As of 2018, there were 23 million web developers in the United States. Web developers face a variety of different challenges and tasks on a daily basis, mostly depending on their individual work environments, client base, and how they manage their time.
Web developers are responsible for how a website looks and functions. As you might expect, there’s a growing need for developers as more businesses understand the importance of a quality website, SEO, and user experience.
But what does a day in the life of a web developer actually look like (aside from copious amounts of coffee)? A lot of it depends on how/where they work, and the tasks they have to complete on a daily basis.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what a web development job entails, not only on a daily basis but as a long-term career. If you have an interest in coding, it’s never too late to change your career path and become a web developer!
What a web developer’s day looks like depends largely on whether they work in-house for a business or they’re a freelancer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 1.6 million people working in the gig economy, and freelance developers fall into that category. There are pros and cons to working for a company or working for yourself as a web developer, but most of those fall on personal preference.
When a web developer works in-house, they have more time to focus solely on making that site the best it can possibly be. They may also have more time for things like continuous integration, which allows for small changes to occur immediately. So for developers who have the time to pay attention to every last detail of a business’s site, continual integration can make life much easier by implementing changes quickly and efficiently.
Freelance developers essentially get to be their own boss. Some of the pros of being a freelance web developer include:
But freelancers are also tasked with providing their own healthcare insurance and putting away money for retirement since there are no protections in place from an employer. You’ll also need to market yourself as a business in order to obtain consistent clients.
Thankfully, there are different areas of web development to consider if you do decide to branch out on your own, so specializing in a few of these areas can make you more marketable to businesses looking to outsource a developer.
Web developers tend to have a lot on their plates when it comes to daily tasks, especially if they’re freelancers working for multiple clients.
But one thing a developer always needs to make time for is continuing education. Technology is changing on a regular basis. In some cases, it’s even exceeding our ability to keep up with it. Needless to say, if you have a job that is immersed in the tech world, keeping yourself constantly ‘in the know’ is crucial.
Many times, gaining experience on the job can help you to make adjustments and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technological advancements. But taking time out of your schedule to learn new coding languages or keep up with changes will help you to succeed in all areas of programming.
If you choose to be a freelancer, time management is perhaps even more important. While it can be tempting to wake up whenever you want and work whenever you want, finding a daily routine will help you to stay more productive and get more work done. It will also allow you to achieve a better work-life balance, which can reduce stress and help to motivate you.
Whether freelancing or working for a specific company, web developers must remain in constant contact with the people they work for. Most clients understand the importance of having a website, but they may not necessarily know what they need to consistently improve their web presence:
Client communication can help you to improve your business as a freelancer, and create a better overall environment between you and your employer if you work for a business. Keeping your clients updated on projects, briefings, ideas, and budgeting will make your job much easier and will ensure that your clients are up-to-date with what you’re doing for them.
As you can see, a web developer’s day is often filled to the brim (hence, all the coffee). If you’re interested in web development as a career, weigh out the pros and cons of freelancing versus working for a specific business. In both cases, a dedication to continuous learning, client communication, and managing your time efficiently will help you to find success in a career you can really enjoy.