Education and Training Requirements
Many schools also now offer technology classes that focus on computer and Web skills. In addition, take classes in science, mathematics, and history. These classes will provide you with a good foundation in analytical-thinking skills. You should also take English and speech classes in order to hone your written and verbal communication skills. If you belong to a club or organization, volunteer to be part of the group that updates the Web site as another great way to learn and get practice.
Internet developers typically have degrees in web development, information architecture, computer science, or computer programming—although some have degrees in other areas, such as marketing, graphic or digital design, library and information science, or information systems. Regardless of educational background, you need to have an understanding of computers and computer networks and knowledge of Internet programming languages. Some colleges offer associate degrees in Web development through online programs, which is another alternative for learning the basics. Combining this type of degree with an internship or part-time job at a Web development company can put you in an excellent position to get a job after graduation. In general, one year of experience working on a site is invaluable toward landing a job in the field.
The International Web Association offers professional certificates in web development, application development, enterprise development, and other areas. Contact the association for more information.
Other Education or Training
Student and professional members of the Association for Computing Machinery can access online computing and business courses via the association’s Learning Center. Visit http://learning.acm.org for more information. The IEEE Computer Society offers career planning webinars and continuing education courses to its members. Visit https://www.computer.org/education for more information. Other organizations that offer continuing education classes, webinars, workshops, and videos include the Information Architecture Institute, International Web Association, and WebProfessionals.org.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
You may not have to earn certification to get a job as a Web developer, but to advance in your career, it is a good idea to do so. There are several forms certification can take. Since there are four or five software programs used in Web development, such as Java and HTML, you can become certified through the companies that make these products. There are also a few organizations that offer certification for Web developers. One is WebProfessionals.org, which offers certifications at four levels—novice, apprentice, associate, and professional. CIW (http://www.ciwcertified.com) also provides certification for web programmers, developers, and security professionals.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Most employers seek Web developers with at least one to two years of experience for entry-level positions. This experience may have been earned through volunteer or intern positions, but some basic experience is required in order to obtain that first job. To get the next-level job, you need to have about three to five years of on-the-job experience, and more for upper-level positions.
Web developers must be very detail oriented. Missing one detail of code can have a huge impact on a Web site and its functionality. Developers often have to work extended hours to meet client deadlines, and should be willing to continually learn new programming languages.
A good Internet developer balances technological know-how with creativity. You must be able to make a site stand out from the sea of other sites on the Web. For example, if your company is selling a product on the Web, your site needs to "scream" the unique qualities and benefits of the product.
Working with Internet technologies, you must be able to adapt quickly to change. It is not uncommon to learn a new programming language and get comfortable using it, only to have to learn another new language and scrap the old one. If you're a quick study, then you should have an advantage.