 due to the region's high demand for web developers. Working in British Columbia also improves your earning potential since the highest-paid web developers in the region earn over $56.41 per hour.

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types of web developers

Some of the areas of specialization for web developers include:

  • front-end developer: your job is to develop the site's layout and the technical features to improve its look. You integrate applications, graphics and content to improve user experience.
  • back-end developer: you are responsible for the technical aspects of a site, from basic framework to managing databases. You also establish procedures that allow users to access various functions on the site.
  • full-stack developer: your job is to accomplish both back-end and front-end functions. You complete the design and write code to guide the functions of a site based on the client's needs.
  • java developer: you write code using JavaScript to control the website and enhance or modify it. Most Java developers work on the front-end layout, but the programming language isn't limited to the user interface.
  • webmasters: you are responsible for updating and maintaining websites. You ensure a site works correctly by testing for errors and broken links.
smiling man sitting in front of laptop
smiling man sitting in front of laptop

working as a web developer

Working as a web developer will be fulfilling if you enjoy programming and have the creativity to develop visually appealing sites. Let's check out the daily activities in the role.


web developer skills and education

Some of the requirements for becoming a web developer in Canada include:

  • bachelor’s degree: complete a bachelor's degree in web development after your high school diploma. Alternatively, pursue an IT course with a web development specialization option. The coursework improves your programming and web design skills.
  • work experience: you require work experience to work in senior web developer positions. Gain experience through internships and entry-level jobs as you build your portfolio.
  • short courses: you don't require a degree to become a web developer; you can complete your high school diploma and take up programming and web development courses. Short courses are also ideal for people with a degree in a non-related field since it introduces you to web development concepts.

competencies and characteristics of web developers

The skills you need for the web developer role include the following:

  • communication skills: as a web developer, you communicate with multiple stakeholders before designing a website. You should be a good listener and explain the requirements to clients without technical jargon. Sometimes, you make presentations to the design team, and communication skills are useful.
  • continuous learning: it is important to learn new techniques daily and study upcoming technologies to succeed as a web developer. This requires natural curiosity and passion for web design. Continuous learning helps you stay on top of the latest designs and scripts.
  • perfectionism: as a web developer, it is crucial to double-check your code for bugs and regularly fix any problems. Perfectionists always find something to improve on a website.
  • organization and time management skills: if you handle multiple projects, you need organizational skills to stay on top of the tasks and workflows. Organizational skills help you develop a work schedule and meet deadlines.
  • programming skills: working as a web developer requires high-level programming ability. Your programming skills help you implement sophisticated functionalities on a website. Improve your programming skills by attending boot camps and short coding courses.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a web developer.


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