Web site developer career

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David Gates is a Web site developer and uses HTML coding, Photoshop and other packages to build high-profile websites for business clients.

Can you describe your role as a web site developer?

At its simplest, I build websites. This involves web coding, project management, work scheduling, bug fixing and mentoring a development team.

What is your weekly routine?

We handle around ten website builds and the maintenance of over 1,500 websites every week. Any one of our customers could call to report a problem with their site and we need to be capable of fixing the problem quickly and efficiently.

What hours do you work?

I work Monday to Friday, from 9.00am to 5.30pm. Overtime is available when we are busy.

What is your work environment like?

I work in a 16th century converted barn in Hampshire. We can dress informally, see horses when we park, and even go for a walk through the fields at lunchtime! During the day we all sit in our team groups in an open plan area and can listen to music while we work.

Who do you work with?

As head of a team, I work very closely with all the team members and also with the project director, to whom I report. I also work closely with the sales team and the company director.We are also encouraged to build a rapport with our clients.

What skills do you need for a career as a web site developer?

At its most basic level, a knowledge of HTML and Photoshop are all you need to understand web design – you will gain everything else as you progress. It is also vital to understand how a person uses a website and why. In terms of personality, you need to be focused and dedicated. You need to be good under pressure with excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

Finally, a good web developer is always learning. The internet is a rapidly changing medium with new technologies emerging all the time. I always allow time for personal development with the latest techniques and technologies.

What training have you had as a Web site developer?

I initially learned how to code using HTML by hand rather than using an editor, and this gave me a better grounding for the future in terms of understanding the code behind web pages. I have received training in virtually all of the web technologies – Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, CSS, DHMTL, Javascript, IIS server, ASP, ASP.net, Vbscript and Perl.

What do you like/dislike about your job?

I love the variety, especially the freedom and creative control I have over the production of a website. Dealing with clients and helping them achieve their goals is very rewarding. However, I do get the occasional difficult client, but so does everyone.Working in front of a PC all day can also affect your eyesight after a while, so I make sure I get regular eye tests.

What are the main challenges?

The main challenge occurs when a client asks for something to be done on their website and your immediate thought is, 'I don't know how I'm going to do that!' You always need to be coming up with new solutions.

How do you see your future?

Ideally, I would like to see my team grow and become the best and most envied in the country. I want to continue to work on high-profile websites.

David's route to a career as a web site developer

  • A levels.
  • Degree in English Literature.
  • Web officer for local council.
  • HTML and Photoshop.
  • Trainee webmaster.
  • Various courses in web technologies.

David's web site developer tips

  • Try to do as many different websites as possible. Potential employers will go straight to your list of URLs when they receive your CV.
  • The list of sites you have done in the past will be more impressive to them than any training or qualifications you have.

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Salary of a Web site developer

  • New entrants may start on around £17,000 a year.
  • Experienced web developers may earn £30,000 or more.
  • Senior developers, or those with specialist knowledge, may earn up to £40,000 a year, or more.

Web site developer career

  • A portfolio of websites you have developed is more important to most employers than qualifications.
  • Most web developers, however, have a degree, HNC or HND. This might be in web development, web design, multimedia design, web content management or programming. Qualifications in design subjects are also relevant.
  • Some employers recruit people with A levels, or equivalent qualifications, as trainees

Modified: 16 June 2013

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