7 Signs You Should Consider a Career in Web Development
By Will Erstad on 08/15/2022
Finding the right career path is no small order. Whether you’re the type to make work your life or just want to find something solid that pays the bills, your career is still going to take up a significant portion of your time.
With that in mind, you want to get it right.
Becoming a web developer is one career path that’s certainly piqued your interest. With billions of smartphone users around the world and internet connectivity becoming a staple of modern life, starting a career in web development seems like a slam dunk of a stable starting point.
That assumption checks out, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 through 2030, a rate that outpaces the 8 percent projected average employment growth across all occupations.1
“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.”
Knowing this field looks to be on stable ground in the years to come is certainly a plus—but how do you know if web development is right for you? 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 to ensure all of the separate pieces come together perfectly.
Sometimes, web developers will be tasked with assessing an existing site or 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 good at understanding different points of view
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 with both user and client perspectives in mind.
“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 subscriber to the old adage, “Work 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 and complete your work more efficiently, 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 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 communicate and collaborate well
Web development work might seem like a solitary pursuit to an outside observer, but there’s often a surprising amount of collaboration and discussion tied to a web developer’s day-to-day routine. You’ll work with creative teams, client representatives, other web developers, project managers and a host of other stakeholders regularly.
Given the broad array of expertise and technical understanding you’ll work with in this role, it’s helpful to know how to tailor your message to each. For example, let’s say your project ran into an unexpected technical issue that will take additional time to resolve. The project manager or project sponsor doesn’t always need a detailed ten-minute explanation for what went wrong and what’s being done to fix it. If you’re good at thinking through what information needs to be passed on or finding ways to accurately summarize a situation, you’ll be well-positioned for this aspect of the job.
7. 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.”
Is a career in web development right for you?
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.”
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed July 2022], www.bls.gov/ooh/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Designli is a registered trademark of Designli, LLC.
Seoplus+ is a registered trademark of 8115311 Canada Inc. o/a seoplus+ Corporation.
GoodShuffle is a registered trademark of GoodShuffle, Inc.
Huemor is a registered trademark of Huemor Designs, LLC.