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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at an office desk, reading a paper document.  There are other papers on the desk.

    Reading through the specification to see what needs to be done.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a laptop computer.  There is another computer on the desk next to him.

    Working on some programming code.

  • A man is sitting at an office desk.  Another man is standing next to him and they are both looking at something on a paper document.

    Receiving details from a manager of a new website to be developed.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer.  He is consulting a paper document, which is on the desk.

    Making a start on development work.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a laptop computer.  There is another computer on the desk next to him, with a website page on the screen.  He is writing on a large notepad.

    Checking that each part of the website is working correctly.

  • A man is sitting at a desk in an office with purple walls.  Another man is standing next to him, and they are talking.  There is a computer on the desk, with a website page on the screen.

    Reporting on progress to the manager.

  • A woman is sitting at a desk, using a laptop computer.  There are large, brightly coloured, printed documents beside the computer.

    Designing an online newsletter.

  • A woman is sitting at a desk in an office, using a laptop computer.  There are some large, printed documents on the desk.

    Web designers need strong information technology skills.

  • Web Developer

Web Developer

Introduction

As a Web Developer you will build and maintain websites. You will particularly be concerned with making sure that the technical side of the website functions correctly. You will develop the website according to the specific requirements of a client, including layout features and functions.

Also known as

  • Designer, Web

Video: - Billy: Web Developer

Video: - Adam: Developer

Work Activities

The process will begin when you receive a 'brief' (a set of instructions) from a manager or a client. Together, you'll discuss what features the website should contain and how they will fit together.

To create a website, you'll have to think carefully about the end product. You'll need to achieve a balance between attractive design and delivering clear, easy to understand information that appears as quickly as possible.

It's very important that the website should be easy to navigate, and that users should be able to find the section they want without getting lost.

You will need to be aware of the relevant discrimination laws and make sure your websites are accessible for a wide variety of users - for example, people with limited sight. You will also need to make sure that people with different types of internet access can navigate quickly around the website.

One of the most important aspects is the user-website interaction. You will need to carefully plan your website so that users can use it easily and as quickly as possible. For example, users might need to buy goods and services online, check their bank details, book a flight or a hotel room, search a database, download information or send feedback. You'll need to make sure that the website is organised so that information is kept secure and can be updated quickly and easily.

Considering the user's needs, you will decide on the style and size of text to use. They design any button icons and any images that will appear as the user clicks through the website, or uses touch screen technology.

As a Web Developer there are a number of different ways in which you can communicate information - multimedia. For example, your website could have text, images, speech, music, 2D and 3D graphics, animation, games, digital video clips or entire films or TV programmes.

You will need to test your website before it becomes active, to make sure that everything works as it should. You might need to demonstrate the finished website to managers or clients and explain how certain features and functionality works.

Some companies ask Web Developers to manage the sites they have created. In this situation you must make sure that site information is up to date and relevant. To do this, you might work closely with colleagues, including web writers, marketing and public relations staff and software developers, or clients.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Web Developer, you'll need:

  • a strong interest in information technology, particularly online technology and latest developments
  • good design skills
  • to be creative and enthusiastic
  • to be able to use specialist computer applications, tools and languages
  • to be able to plan, prioritise and organise your work to meet deadlines, often under pressure
  • to think about new ways to use multimedia technologies such as graphics, digital video, animations and sound
  • to be able to pay attention to detail
  • good teamwork and communication skills

Employers usually ask for evidence of technical ability with specific web design software.

Developers who work on a freelance basis need the skills to run their own business. You might also need good presentation skills to help you to show you finished website to your clients.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £23,500 - £26,000
  • With experience: £28,000 - £33,000
  • Senior Web Developers earn £36,000 - £40,000

Hours of work

Web Developers usually work 35-37 hours, Monday to Friday, though some late finishes might be required as deadlines approach.

Where could I work?

Employers are businesses and organisations in every area of industry and commerce, including retail and broadcasting industries and charity organisations, and in the public sector, in local and central government.

Other opportunities are with advertising agencies, and specialist web design agencies.

