Interested In Web Development? Boost Your Career Prospects With These 3 Skills

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 25, 2020

Sep 25, 2020 • by Rebecca Smith

As a career, web development has been around for several decades, but at every moment of its history, it’s been a profession on the move. That’s because the field is constantly contending with the emergence of new coding languages and other changing norms - still, it’s also always growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating an 8% growth rate between 2019 and 2029. That’s much greater than average, but if you’re interested in a web development career, you’ll need a broad set of qualifications. These 3 skills will help your resume stand out from the crowd and help you prove your mettle on the job.

JavaScript - A Key Code

JavaScript is an older programming language, dating back to 1995, and it’s particularly important for front end developers, since the majority of websites use it for client-side scripting. That means it’s the code that allows a website to load new page content without actually reloading the page, is widely used to animate elements, and used to validate web forms before they’re sent to the server - and that’s just the beginning. It’s no surprise, then, that a survey of web design job listings ranked JavaScript third among all terms, just after Web Design and HTML. 

While JavaScript is obviously a critical skill, it’s not a standalone. Since it’s so critical, it also comes with supplementary development tools, like Node.js, which is an open-source runtime environment used to execute JavaScript outside the browser. Node.js also increases developer productivity, and is widely used for law and government applications, as well as in the lifestyle, arts, entertainment, and electronics sectors.

CSS - The Style Section

If JavaScript is all about function, then CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, is all about the aesthetic elements like color, font, and spacing. If that makes it sound like a minor player in the web development game, though, don’t be fooled. There are plenty of entry-level design and development jobs you can get with just CSS and HTML. In other words, if you’re looking for a work from home gig, these are skills worth investing in, and you can probably learn them for free.

Like JavaScript, CSS will qualify you primarily for jobs on the front-end side of the development world, but that’s more than enough to get your foot in the door. An aesthetically pleasing website is critical to professional success in today’s day and age, and CSS is worth even more if you’ve got other graphic design skills to lean on. 

Ruby - Riding The Rails

Though it may seem like a relative newcomer compared to JavaScript or CSS, the Ruby programming language also dates back to 1995. To those learning their way around various coding languages, though, Ruby tends to seem novel in the sense that it’s not a household name. Still, the language is used widely in both front and back end development, along with its web framework Ruby on Rails. It’s also one of the most popular languages in coding bootcamps and is considered to be highly straightforward; it makes use of an object-oriented language and a simple syntax, all of which makes it almost like coding in English. That means it’s a great place to get started if you’re just learning to code.

Primarily used to build web applications, Ruby is oddly subtle in its straightforwardness. That’s because it hides a lot of information from programmers and offers multiple routes to solving the same problem. On the other hand, it hides bugs with remarkable success, so if you do accidentally code in a problem, it can take some work to uncover it. Without the popularity of Ruby on Rails, though, Ruby would be a far less popular language, so you need to learn both to get the most benefit from this language.

Where’s HTML?

You may have noticed the mentions of HTML alongside both JavaScript and CSS - so why doesn’t it qualify for its own mention? To put it simply, it’s because HTML is the bare minimum, and for anyone who is still at the entry-level phase of their professional lives, it’s likely already familiar. HTML is what everyone uses to modify the plain text in Wordpress, and it was the key tool if you’ve ever worked on an old journaling website on a layout redesign. Though there are certainly more complex elements, most digital natives can learn their way around basic HTML in 15 minutes. And while there are new commands added to the language on occasion, you’ll surely pick up any necessary HTML in the process of exploring other languages.

As you draw up your resume for web development jobs, focus on the languages you fully understand, your organizational and design skills, and your way of thinking. Web development is a type of logic as much as it is a collection of languages, and demonstrating that you’re a flexible, innovative problem solver will go further in demonstrating your readiness to work as a web developer than knowing a pile of languages without the curiosity to match.