How to become a web developer

Front-end, back-end, full-stack and more - there are plenty of opportunities available for aspiring web developers. But how do you become one?

Web development is a large industry that is always looking for talented and passionate people.

For those who love to code and solve problems every day in the workplace, web development can be a very fun and rewarding career choice.

But how do you go from hobbyist to professional? What does web development look like? What career opportunities are available?

In this article we'll tell you how to become a web developer and answer all those burning questions. But first, we'll start off clarifying what a web developer does.

  1. Web development overview
  2. What is a web developer?
  3. How to become a web developer
  4. Web development learning resources
  5. What skills are needed to become a web developer?
  6. Career opportunities in web development
  7. Frequently asked questions about web development


Salary: £20,000 - £60,000+
Roles: Front-end developer, Back-end developer, full stack developer, product manager
Employment opportunities: Freelance work, part-time or full-time salaried employment.
Who is it for? People who love to code. Digital creatives. Problem solvers.

What is a web developer?

Web development is a term that captures a few different roles within the industry. The most common roles are:

Front-end developer
Front-end developers work on the visual parts of the site. They help develop, and design to some extent, what users will see and interact with on the website. Front-end developers develop the layout of the page, using coding languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to improve how the site looks and feels to the user.

Back-end developer
Back-end developers concern themselves primarily with a website’s structure and how it all works ‘behind’ what the users see in the front-end. They write, maintain, and manage code that ensures the website works and communicates with servers and other data access points effectively.

Full stack developer
Full stack developers can do it all. They have all the skills and knowledge needed to be able to understand and work with code for both front-end and back-end environments.

Product manager
Product managers ensure the website is run effectively. They manage projects to ensure that new features and other development work is completed and manages the scope of these projects. This is a perfect role for those who enjoy both web development and people/project management.

How to become a web developer

Now that you know some of the different specialities found in web development, you may have a better idea of what role you’d love to do.

But how do you become a web developer? Here at the University of Central Lancashire we have several courses that will help teach you coding and other technical and professional skills to prepare you for the world of web development.

A lot of people get into web development through Computer Science courses. Some of the courses we offer are:


Degree Apprenticeships

One of the best things you can do if you want to get into web development is learn to code. Our courses will help teach you coding, but it’s something you can do at any time of your life, outside of university.

Some of the most essential programming languages for web developers to learn are:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Java
  • Node.js
  • C# (ASP.NET)

You can learn how to code in your own free time as a hobby, alongside other studies or a full-time job. In fact, we recommend you code as much as you can. The more you build your development skills through firsthand experience, the better developer you will become.

Be creative. Create your own websites, work on websites with or for friends. Every web project you work on will improve your skills. Web development is a highly collaborative industry, and there are thousands of people out there wanting to work together on a site – and even more wanting a new website for their business.

Web development learning resources

Roadmaps is an amazing resource that visualises the path to your ideal career. You'll get to see everything you should learn for your chosen career, as well as access resources to improve your knowledge and experience in those areas.

We recommend reviewing the beginner role roadmaps for a perfect breakdown of how to enter the world of web development. features almost every web developer (and related) role you can think of, so we encourage you to take a look around to see what interests you. 

Learning to code
There are many free online tutorials available to help you learn to code. Here is just a selection we have found, but there are many more and we encourage you to find the one that best suits your own learning needs and styles.

These tutorials can help you as a very beginner through to intermediate coding. 

What skills are needed to become a web developer?

There are handful of technical, creative and professional skills needed to become a web developer.

As mentioned, learning to code is the most important step in your journey to web development. Becoming familiar with different programming languages will bolster your development skills, but it’s also important to familiarise yourself with codebase management tools such as Git.

For aspiring front-end developers, design theory and UX/UI fundamentals are massive skills to have in your toolkit. Knowing these will improve your visual development skills and make front-end development much easier.

Other good skills to have include:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Server management skills
  • An understanding of APIs and integrations
  • An understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Deep understanding of computing and information technologies, both hardware and software
  • Logical thinking skills
  • Analytical skills
  • High attention to detail.

Career opportunities in web development

Web development careers are quite linear in their hierarchy. More experienced developers will occupy a senior developer role, taking on more complex work and responsibilities in exchange for higher wages.

For those interested in upward progression, ambitious developers can be promoted to become Technical Directors and Chief Technical Officers (CTOs) at larger firms. These roles will spend less time coding and spending more time making business decisions and outlining procedures for your teams and businesses.

Experienced web developers can demonstrate an ability to write code for several different languages, as well as experience in creating products using a brief within industry-standard project pipelines, such as agile working.

This means that a web developer can transfer their skills to different related fields, such as:

  • Software engineering
  • Multimedia programming
  • Games development
  • Applications development

Frequently asked questions about web development

Take your next steps