What don't they tell you about web development?

Web development is (and always will be) a challenging profession, whether you’re an employee or a freelancer. But if you can work to your strengths, you may just enjoy your time behind the laptop...

The web development industry is big business.

And as time progresses, the opportunities that the market has to offer are becoming increasingly more exciting.

However, there is a darker side to the web development business, and it’s definitely something that you should be aware of as we enter 2019.

The industry has changed vastly due to the innovation and progression that the world has witnessed in years gone by.

Many people still hold the notion that web development is an easy and highly lucrative business proposition for anybody with coding knowledge and internet access.

The reality is, that in 2019, web development as either a career choice or a business venture is not as easy to crack as it once was.

Be prepared for the changes, and expect to embrace them.

The market is now heavily saturated, and there are web developers of great caliber from all corners of the globe.

And as far as we can tell, this trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Prospective clients are now more clued-up and are increasingly more willing to take risks when it comes to recruiting developers online.

Low-cost outsourcing has become far more commonplace, with a large number of clients preferring to contract out work on a short-term basis, rather than wanting to enter longer-term agreements with freelancers and web development agencies alike.

We’ve compiled a list of the major pitfalls of web development as a career in 2019:

Competitiveness

Earning jobs, especially for budding web developers who are fresh out of college, is tougher today than it ever has been before.

It’s not just competition during job applications and interviews, however, there is also an inherent competitiveness associated with developer colleagues even within the work environment.

If you have a strong stomach and a competitive nature, web development might indeed be a career you should consider, as it’ll play to your strengths.

The Late Nights

Ask any web developer and they will reel with familiar stories of sleepless nights, days on end.

When faced with a big project and demanding timelines, web development can be stressful at the best of times.

Late nights and a poor sleep cycle is often associated with the industry.

It’s a tough reputation to shake, but we hope that with time developers will learn to take greater control of their work-life balance.

Power to the players, right?

The Incessant Learning

One good thing about school (and education, in general, really) is that you know that one day it will come to an end.

Err... web developers, think again!

As someone working in webdev, it’s pretty much guaranteed that every role you ever assume will entail learning far more than just the location of the coffee machine.

For every new project you take on, you’ll have to contend with learning the development style, methodologies, and logic behind the business’s historical (and often horribly written) code. Not only that, but abiding by the company’s subpar coding guidelines is often the perfect trigger for a severe migraine (only kidding... or are we?)

Your Unhealthy New Relationship with Caffeine

Up there with the Scandinavians, Americans are known to be one of the highest caffeine consumers in the world.

If you thought you were bad before beginning your career in web development, you’re in for a shock, quite literally. Your nerves are going to be buzzing.

The Stress Game is Real

Sadly, web development trumps many other computing-related professions in the volume and extremity of stressed and overworked employees.

Quite different than in any other profession, web developers must acquire the ability to keep stress levels at bay, even whilst under ridiculous external pressures to perform and deliver well and on time.

When your syntax just isn’t working, things can start feeling south real quick. And it sucks.

The Job Never Gets Easier

As with most other jobs, professionals expect that with time they will gain experience.

And while that’s certainly true for web developers, something that experience definitely doesn’t provide is stability.

Because the industry is so volatile, literally morphing completely every couple of years, the rate at which you solidify your skills barely keeps up with the speed at which you’re expected to learn new ones.

Don’t ever expect that you can put a halt to your reading as a web developer — you’ll be learning until you retire, constantly having to play catch-up with the industry’s innovation.

Whether that’s a blessing or a curse, we’ll leave you to decide.

Nothing Will Ever Be Good Enough

Unfortunately, as with any creative profession (and yes... web development is a creative profession), difficulties with communication will haunt you throughout your career. Within the web development industry, there tend to be continuous challenges with communication, cross-role.

This is often down to the fact that non-developers have a hard time communicating effectively with developers, and vice versa. There is a disconnect with the ability to accurately convey wishes and expectations in a way that both parties understand equally. In fact, we’d say that webdev is one of the industries with the highest prevalence dissatisfaction caused by improper and unclear communication.

Well, that pretty much sums it up! Web development is (and always will be) a challenging profession, whether you’re an employee or a freelancer.

But if you can work to your strengths and implement strategies to ease stress and avoid miscommunication, you may just enjoy your time behind the laptop... when you’re on top of your to-do list, that is.