Today, anyone can develop simple websites, thanks to the tools of large hosting providers that work according to the modular principle. This may be sufficient for small craft businesses that primarily need a presence on the Internet. Otherwise, however, websites are complex applications that users use to access databases and thus trigger or control entire production processes, the content of which is compiled as required and which run responsively on all kinds of mobile devices. Web developers must therefore keep an eye on the full stack, i.e. not only build frontends, but also program the link to the backend.
The job of a website developer
"Above all, you should be interested in solving problems and enjoy programming," says Samuel Boguslawski, describing the qualities you should have if you want to become a web developer. He himself is a full stack web developer at a startup in Berlin. "A large part of a web developer's job is trying to figure out why code isn't working. Sometimes that takes real perseverance and not letting yourself get frustrated."
The reason: A website is never finished. Even if the frontend is in place and the most important functions receive the required data from the backend, there will always be extensions. After all, digital processes are behind the digitization of business. "A web developer is constantly busy with changes and additions to the website and the attached systems," the developer describes his everyday work. "We have so many ideas that we don't even manage to implement them all." Many companies therefore employ several web developers or supplement the team with freelancers.
Computer science or software engineering as a basis
For Raffaela Rein, founder and managing director of CareerFoundry, a European online further education platform for professional technical and digital training, web developers currently occupy a central place in the IT industry. "There is no degree or anything similar to become a web developer," she says, describing the lack of uniform training opportunities. "A degree in computer science or software engineering can be a good basis. But training as a media designer specializing in digital media and media technology also provides a solid basis."
Based on this, she recommends taking a course with professional support in order to acquire the various basic techniques. Of course it is possible to teach oneself the necessary knowledge autodidactically. According to Rein, however, a course has the advantage that the know-how is given a structure and all the necessary areas are covered. As an autodidact, you run the risk of getting bogged down on this complex topic. At CareerFoundry, course participants are accompanied by mentors. These ensure that the learners also achieve the goal of "Web Developer". But the doors are also open to career changers in web development. Developer Boguslawski, for example, first studied music before deciding, as he says, "to do something creative that also makes money". The profession is also well suited for practicing it on a freelance or part-time basis.
Labor market with job guarantee
"Many companies are urgently looking for well-trained web developers and are hardly able to find them," says Anais Bourg, career coach at the online training platform, describing the current situation on the job market. The job opportunities for graduates are therefore so good that a job guarantee can even be given. On average, new web developers need three months to find a job. However, most employers require a certificate and, if possible, work samples. It is therefore helpful to accept smaller jobs at an early stage, for example from family or friends. You can gain experience and expand your portfolio.
UI/UX-Designer & -EntwicklerDesigner und Entwickler für User Experience und User Interface (UX/UI) sind stark nachgefragt - sie helfen dabei, dass Software-Interfaces so intuitiv wie möglich funktionieren.
Network techniciansNetwork technicians will also be in high demand in the coming year - they are the basis for digital business of all kinds.
IT security expertsOne area that is in high demand is that of security experts - there is already a huge shortage of specialists here. The situation will continue to worsen in the coming years - worldwide.
Business AnalystBusiness analysts will play a major role on the IT job market in 2016 - companies are looking for them as intermediaries between the IT department and business decision-makers in order to set up their IT projects both strategically and procedurally well.
IT Project ManagerIncreasing IT spending and frozen innovation budgets are increasing the demand for IT project managers.
Cloud Architect / Cloud Integration Specialist Due to the general trend towards public cloud infrastructures and the use of hybrid clouds, cloud computing specialists who set up, integrate and secure clouds are still in high demand.
Data ScientistThe amount of data can hardly be overlooked - user data, customer data, purchase data, leads, marketing data. Professionals who develop solutions to master, process, analyze and interpret this data will remain in demand in 2016.
CMS specialist In order for them to be able to adapt their websites, which are often based on WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and TYPO3, and integrate them with their shops, companies also need content management system (CMS) experts.
An evaluation by the business network LinkedIn also shows how popular web developers are: At the beginning of the year, the portal analyzed which skills are particularly in demand on the websites of its members worldwide. The "Web Architecture and Development Frameworks" category ended up in the top ten of the "Hottest Skills on LinkedIn", along with "Mobile Development" and "User Interface Design", some of the specialty disciplines in web development.
"Before you decide to become a web developer, you should check with free tutorials and the first small test projects whether programming suits you," recommends Boguslawski. Otherwise, in his opinion, almost anyone can learn web development, even without a degree in computer science.