Given the rapid growth of the industry, how viable of a career is web development today?
Conventional web development is dead.
Or rather, the conventional path to becoming a seasoned web developer in high demand is no longer the same.
The web development practices of five years ago differ vastly than what is required today.
Web design and development is a progressive industry, one which constantly adapts, and completely changes every few years or so.
And keeping up with the latest trends and progressions is the only way to ensure that you will have a secure career and solid future ahead of you.
The web development industry
The industry is now severely saturated, and there is no turning back, with traditional high-street web development agencies no longer at the pinnacle of modern web development solutions.
Website themes, templates, and plugins have become more popular with website developers, and it can be expected that only the largest agencies will survive and continue to experience financial success.
Breaking into web development
Getting into web development is consequently harder than it was in years gone by, due in part to the requirement for a greater amount of knowledge, as well as copious amounts of education and research. Today, this is the minimum that is required to maintain a skill set which is polished and ready to take on the challenging demands of integrated, forward-thinking websites and apps.
There has been a great force from online educational tools and school education in recent years, resulting in more children and young adults being able to access the skills needed to become a web developer or software engineer. This, in turn, makes it far easier for them to gain a viable entry point into the market, career-wise.
All of these changes are bound to be facilitating, at least in part, the extortionate amount of growth the industry has seen over the last several years—in terms of progression. Web developers and software engineers are now younger than ever before.
The substantial increase in younger web developers means that the number of opportunities has decreased for web devs as a whole.
Building a career
In order to be successful today, you will require more than just the basic skills that might have been sufficient 5 years ago. A knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP is simply nowhere near enough anymore.
To be successful you must differentiate yourself. Strive to constantly increase your knowledge, and showcase abilities in developing solutions that are intuitive and progressive.
A great resume and examples of your work in the format of a digital portfolio are great starting points for new people entering the industry. Strive to have an edge on accomplished developers in the field by learning up and coming programming languages that may not have yet been adopted by people who have been in the field a long time.
Remember that the popularity of languages also comes and goes, so it’s important to focus your efforts on areas that are more likely to be around and favored for a while.
Overall, it’s a competitive market for sure, and it’s certainly isn’t going to become any easier. It’s still very possible to shape a successful, enjoyable career in the web development industry — it just may take slightly more time and input than it did before. Go forth!