Opportunities for Web Developers occur in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Web Developers to work on a self-employed, freelance basis - usually on a fixed-term contract basis.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on specialist IT job boards and employers' websites, in computing magazines and professional journals, in local/national newspapers, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Short-term contract work is found through specialist IT recruitment agencies.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Many entrants have a degree, HND, foundation degree or postgraduate qualification in a computing design subject.

Higher education courses are offered in, for example, web design, web development, internet computing, interactive media design, new media and multimedia design. Some could have a higher design content, while others have more computing. Check college/university websites very carefully.

For some employers, however, proof of your creative abilities (such as a personal website and portfolio of work) and your technical knowledge are just as important as academic qualifications.

You might be able to enter this career with a degree in another subject; some employers give IT training to people with a background in other design subjects, such as graphic design.

You might be able to enter a training post without higher qualifications if your design and IT skills are strong enough.

An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start. You may be able to take a vocational qualification, such as a NVQ, as part of your apprenticeship.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Training

If you would like some more training, then the SAE Creative Media Institute offer a course in web development. During this course, you will learn about:

  • basic design elements
  • theory of colours
  • photo editing software
  • the history of the web
  • HTML and CSS
  • the full process of design to launch
  • the basics of SEO
  • writing for web

Other courses could be available in your area.

Work Experience

Having a portfolio of creative work, including your own personal website, is important. Qualifications in related areas, such as web or graphic design, are an advantage.

Progression

Web Developers can progress to Team Leader and Manager posts. Some Web Developers become self-employed.

Qualifications

The usual entry requirements for a relevant degree course are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects.

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications (a subject such as 'web design' or ' interactive media, design for games and ICT', will help you to stand out from the crowd)
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma (specific subjects at Higher level might be required).

City & Guilds also offer a useful subject, a level 2 qualification in software development.

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

For some employers, however, proof of your creative abilities (such as a personal website) is just as important as academic qualifications.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

Having a portfolio of creative work, including your own personal website, is important. Qualifications in related areas, such as web or graphic design, are an advantage.

Access courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course, for example, Access to IT/Computing, could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Distance learning

Taking short training courses can be important to update your skills. Distance learning in web design and development is widely available.

The Open University (OU) offers a degree in Computing and IT, with Design. The OU also offers the following individual units:

  • Web Technologies
  • Interaction Design and the User Experience
  • Web, Mobile and Cloud Technologies.

These can be studied on their own, or as part of a larger degree.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

LGjobs

Local government vacancies

Website: www.lgjobs.com

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

myjobscotland: Scottish local government vacancies

Scottish enquiries

Email: myjobscotland@cosla.gov.uk

Website: www.myjobscotland.gov.uk

ScreenSkills

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Creative Choices

Publisher: Creative & Cultural Skills

Email: info@creative-choices.co.uk

Website: www.creative-choices.co.uk

The Tech Partnership

Skills for business and information technology

Address: 1 Castle Lane, London SW1E 6DR

Tel: 020 7963 8920

Email: info@e-skills.com

Website: www.e-skills.com

Open University (OU)

Tel: 0845 3006090

Website: www.open.ac.uk

Big Ambition

Email: bigambition@e-skills.com

Website: www.bigambition.co.uk

Bring IT On

Irish enquiries

Website: www.bringitonni.info

Creative & Cultural Skills

Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts

Email: london@ccskills.org.uk

Website: ccskills.org.uk

Chartered Society of Designers (CSD)

Email: info@csd.org.uk

Website: www.csd.org.uk

HTML Writers Guild

Website: www.hwg.org

eLearning Centre Ltd

Address: Swaledale, 4 Coaley Lane, Newbottle, Houghton le Spring, Tyne & Wear DH4 4SQ

Tel: 0845 1297238

Email: info@distance-learning-centre.co.uk

Website: www.distance-learning-centre.co.uk

Momentum

Irish enquiries

Address: NiSoft House, Ravenhill Business Park, Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT6 8AW

Tel: 028 9045 0101

Website: www.momentumni.org

Getting into Art & Design Courses

Author: James Burnett Publisher: Trotman

Website: trotman.co.uk/our-books/getting-into-art-and-design-courses/

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Hiive

Hiive is the online professional network for creative people.

Website: app.hiive.co.uk/

Tech Partnership

Email: info@thetechpartnership.com

Website: www.thetechpartnership.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

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