What is Web Development?

A web developer working on code for their website at night

There are plenty of in-depth articles on the complexities of specific programming languages or the differences between machine learning and deep learning. But before enveloping yourself in the finite details, familiarizing yourself with the basics and understanding web development can help you find your niche in the tech industry as a frontend developer, backend developer, or full-stack developer.

So, let’s answer the question, “What is web development?”

Quite simply, it’s tasks performed for developing, creating, and maintaining websites to ensure optimal performance. The action steps associated with web development include web design, content development, client-side and server-side scripting, database management, and network security configuration, among other tasks.

Consider any website or application you’ve ever used or visited. Take for instance this website; a team of various web developers with their own assigned tasks came together to construct a site that is fully functional and geared toward creating an ultimate user experience. To do this, web developers spent time writing code using a variety of different application programming languages. The type of language used hinges on the type of task performed and the platform a developer is operating in.

The web development arena is typically made up of three types of development: frontend, backend, and full-stack. While they share one common goal, there are differences among the three.

Frontend Development

A frontend developer deals with the client-side of a website — the side in which a website visitor interacts. They use a combination of design, programming, and technology to ultimately write lines of code that create a website’s appearance. They also debug a website if there is an issue. Upon visiting a website, everything you see with your eyes and click with your mouse is the result of a frontend developer hard at work.

Common Job Functions

While not every company operates the same, you can expect a frontend developer to perform some or all of the following tasks:

  • Develop and maintain the user interface
  • Optimize user experience
  • Use CSS, HTML, and JavaScript to make actions come to life
  • Manage workflow of the website
  • Apply fully developed design on mobile websites
  • Ensure site interactions are uniform across all browsers
  • Debug and test for usability

Backend Development

A backend developer works on the server-side of a website — the behind-the-scenes nuts and bolts of a website. The backend is a combination of a database and software written in server-side languages such as PHP, Python, Ruby, and Java. Backend developers develop the side of a website that includes user authentication, network and hosting configurations, and database interactions. Their job is to ensure the stuff under the hood allows the site to run smoothly and efficiently.

Common Job Functions

A company has the liberty to divvy up a backend developer’s job functions, but in general, the actions they’re responsible for include:

  • Database creation, integration, and management
  • Web server technologies
  • Cloud computing integration
  • Operating systems
  • Content management system development, deployment, and maintenance
  • Security settings and protections
  • Report and generate analytics and statistics

Full-Stack Development

If you’re interested in both frontend and backend development, you’re in luck because a full-stack developer is someone familiar with both. Full-stack development requires knowledge of both client-side and server-side responsibilities and the capability to tackle an assignment on either side at any time. You can call these developers a sort of a jack-of-all-trades position. And because of their versatility, a full-stack developer will often run a point on the development process of a website.

Common Job Functions

Wherever a full-stack developer may find themselves working within a project, you’re bound to find them carrying out some of the following:

  • Help with the overall design and development of the website
  • Test and debug websites to keep them optimized
  • Write code on both ends
  • Create servers and databases
  • Ensure cross-platform capability
  • Work with graphic designers on new design features
  • Test and maintain responsive website features
  • Develop and maintain security measures
  • And pretty much anything a frontend and a backend developer will do

Things You Can Do

Equipped with web development skills, there are plenty of projects a developer can work on, even at a beginner level. One of the greatest ways to become a better web developer is to continuously practice. Here are some project ideas that not only allow you to be creative but can help you hone your new craft.

  • Create a landing page
  • Develop a survey form
  • Build a business portfolio
  • Start a personal blog
  • Make an online calculator
  • Construct a word, number, or meme generator
  • Develop a to-do list app
  • Start a quiz game project
  • Make an e-library

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but there are plenty of different projects you can sink your proverbial teeth into!

Not to mention, becoming a web developer is a rewarding career in many aspects. The average salary of a web developer comes in at approximately $77,000, and the job market expects a growth of 13% by 2030.

Explore a Future in Web Dev

Interested in pursuing a career as a web developer? Kenzie Academy offers a full-stack development program that takes only 9 months to complete and provides you with the knowledge to work in any of the three development areas you desire. Apply today and get started!

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