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Basic skills that web developers need to have

Basic skills that web developers need to have

Getting ready for a career in web developing isn’t just about getting a degree, you need to get as much from your time at university as possible.

Use the time to acquire the skills that employers really want to see when they search for junior web developers. A little research can make a difference when getting your CV together and a portfolio to present on interview and in applications.

That said, there are key skills that are going to apply to most roles and it is worth breaking down these terms and looking into what exactly you need. A few of these are: programming languages, a flair for design and security concerns.

Programming languages

It goes without saying that you can’t move forward in computer programming unless you have a good couple of programming languages under your belt.

Of course there are a range of programming languages to learn these days and different job roles will require varying ones to suit their needs.

Some of the ones that are most commonly used include PHP and Java, which have been popular for many years now. While these are still very widely used, a lot of businesses are starting to need different languages including JSON and Python.

Last year, Udemy, the online learning programme provider, released a list of the top eight languages that web developers should know.

Topping the list was Java, with demand for people able to use this language exceedingly high. In fact, for senior developers, knowledge of Java is considered a must, alongside C.

C language came second in Udemy’s list and was followed by a range of variations on this: C++, C# and Objective-C.

Next in line was PHP and then Python. Last was Ruby, which is gaining in popularity among employers as a must-have programming language.

Flair for design

As the technical brains behind a new website or application, you have to understand that what you create will not sell unless it is easy to understand and nice to look at for the customer.

For this reason, you need to have a little bit of an eye for design when it comes to web developing.

While some believe that artistic skills are something that many either do or don’t have naturally, it is still possible to learn a number of design principles that will be invaluable.

For a web developer, the ones that you should keep an eye out for are surround fonts, colour, navigation and layout.

With fonts, your primary concern should be using one that is easy to read. Following this, consider what creates an appropriate impression of the website you are working for. Some fonts will give off more of an air of professionalism than others, as will the size, so remember to think carefully about that.

To learn which colours look best, have a look at a range of colour wheels and charts. It is also vital that you get to know the HTML colour codes, as these will feature heavily in your design work throughout your career.

Where navigation is concerned, the principle point is making the website easy for the user to get around. Little things make a difference, like having the important links to pages displayed on a clearly marked navigation bar. It is important to make sure the user makes as few clicks as possible too – the less they need to make then the less likely they are to click off a website.

Of course, the backbone of what a user sees is down to the layout and so this is arguably the most important area of design for your website. Think about placement within your layout and try to work with responsive web design. This is where you work with specific resolutions and widths to prepare the site for the future.

Security concerns

One of the top ways to steal business information or generally put a firm in turmoil these days is by attacking through the world wide web.

With all the literature that has been published over recent years about cyber security and a range of organisations, stepping up to the challenge of improving this has been a big focus.

As a result, if a web developer wants to be able to produce saleable applications and show potential employers that they will be able to work safely without supervision, then they must be able to demonstrate awareness of the kinds of cyber threats that they may come up against.

Watson Hall compiled a top ten list of security issues that websites may face, which is handy for web developers to look at.

The biggest was the validation of input and output data; all data that goes into a website needs to be validated, including from that of the user who could potentially be a hacker, so it is important that this data can be checked to ensure that it is safe to view on all browsers.

Of course, the list also contained a number of the usual suspects in terms of security concerns, such as phishing, direct access to and theft of data, executing malicious files and data poisoning.

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