In 2018, there were around 23 million web developers in the world. And according to the Hosting Tribunal, by 2023 that number could reach 27.27 million. As of July 2020, based on Internet Live Stats, there were over 1.7 billion websites. That is the equivalent of 77 websites for each web developer.
If you want to make a career in IT, becoming a web developer may be a great idea because of the flexibility and diversity of skills that come with it. Luckily, this fast-growing industry is in constant demand, creating the opportunity for jobseekers without job experience to get a junior web developer job after mastering the basic skills. In the guidelines below, we will discuss how front-end and back-end web developers differ, what skills you need to learn, and how to get hired.
Web developer: definition
In general, web development is the process of developing a website. It includes such stages as web engineering, design, content development, and the configuration of networks and servers. To get an entry-level programming job in this field, recent graduates should first decide what type of web development they want to do:
- Back-end. These web developers build and maintain servers, software, applications, and databases. They make sure that the system works smoothly, efficiently, and securely.
- Full-stack. Full stack web developers have front- and back-end experience and are able to work on every stage of the process.
How much do web developers earn?
According to Glassdoor, the average web developer’s base pay is $68,254 per year plus additional cash compensation bonuses of $3,795. After three years, based on Indeed research, you can get as much as $108,409 as a middle web developer and $128,148 as a senior expert.
Even though the salary greatly depends on location, skills, and experience, becoming a web developer may ensure a solid income right from the start.
Now that you know what web developers do and how much they earn, let’s discuss how to get a web developer job without experience.
Skills you need to develop
Depending on the web development category you choose, there is a set of coding skills and proficiencies that you will need to master.
- CSS, a markup language of web pages;
- HTML which is used to style website’s pages;
- PHP, a scripting language for the server-side activity;
- Ruby/ Ruby On Rails, an open-source language;
- WordPress, a Content Management System;
- Python, an object-oriented language to create and attribute virtual objects.
If you want to get familiar with other requirements and skills in the tech world and learn how to get a programming job without a degree, just check GetCoverLetter.com for more details.
The best tips for becoming a web developer
It may be challenging to get a coding job without experience, but it is not impossible. Below we will share tips on becoming a web developer from scratch.
Learn web development skills
There are multiple resources and formats for learning, depending on your skills, level of expertise, and preferences. Here are some options for you.
- Online tutorials. There are many platforms like Lynda or Coursera where you can learn remote web development for free or for an affordable price. The benefit of such an option is that you can learn at your own speed.
- Coding boot camps. Bootcamps are in-person programs which usually last 8-10 weeks where students go through an intensive coding program.
- Online courses. If you want to be mentored by an experienced web developer but don’t want to leave home, online courses may be an option. Usually, such courses last from three to six months and take a few hours per day.
The tech industry is constantly evolving, so you should keep up with new tools, programs, and skills. As a web developer without experience, you need to have something to stand out, and being familiar with the latest trends can be one of those things. For example, learn about Sass and Less preprocessors or Backbone.js and Angular.js frameworks. There are plenty of free websites where you can get the latest information from the tech world.
Build a portfolio
If you want to learn how to get a job as a web developer, you can’t do without a portfolio. It is one of the first things the employers want to see when deciding whether to hire you or not. No one expects a unique and complex website from a beginner, but you should still try and show the languages you have learned and the skills you have mastered. When adding works that you have done for clients, don’t forget to ask their permission.
Here is what you should include in a portfolio.
- Introduce yourself
- Provide a summary of your skills
- Show the projects you have worked on
- Give links to GitHub projects and professional social media accounts
- Share contact details
Work on your resume and cover letter
Looking for a web development job may be rather time-consuming, and you may feel tempted to send the same application to several employers. However, recruiters immediately notice generic resumes and often toss them in the trash. Here’s what you should pay attention to when working on the resume and cover letter.
- Keywords. Choose job-related keywords from the job description and insert them into your resume. For example, CSS, HTML, jquery, ready to relocate.
- Highlight relevant skills. Ensure the potential employer that your skills match the vacancy. Even if you don’t have prior web development experience, highlight proficiencies and roles that are essential for the position.
- Give examples. Instead of wordy and meaningless phrases, give concrete examples that demonstrate that you are a hard worker, a team player, and a devoted developer.
Once the resume and cover letter are completed, don’t forget to check your social presence. Start a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one and provide updated information on your skills, projects, and aspirations.
Do the networking
To succeed in any industry, including web development, it is necessary to make connections. The first and most entertaining way is to participate in hackathons. These are events organized for developers that aim to solve a particular problem and often have a prize pool. There you can get familiar with people involved in web development, sharpen your skills, and even meet employers who might offer you an internship or job.
You can also communicate with web developers and hiring managers online and during personal meetings. Check whether companies or individuals host tech meetup events nearby and register. If not, you can always start one of your own.
Follow the news
To remain up-to-date and be able to support a conversation with your new friends, it is necessary to be aware of everything happening in the tech world. This doesn’t mean that you should become an expert on every subject and innovation, but it is necessary to know what is happening. So read blogs, news sites, listen to podcasts, or simply scroll your Twitter feed to find fresh stories.
Start job hunting
Once you have a portfolio, resume and cover letter, and know the basics of web development, it’s time to start searching for a job. Write something like ‘junior web developer’ on LinkedIn or Glassdoor and look for available vacancies.
Remember that quite often job description requirements are higher, so even if you don’t meet some demands, don’t worry. As an entry-level specialist, you are not expected to be a web development expert. The ability to learn and evolve is what matters the most. Don’t forget to tell your friends, relatives, and especially acquaintances from the tech world that you are actively searching for a job.
Go to interviews even if you are not 100% ready
If you land an interview but don’t know whether you are ready or not, you should still do it. Even if you fail to get your first web developer job right away, this valuable experience will help you to understand what employers want and how to become a competitive candidate.
Interviews are difficult and stressful, but they can help you to become relaxed and calm over time and to prepare you for the tricky questions.
The IT industry is quickly evolving and offers a wide range of opportunities to those who are ready to learn and generate new ideas. We know it may be scary to start a career after college or to switch industries, but with the tips above, your chances to find a junior web developer job will significantly increase. Work hard, sharpen your skills, write a catchy resume and cover letter, cooperate with other web developers, and you will surely succeed.