written by Emily C.
With more and more companies taking the online path these days, there is an ever-increasing demand for web designers and developers. Several students see this as an attractive career option and there are several good reasons behind it. Apart from the extensive job market, the salaries of web developers are also good. Although the salaries depend on the company, location, job experience, and many other factors, the average web developer salary in San Francisco is around $80,000 per year. The highest paying web skills are .NET along with scripting languages.
While these salaries are lucrative, another factor that attracts youngsters in this field is that most people in IT jobs are young. This was probably the reason why I chose to be a web developer.
When I was fresh out of college, my aim was to enter the IT industry. There were many local web development companies in the area, and I was looking for a fresh start. I was offered a job with $5000 for a month. It wasn't a very big company, but they had a lot of projects. As a fresh recruit, I faced some difficulty because academic curriculum is different than the industry experience, but I learned quickly. I don’t think web development is very difficult. However, it also depends on the websites being developed. Most websites that we had to develop dealt in eCommerce websites. We had different teams in our company. There were design, development, and testing teams, and I was in the development team – just how I wanted it.
Although $5000 might look like too little for some, it was a great start for me as I had just started my career. I think it was a great thing working in a company in my own area. I always wanted to be a web developer. I guess some of the passion came from reading Dilbert comics. The office environment always charmed me. And of course, there are huge growth prospects. After working for a year and a half, I earn $6500 per month now. The work is the usual. I have grown in my company. With experience, the web development job has started to seem easier by the day. As a developer, we get a lot of help from automated tools and coders all over the world. There are a lot of resources online, and developers from all over the world help each other by adding code to the free libraries. As far as I remember, I never had any problems in receiving payments. We always got our salaries on time.
How to increase your salary
Let me begin by saying that web developers are paid generously. It’s not a minimum wage job. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to increase your salary. Your appraisals largely depend on your work quality and office behavior. If you are performing well and are in good terms with your boss, there is no reason for a good appraisal. However, don’t limit yourself to just work. Improve your skill set.
Improving the skill set
This is an important point. While you might be the master of your domain (let’s say it’s .NET), don’t shy away from learning new skills. What kind of other languages does your company work in? Or what other language is getting popular in the industry? Maybe try your hand with a few testing tools. It’s always a good idea to enhance your skill set. You can take a course in other languages or tools. If you don’t have time for regular classes, there are several online web development courses as well. This way, if your current expertise becomes outdated, you’ll always have something as a backup.
New languages to learn
If you’re thinking about learning one perfect language, let me tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect programming language. Each one has its own pros and cons. You need to find the right language based on these criteria:
- The platform of your server
- Your previous programming experience
- Database for the website
- Your budget
The server platform and software play an important part in deciding the right language. The two main operating systems would be MS Windows and POSIX compliant Unix-based systems. There are several programming languages that are free or open source, others come for a fee.
If you’re a beginner, start with HTML. It’s the most basic thing that you must learn. It is among the core internet technologies and acts like the backbone of all pages on the web.
CSS or Cascading Style Sheets is a language that allows web developers to create the right look of the website. CSS helps the developers in separating the aesthetic aspects from the core code. These two languages are just the basic ones and are used in the creation of static pages. Learning them is just the tip of the iceberg. Make sure you get some experience in client side scripting languages. These are the languages that would display the content of a page and the user can still see the content even if they lose their internet connection.
This brings a page to life with apps, animation, and games. Another scripting language is ActionScript, which is used in Adobe Flash. However, since webmasters are phasing out the support for Flash, this isn't the top priority anymore. When it comes to server side scripting (code that helps in the transfer of data), here are the top choices:
This one is a general-purpose language and is compatible across several platforms.
Java is generally used by websites that expect a large volume of traffic, such as Amazon. Java gives the best speed results and this is why it is preferred by websites that see heavy traffic load.
Another general purpose language, Python is easy to learn and offers a large library of precoded functions.
Ruby is another popular language, and Ruby on Rails is a web framework that helps in the creation of dynamic pages. There are countless programming languages in the industry and you can’t learn all of them. However, you can contact a few software companies in your area and ask them about the languages they use. According to their usage, you can train yourself in specific languages.
The job of a developer
The job of a web developer is to create code to run a website. We have to work according to client specifications. And there are clients that can be very specific. It’s a work of art that needs perfection. Your client might just want to change the layout of the page and it may take you days to finally get everything perfect. The testing team will be there to find out the smallest bugs in your code. But that’s for your own good. They will convey the bugs to you and you’ll have to fix them. Fixing and patching bugs can be a tedious process because correcting one bug can give rise to several others. But all in all, it’s a great job. I love being a web developer. Yes, there are deadlines and tight working schedules, but it gives you the satisfaction, and of course the pay is good too. I’m presently in the IT industry, and would certainly stay in it. The web development industry is booming, and there are huge growth prospects.