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The world of technology and web development changes so much that people in the profession are regularly refreshing their skills to stay ahead of the game (never underestimate the work, hours and patience it requires to become a web developer!). If you struggle to have even a basic knowledge of what web development is or what developers do, it can seem a near on impossible task to find the right one for you, but Pixel Puppet can help.
Think of one of your favourite websites and why you love it. The way it looks is probably fairly high up on the agenda, but the work of a web designer is only one part of what it takes to bring a website to life, often it’s the parts you can’t see that have some of the biggest impact.
A web developer knows everything there is to know about building a website from scratch, they are essentially programmers who solve your problems by custom-building code for your needs. The web developers of the world really do make things happen when it comes to building a website, from the layout of the site to functions and features on each of the pages.
But the term web development is a fairly broad one, and the work of a web developer can range from the basics (debatable) of creating plain text pages right up to the building of some pretty complex web based applications.
What does a web developer do?
Web development is, in the simplest of terms, the task of building a website, app, game or other web-based platform from the ground up. Developers do this by learning a series of languages, as you would learn to speak the native tongue of another country. The difference here is that the languages of the web development world aren’t spoken, they’re written (or typed, to be more precise). In very simplistic terms, a large part of a web developers work is telling a computer what to do, in a language only a computer (and other developers) understand. The way in which each web developer goes about their day is of course slightly different, but their hard work generally falls into the following three categories:
Designer vs Developer
To build a good website, properly, both web designers and web developers need to have a certain level of crossover. A designer who knows at least some of the language (or code) a developer speaks can help them when it comes to communicating with the development team and producing more effective designs. Similarly a web developer who can appreciate the artistic direction of a designer can help them to write more effective code. Communication between the two teams is an absolute essential when it comes to meeting client expectations. If you can find a web design agency or project manager to work with who has both of these skill sets you’ll be on to a winner.
Hiring a Web Developer
When thinking about which type of web developer you need, it’s worth noting that they can be generalised into three types. Front-end developers (the client side people), back-end developers (the server side coders) and then there’s the ones who can do a bit of both and they are the full stack developers. But whether you’re looking to get a new responsive website, app or game here are a few key points to consider when looking at hiring web development help:
Identify a clear project scope, this will help the developer come up with an effective solution.
Be clear in the difference between what you need and what would be nice to have.
Ask to see examples of previous work to get an idea of their capabilities.
Consider logistics, would a local web developer make meetings easier?
Be a little bit open to change, the developer might think of things that could work better.
Set expectations and milestones, and get them in writing.
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