5 Tips for a Better Web Development Career

42Being a web designer is a multifaceted profession. It not only requires web creation and designing chops, it also calls on a host of additional skills you might not be aware of. Having strong organizational abilities and a working knowledge of business management is an imperative, as is a willingness to do continual and frequent research into new design features and  trends. And let’s not forget one other very important key asset: the ability to sell yourself! After all, how and what you present to potential clients determines your credibility as a designer. Bids for work will be accepted or declined based a client’s initial confidence in you and your abilities, so it’s important to present a self-assured, well prepared picture of yourself. Putting together a complete package of skills and abilities, and a polished pitch presentation can help grow a fledgling business start-up into the successful web development career you seek to create. Here are 5 tip to help get you started building a better web development career:

  1. Coding Fundamentals: You don’t need to attend expensive design schools or earn special certifications to become a web developer. However, you do need to have certain skillsets for web development and design. Understanding code and how to use it is fundamental, and there are a number of code languages, design tips, and tools of the trade that you should have command of. Learning a cross section of code languages such as Ruby, JavaScript, and CSS, enables you to create cross over coding you can use in multiple mediums for work on both Mac and Window platforms.
  2. Business Management: Many web developers prefer the freedom and creativity their allowed when working for themselves or within close teams of independent developers. But this requires some business know-how to make the enterprise a success. Clearly defined goals and having an action plan that sets obtainable benchmarks can aide in continued growth and motivation. Having a current portfolio readily available is worth the investment as well. You never know when you’ll need to show examples of past work, and it may prove helpful for those less sure clients who discover web creation ideas in your work they hadn’t yet thought of. Having examples handy with plenty of design and development options helps lend credibility, and may further define client needs before delving too deeply into their projects. Keeping a to-do list handy and prioritizing work is also key in adhering to project timelines and following deadline completion commitments.
  3. Stay Organized: Keeping design elements organized is an absolute must for time efficiency. Create working files that classify your texts, graphics, and other work elements. Name your code creations and keep each element separate for easier tracking. You can avoid sifting through multiple strands of code to find where problems originate by staying organized and mapping your progress clearly. It also makes it easier for team members to understand and follow when picking up where you’ve left off if completing projects together.
  4. Sales and Marketing: Knowing how to sell yourself to your best advantage is a critical step towards building a successful web development career. Potential clients won’t be interested in what degrees or certifications you have, or how many code languages you know. They’ll want to see your work and hear your ideas. Research potential clients and find out what they’re looking for in design elements. Try to ascertain their potential needs and then incorporate that information into your designs. Showcase your experience in these areas. Create a persuadable argument as to why you’re the best qualified person to meet their development design needs. Express your ideas clearly and confidently, and anticipate potential questions or concerns. Be prepared with answers and ready solutions. You may need to lead some clients where they need to go, rather than relying too heavily on them to provide overly specific direction on design elements. Be a little intuitive when necessary, and provide direction when a client’s unsure which options or features to choose.  It’s what will help close the deal on future bids and gain repeat business through customer referrals. There’s nothing more reassuring to clients than knowing they’ve made a good investment in a trusted web developer who they can count on if any problems arise.
  5. Stay current: New innovations and advances are happening every day in web development. It’s important to stay current on new technologies, and be aware of what’s currently trending. Knowing what apps are popular and web options most in use will help keep you competitive in this rapidly changing environment. And like I mentioned before: research, research, research!

Whatever your age or knowledge or experience, a web development career is accessible for anyone with creative ideas and insights that make website and online platforms easier and more user- friendly. Try not to be intimidated by terminology or technical terms when first starting out. Like anything else, industry jargon becomes second nature once immersed in web design and development arenas. If you have an interest and understanding in web design and are commitment to building a career, then this is one definitely worth pursuing. These 5 tips should help get you started towards a successful web development career.

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