Employers look for educational attainments when hiring new Web Developers, but you must go beyond simply demonstrating that you have studied web development. You must show that you have gained the skills necessary to succeed. Some of the skills you need will depend on your specialization, while others are universal across web development areas.

Universal Web Developer soft skills include communication, organization, time management, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Regardless of your specialization, you’ll also need strong coding, testing and debugging, and version control skills. Front End web developers must know about design, especially responsive design and user experience (UX) design, and have a solid grasp of JavaScript. Back End Web Developers should know languages like Python, Java, and PHP. They should also understand data structures and algorithms and be familiar with servers and APIs.

What is a Web Developer?

A Web Developer builds websites and web applications for companies or clients who hire them to create a product that serves a specific purpose. They are responsible for meeting the project objectives while providing a positive experience for the end user. Web Developers write and test the product’s code and are often responsible for maintaining performance and capacity. 

Various specializations fall under the Web Development umbrella. A front end developer focuses on the visual elements of a website or application—that is, the interface that the end user sees and interacts with. A back end developer designs and creates the site’s behind-the-scenes structure and functionality. However, the type of web developer most desirable to employers is a full stack developer with front-end and back-end development skills.

Web developers may work solo or as part of a team, often depending on whether they are freelance or work full-time for a particular company. Almost any business in any industry needs a web developer, but whether they have a web development team or hire a freelance developer will depend on their circumstances. Businesses need web developers because having an online presence increases their client base. Many businesses also need web developers because they want to connect with potential customers through their own web applications. 

Read more about what a Web Developer does.

Hard Skills


Strong coding skills are a must for a career in web development. All Web Developers must know how to code in HTML, the core language for building websites and apps. You’ll also need strong JavaScript skills to be a front-end developer. Back end web development requires a broader range of languages, including Python, Java, and PHP. 

Testing and Debugging

Web Developers must be able to test and debug their code. It is time-consuming and demanding, but building skills in this aspect of the job will make you more efficient. 

Version Control

Version control is an essential skill for Web Developers. Whether working with a team or on your own, you should know how to use Git to save different versions of your code as you progress through your projects. If you don’t practice strict version control as you go, you could break your site or app with a code update and be unable to restore it promptly.


Front end Web Developers are responsible for a site or app's visual and interactive elements, which requires a strong understanding of graphic design principles. They also need to know about responsive web design to make products that work equally well on desktop, tablet, or mobile devices. More broadly, while Front End Web Developers are not necessarily User Experience (UX) Designers, they must still understand the principle of designing with a user in mind and consider user experience in their design and functionality choices.

Data Structures and Algorithms

For a back end Web Developer, knowledge of data structures and algorithms is vital. Data drives the process of back end development, so you’ll need to understand the structures, algorithms, and processes to implement and display that data. These include hashcode implementations, stacks, linear and binary searches, queues, and lists. 

Soft Skills


As a Web Developer, strong communication skills are essential. If you’re working with a team of other developers, you must clearly communicate questions, needs, and the changing circumstances of the development process. Arguably, developers who work solo are in even greater need of skillful communication as they must convey principles of development to employers or clients who will not necessarily have any background in the field. 

Organization and Time Management

To produce the required deliverables in a timely fashion, you must stay organized and manage your time efficiently. Different systems work for different Developers, but you must always keep track of and meet your deadlines and have a clear plan for how you will do it.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

Problem-solving and critical thinking are vital skills for a Web Developer. These skills are needed for coding and the broader processes around writing code. Problem-solving may involve figuring out where a piece of code went wrong. Or, you may be faced with a client request for a specific functionality and have to problem-solve to figure out how you will do it. Critical thinking skills will help you objectively evaluate a project's parts. For example, you might painstakingly craft a module that performs precisely as designed. But when it’s implemented, does that module truly serve the larger purpose of the site or app? Critical thinking skills will help you identify its role in the big picture and whether its performance contributes to delivering a top-notch final product.

What Other Jobs Require These Skills?

Several worthwhile alternative career options are similar to web development in the skills they use. These include user experience (UX) design, user interface (UI) design, mobile app design, software engineering, and data science.

If you’re interested in becoming a front end developer, consider UX or UI design, as these also involve the graphic interface and interactions users encounter on a site or app. If you’re proficient in back end languages like Python or Java, you can apply those skills to data science or Android mobile app development, respectively. Back end skills will also serve you well in software engineering, which is similar to web development, except the programs you write are hosted on hardware operating systems rather than on the web.

Read more about other career paths related to Web Developer careers

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Developer at Noble Desktop

To become a Web Developer, you must learn specific skills critical to the job. Noble Desktop can help you build these skills through in-person or live online instruction. Either way, you’ll have access to expert instructors who can clarify issues when you are confused, provide feedback on your work, and guide you through becoming a Web Developer. Small class sizes and the option to retake any course for free once you’ve completed it are additional incentives for studying with Noble Desktop.

Noble offers several relevant certificate programs demonstrating your Web Developer skills and qualifications to share with potential employers and support you in your job search. Completing the software engineering certificate gives you the broadest qualifications and career path options. If you are primarily interested in developing for the front end, consider the front end web development certificate. JavaScript is becoming increasingly popular for web development, so completing the certificate in Javascript will boost your resume. Opt for the full stack development certificate if you're interested in front end and back end programming. And if you prefer behind-the-scenes programming, pursue the certificate in Python development.

If you’re a beginner in web development, Noble’s hub of articles and resources on web development is a great place to start and plan your learning path. Noble’s web development courses are excellent if you’re eager to start learning but not yet ready to commit to a full certificate.

Key Takeaways