You’re the curious type and you’re ready to take on new opportunities—ones that align closer with your skills and interests. Maybe you like the technical side of your current job but are craving more creativity. Or perhaps you desire something more analytical.
Your unique blend of skills has you considering a career in web development. And who could blame you? The future is bright for web developers, with jobs expected to increase 27 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is nearly four times the average rate of all occupations.
"If you want to build the future, work in web development."
“If you want to build the future, work in web development,” suggests Shawn Parrotte, Marketing Manager of Designli. “We see technology moving forward and breaking new ground every year. This acceleration isn’t just about the devices we use, but also the technology that allows developers to create the experiences on them.”
You know the opportunities are optimistic, but how do you know if you’d be a good fit in this field? We enlisted some experts to help us identify some common qualities that lend themselves well to a successful career in web development.
Keep reading to see if you fit the bill.
You might make a good web developer if …
1. You are solution-oriented
You’re the friend people call to ask for advice. If something is wrong, you find a way to make it right. If something is broken, you figure out how to fix it. You love solving problems, even if it is a multi-step process.
“Every program ever created is built one command at a time,” says Ryan Battles, Developer and Co-Founder of Harpoon. Every solution is broken down into small steps, and it’s a web developer’s job to create that methodical sequence.
“You need to be someone who enjoys solving riddles to excel in web development. It’s actually really fun,” says Kim Elkin, Head of Marketing Operations at Presence Marketing. She says web development requires the ability to follow a problem back to its logical conclusion to fix. “It’s very rewarding to be able to understand why something is broken and find the solution,” she adds.
Sometimes web developers will be tasked with assessing an existing program to identify areas of improvement. This investigative process will appeal to those who enjoy finding and fixing the root of a problem.
2. You are understanding
People come to you because they know you will listen to them and appreciate their point of view. If your friends ask a favor, they know they can count on you to follow through. “At the end of the day, what you are developing is for real people,” says Becky Putnam of seoplus+.
As a web developer, the goal is to communicate the message that the client intends. You need to be able to understand and implement both user and client perspectives.
“No matter what position you hold, you should always be able to put yourself in the shoes of the end-user,” Putnam explains. “If you develop with these people in mind, you will create a better solution.”
3. You are resourceful
You’ve always been a believer of the old adage, “working smarter, not harder.” Instead of just dumping your time and energy into a task, you take the time to thoughtfully make a plan up front. If you can identify a technique or tool to save time, you’re all for it.
Efficient shortcuts exist for web developers, too. These shortcuts can become an essential part of the job. Existing framework codes can save you time, increase security and help streamline the development process.
4. You are patient
Even if you know the solution to a web development issue, there are likely many steps required to actually execute the solution. Web developers must be extremely patient and perseverant, especially when a project ends up needing more steps or research than they originally expected.
“If you’ve spent more than an hour trying to beat the same level in a game or puzzle, then you have the stubbornness and curiosity necessary to work through complex problems that define the everyday experience as a developer,” says Andrew Garcia, Co-Founder of tech startup Goodshuffle.
He compares solving difficult development problems to building a mental house of cards several levels high. Every time something interrupts you, it knocks down a few layers of cards. “You have to be stubborn, patient and curious,” he adds. “It’s frustrating and rewarding at the same time.”
5. You are adaptable
You’re always looking for ways to breathe new life into your projects. You love progressing and modifying. In your mind, there is no such thing as perfection—everything is a work in progress. Despite using similar frameworks and codes, no web development project ends the same.
“You need to be able to adapt quickly,” Putnam says. He adds that in the world of web development, unexpected tasks or problems will inevitably pop up during projects. “Being able to think these tasks through and complete them calmly and rationally will not only make tasks run smoother,” he says. “It’s also better for your health!”
6. You are passionate
You enjoy taking on projects that are meaningful to you, and you work hard to create pieces you are proud of. Similarly, you admire the work of others, praising their strengths and noticing their shortcomings.
“Web development for me is more technical than creative, which I prefer,” says Leah Gazes, Web Developer at Huemor. “I realized it was for me because of my passion for bringing something beautiful to life.”
Great web developers become successful because they grow passionate about what they create. “You have to always be on your toes, be willing to constantly learn and be a champion for the people who will use the things you build,” Parrotte says. “It’s exciting and challenging, but ultimately very rewarding.”
Can you relate?
Did you find yourself nodding along as you read the traits described above? If so, you may be cut out for a career in web development. Not everyone has what it takes to capitalize on the exciting demand in the field, but you might be one of the lucky ones.
Now that you know you’re already well-equipped to work in web development, learn how you can use your natural qualities to launch your career. Check out our article, Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Web Developer.