The State of Web Development

Web development has below average stress levels and way above average work life balance. Not to mention the projected job growth. [1]

If you’ve even briefly considered going into the tech industry, web development is a good way to get your foot in the door and start climbing as high as you want to go.

I know it sounds too good to be true, so I’m going to give you a quick analysis on the state of web development.

Jobs

  • This is what usually draws people in. The job market for web developers is booming and it’s expected to keep booming for at least the next decade. This is one of the few fields that has above average growth in this downturned economy. [2] The reason for this is because people are turning to mobile devices and ecommerce more and more every day.
  • I’m sure your trying to find out how much you can expect to make as a web developer so I’ll tell you. First of all, it really depends on your location and on your experience level. You can range anywhere from $47,000 to $91,000, but the median salary is around $67,000 which isn’t bad! [3]
  • Although web development is on the lower end of the salary range for the tech industry, it still has a projected 15% growth rate over the next 10 years. Right now there are more jobs available than there are developers, which is leading to a lot of outsourcing.
  • Outsourcing web development jobs has been a hot topic in the U.S. for a while now. Some companies love it, some hate it. Lately there has been a push to do more in country hiring because of difficulties with communicating across time zones and different cultural expectations. (Sorry guys overseas…)
  • There are some states with better opportunities for programmers. Of course California is number one. Then there’s New York, Texas, Florida, and Washington. Right now, there isn’t a state in the U.S. that isn’t hiring web developers. You can pick almost anywhere you want to go. [4] Just look at all the jobs listed on Indeed and remind yourself that this isn’t even all of them. [5]
  • One thing that gets confused all the time is the difference between a web developer and a software developer. A web developer is someone who writes code for websites. They might be concerned with things like how fast the website loads, how secure the website is, and what the website looks like.
  • A software developer on the other hand writes a different kind of code. They are usually concerned with memory allocation, efficient algorithms, and in some cases, how the software will work with hardware. It’s a completely different discipline, but people mix them up all the time. It’s important to understand this difference so you know what your job expectations are.

Tech

  • Web frameworks are taking over. There’s Angular, React, Vue, Electron, and plenty of others. You’ll find thousands of developers making web applications with these frameworks. Right now, Angular and React are the two most popular, but there’s always the chance a new comer could shake things up.
  • The one language that you need to have as deep of an understanding as possible is JavaScript. It started as being a front-end language, but it has gained popularity as a server-side language as well. Things like Node.js have become a go to tool for development because it lets you spin up a local server easily.
  • CSS is also going through some changes. If you aren’t familiar with CSS Grid, it’s a good idea to take some time to learn how it works. People are also using animations more than ever to make their websites more interactive. It’s important to have a good understanding of how CSS animations work. You can save some load time if you can make animations with CSS instead of JavaScript. [6]
  • Chatbots are also surging forward. People are getting tired of bad customer service so companies are trying to implement chatbots to help that. (Using real people would probably be more effective, but what do I know…) Learning how to make them work in a way that actually helps customers is a valuable skill and now is the time to learn it. [7]
  • Don’t forget about accelerated mobile pages! Mobile devices are generating over half of all online traffic and that means all of the websites on the internet need to be mobile friendly. [8] Not all of them will be, but most new websites will involve some aspect of mobile-first design. There’s also been a push to write code that works across all devices. Having a separate mobile style sheet isn’t unusual anymore.

Social

  • This is the interesting part. The web developer world is still behind socially. Women have gained a lot of ground in the field making up 53% of new junior developers. [9] Although you’ll be hard pressed to find minorities in these positions. As of 2017, only 4.5% of web developers are African-American, 5.8% are Hispanic, and 9.8% are Asian. [10] You’ll also have a hard time finding older developers too. Most developers in industry are between 20–29. After 30, the distribution tapers off drastically. [11]
  • Then there are the issues that developers have with the tech stacks. Nobody can explain or demonstrate this better than a Reddit thread: [12] With all of the changes, new releases, versions, and everything else, it’s hard to keep track of what is the best practice to use. It’s probably every web developers biggest frustration when a library or framework has an update that makes it incompatible with all of the code you’ve written.

This is just a brief rundown of what’s going on in web development and what you can expect. If it seems like this was a lot to take in, just remember that this is only the surface. There’s so much going on in the underbelly of the web development world that even those of us in it can’t keep up.

Remember, you can go get the free Flipped Coding CSS tutorial. A bunch of people keep downloading it every day, so it must be pretty good. Go check it out here.

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Starting classes soon! | Software/Hardware Engineer | International tech speaker | Random inventor and slightly mad scientist with extra sauce

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Milecia

Milecia

Starting classes soon! | Software/Hardware Engineer | International tech speaker | Random inventor and slightly mad scientist with extra sauce

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