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5 Required Skills Every Web Developer Must Have

By Author: Dimitris Papoutsis
Total Articles: 1

The skills which a web developer should have are:

1. Programming Competency

Web developers must be able to code. This is supposed to sound obvious. An effective web developer must be able to write syntactically valid HTML, CSS, and even JavaScript. Not syntax, but program. Anyone can learn syntax, but the principles of programming are applied everywhere.

At least know one or two server-side programming languages. The bare minimum in my opinion is knowing one server-side language really well. Well enough you can mostly get by without needing to ask questions on Stack Overflow every 5 minutes. Most developers start out learning PHP and then either choose Python or Rails through a framework most of the time. PHP is a rare language in that most newbies exposure to it is through the language first and then a framework.

2. Security

I leave security for last, but really it's a top priority. Every web developer must understand how malicious people can use their product to attack the site or other even other users.

3. Pulse on the Industry and the User

It's impossible to know where web development will go in 5 years, but those who follow standards bodies or at least read tech blogs have a much better understanding of upcoming changes and growing trends.

It's not enough to follow the industry. Web developers must also understand their users and how they use the product. Analytics tools like StatCounter and Google Analytics are my favorites for gathering basic metrics of user interactions. A web developer should know if a third of the traffic is from a mobile device or that visitors are from Spanish-speaking countries. Maybe it's time to think about optimizing for mobile and internationalization.

I list this as the number one skill because being proficient here will trickle down and facilitate the other skills.

Things are changing and a lot has already changed. HTML 5, CSS 3, ECMAScript 5, and so on. If you can see these things coming, you will be able to adjust your priorities.

Developers must have an understanding of the state of the browser market and to some extent even the OS market. Did you know users of Windows XP are unable to upgrade to IE 9? Want to guess what the most popular operating system is? (hint: it's XP). Knowing this, do you think it's a good idea to drop support of IE 8, even though 9 is out? Maybe for your user base, that could be a good idea. But my point is that you should know where all of the pieces are on the board before you make your move

4. Testing:
Don’t build something if you’re not prepared to make sure it works properly. You need to be an excellent problem solver as well as good at debugging code. We like to think of it as paying close attention to the little things.

Another important part of testing is that sometimes it takes you outside the code. Be able to problem solve for issues that deal with usability and user experience.

5. Back-end chops:

In bigger shops, front-end designers and back-end coders divide the work. In smaller shops, or in your freelance work, you're likely to do both. There are lots of platforms. Pick one you like (e.g. PHP + MySQL + CodeIgniter, Ruby + Rails, Python + Django, etc.). Front-end developers shouldn't be afraid of this stuff. If you can do CSS media queries, you can handle some PHP or Ruby or whatever. Get your hands dirty.


One non-skill that I think deserves recognition on this list is motivation. Web developers should be passionate about what they do and never stop learning more. Read those blogs, pick up a few higher-level books, and go to the networking events like conferences and local meetups. Strive to learn more, improve skills, and educate others. The other skill is the ability to give honest communication. If you can’t admit when you screwed up or give an honest assessment of where you think your code is, you need to do something else. The top class webpages development company can provide well experienced web developers. There is a lot more trust built when someone comes up suspicious of their code than when someone is sure it is perfect. I don’t mind making a coding mistake once. It only bugs me when I’m not smart enough to avoid repeating it.

About author:

Dimitris Papoutsis is the manager of the Synergic Software – a top most webpages development company in Athens as well as he loves to write a blogs, article and web content, other interests are storyteller and enterpreneur.

More About the Author

Dimitris Papoutsis is the manager of the Synergic Software – a topmost web pages development company in Athens as well as he loves to write a blogs, article and web content, other interests are storyteller and entrepreneurs. http://www.synergic.gr/

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