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The Demand for Web Developers

written by: •edited by: Robin L.•updated: 5/22/2011

As the internet attracts more and more daily users who engage in various activities online there is a natural increase in the demand for people who can design great, visually arresting and highly usable websites. While this may mean more work for web developers it also means more competition.

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    Demand Rising

    As the web continues to grow more and more people are going online to find information, shop for new purchases, keep in touch with friends and family or even just to browse. With the advent of broadband many people now use the web to watch television and movies as well. This massive influx of eyeballs means web design is an important factor in capturing an increasingly knowledgeable audience. If you want to draw people in and keep them coming back for more you need a stylish and usable design for your website and since this kind of development is beyond most people the demand for web developers is growing larger every year.

    Businesses and even individuals who run websites for their own enjoyment frequently do not have the time or are not prepared to put in the effort to develop their own websites. Who can blame them? As the web becomes increasingly popular so website design standards go up, new programming languages and techniques come into use and ever more complex and attractive visuals are possible. This is where web developers can clean up and the bustling trade in web development is clearly healthy enough to support huge numbers of design agencies and a legion of individual web developers who work on a freelance basis.

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    Types of Web Development Jobs

    The kinds of jobs available for web developers are extremely varied and so is the pay. Assignments can range from the simple installation of a content management system or a layout design to the creation of a dedicated application or the implementation of a fully functional complex website with multiple users and a unique visual draw. There are a huge number of jobs demanding clones of existing websites which have proved successful and many demanding viral content such as a browser game. The range of skills necessary to fulfill most web development jobs has increased dramatically and as websites are rarely just a blend of simple HTML and images anymore if you have specialist skills you can expect to find frequent work.

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    Programming

    Popular demands in terms of programming include PHP, XML, AJAX, .NET, Javascript, Flash, Python, Visual Basic and even C and C++. While some employers are looking for script installation others expect new systems or applications to be designed to their specifications and these jobs can prove extremely lucrative.

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    Plug-Ins and CMS

    There are also demands for web developers with knowledge of existing content management systems like Joomla and WordPress and the trade in plug-ins and add-ons for these kinds of systems seems to be thriving. People are always looking for tools which can speed their workflow and reduce their load.

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    Visual Style and Usability

    Finally there is always a great demand for web developers who have artistic flair and understand usability. Whether customers are seeking a new look for their website, a usability overhaul or a specialized theme for their WordPress blog talented artists specialising in web design will find plenty of jobs.

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    Becoming a Web Developer

    The great thing about working as a web developer is that you have endless resources at your finger tips for improving your skills. The web is packed with free tutorials, advice and knowledge about how to program in various languages or design websites. You also don’t generally need any formal qualifications if you intend to work as a freelancer; all you’ll need is a portfolio of work which you can show off to potential customers. You can get web space and domain names very cheaply so the barrier to entry is low and the greatest challenge will be finding the patience to learn how to produce great websites through trial and error.

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    Competition

    While there are loads of jobs out there for web developers and it is something you can learn to get good at there is also a huge amount of competition. The big web development firms have well qualified staffs of professionals and they can handle large jobs. The freelance market is much more varied and since it is truly international you may also find that developers living in countries with a lower cost of living can afford to undercut you. As the demand for web developers continues to grow so does the competition and as with any industry if you want to stand out from the crowd you have to work hard at it.

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    Finding Jobs

    There are loads of resources out there for web developers seeking work. Whether you want to get a job with an agency through a traditional employment service or pick up freelance jobs through a listing site you’ll find a lot of opportunities with a brief web search.