What does a web developer need to know

The short answer is that it seems like they need to know pretty much everything. The long answer is that to be a professional font end web developer you need to at least know: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Basic Photoshop, and CMS (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal). Back end developers need to know all that plus a server language like PHP, Java, or the NodeJS platform, along with database languages (SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, etc). Because there are so many different development language and companies there isn't a single knowledge set someone has to have. It really will depend on the job or company.

Having said that, here are some skills that are absolutely necessary for any web developer.

  • Problem solving
  • A desire & willingness to learn
  • The ability to take constructive criticism
  • HTML and CSS
  • Perseverance and Persistence.

Now I'm sure there are more things that other people would add to the list, but I want to make sure you understand the more abstract skills.

Problem Solving - Web developers are essentially problem solvers who use computers and code to give a solution. You may end up asking questions like: "What would be the best way to configure this website? How can I get that button in the place I want to? I followed the tutorial, why isn't it working? Can I give up yet? You need to be able to find the answer to any question you run into.

A desire & willingness to learn - Web technologies are ever evolving. There is always a new platform coming out, or a new tool for a language, or even a new language to help you with your job. You have to keep learning these new things to be able to do your job better and faster, and in some case, keep it! We're now up to HTML5, CSS5, PHP7, and ECMAScript 6.

The ability to take constructive criticism - You'll never be the best web developer in the world. No one is. But seasoned developers are experts at industry best practices. They know the way that everyone else is doing things and how they probably should be done to make a website work the best. That means that as you learn and work you'll want/need to listen to the tips and advice that people give you. You can't get mad because someone looks at your code and says "You need to do this part better".

Perseverance and Persistence - You cannot give up. Getting started can seem overwhelming because there is just so much to learn, and once you learn a lot and can get your first job as a web developer, there's still a ton to learn! You'll get confused and frustrated. It's going to happen. But the important thing is to take a breath, and work through the problems and frustration until you get it. The reward is huge.