11 Qualities Employers look for in a Web Developer
Whether you are a nervous newbie looking to get your foot on the first rung of the career ladder or an experienced professional looking for that next big challenge, knowing what your potential employers are looking for is the key to successful employment. Here are 11 qualities that employers look for in a web developer.
The first thing any potential employer will want to see in a web developer is what kind of experience you have. Experience itself doesn’t simply refer to how many years you have worked in the industry but also what you have done within those years and the quality of experience you have. Here are a few things they’ll want to know:
– How long have you worked as a web developer?
– Have you progressed within your roles? Or how have you shown the ambition to do so?
– How many areas of web development have you specialized in?
– What have you brought to each position or website you have worked on?
Essentially, employers are looking for the experience, knowledge and tools they need to achieve their business goals, with their ideal candidate being someone who can not only fit into the role competently, but also someone who can share their skills, talents, and enthusiasm with the team, and help take their company and websites to the next level.
For those seeking less senior web development roles, potential is often more important than job experience and with such positions employers will be looking at your education (a four year college degree is often a minimal requirement), and the quality of your portfolio.
Getting more into the specifics, many employers will want to see how experienced you are with hand coding, as opposed to your experience using HTML editors. While they may well use HTML editors themselves, having someone with the ability to write quality hand coding is always a desirable asset, allowing them to add a level of quality, precision, and understanding when creating or running more complex sites. As well as having the ability to hard code, employers will also want to check that you continue to study HTML and keep abreast of all the latest coding developments.
OK, so you may be a master of HTML but showing your ability to understand and work with other coding languages will be a huge draw. Do you
who know a wider knowledge of different codes and languages, as well as a displaying a willingness to learn.
Are you someone who eats, sleeps, and breaths web development? Is your career something you do to pay the bills or is it your life? Employers want web developers who are willing to go the extra mile and put in the hours when there are emergencies or tight deadlines to be met. It’s easy to go in to an interview and tell potential employers of your passion for your job but can you prove it?
Today’s great web developers not only bring their programming talents and project management to the table but they can also take an active part in design and creativity. No respectable employer will be looking for a web developer to lead the design and creativity of a project but web developers with a track record of working well with designers, and having their own set of creative skills, are highly sort after.
Such is the importance of web marketing and SEO many employers will also desire their web developers to have a strong understanding of how to bring a site to market and create a steady stream of quality traffic. You may have excellent web development skills but do you know how to effectively hand submit a site to the more important search engines? Are you able to create Meta tags?
While your web development skills will be the primary focus of your potential employer, your ability and flexibility to help with other web related tasks are a huge plus. Do you understand the value of domains and the process of registration? Do you have knowledge of hosting and FTP? Are you able to write effective copy or help with content creation? Simply put, the more web related knowledge and talents you have the greater your value to the company.
Today’s web developer must have strong communication skills and the ability to forge relationships with all members of the team. Having a multitude of web based skills is one thing, but having the ability to communicate well with members of different departments is another. This is something often exposed during the interview process and boasting a wide range of usable skills and knowledge and then lacking the ability to communicate well could be where you lose the job.
As we all know, building a website, either big or small, can be full of surprises and pitfalls and it is important for a web developer to be able to assess the time and work needed to complete a project, and moreover, have the ability to manage problems and changes effectively. Showing good time management is not just about proving you put in the extra hours when needed, but also having the ability to stay organized and focused on the project, especially in moments of stress.
You may have proved you are the best person for the job but you could still price yourself out of getting the position. It’s important to know your value and not undersell your skills and talents, but it’s equally important not to go in with unrealistic demands. The average web developer in the USA earns between $51,000 to $76,000 USD (February 2015), and depending on your level of experience your expectations, you should fit appropriately within that scale.
It’s pretty much common sense, but employers are looking for someone who is available.
– When are you ready to start the job with a full commitment?
– What other commitments do you have?
– Do you have a good track record of loyalty and completing projects?
Often an employer will take the second or third best candidate for a job over the most skilled candidate who is not immediately available, able to make a full commitment to the role, or has a history of leaving positions and projects early.