When you start searching for paying jobs and contracts you will see there are a variety of job titles for web developers.
Most job titles are just a variation on Web Developer, Front-end Web Developer or Back-end Web Developer.
Below are some lists to help you determine which type of developer the job listing is looking for. If you see a title which is not on this list you can read the job requirements in detail to find out what type of development experience they are looking for.
Web Developer Titles
- Web Developer
- Web Engineer
- Web Programmer
Front-end Web Developer Titles
- UI Developer
- User Interface Developer
- Client-side Web Developer
- HTML Developer
- CSS Developer
Back-end Web Developer Titles
Back-end developers are often referred to by the name of the programming language they work in, such as
You will find some job titles start with Junior, Senior or another descriptor for the experience expert for the role.
- Junior web developers often have 0-3 years of experience and are expected to do the more repetitive and less complex tasks.
- Senior web developers usually have over 5 years of experience and are expected to provide leadership and experience to a team.
Principal and Lead are two other common descriptors for senior web developer positions (ex: Lead UI Engineer).
Many large organizations have multiple levels of developer titles in their organization, and the hierarchy of those titles is unique to that organization. For example, at one company a Lead Front End Developer may be above the Principal Front End Developer in the organizational hierarchy, and at another organization the Principal Front End Developer may top the hierarchy.
When you have 3 good websites in your portfolio and at least one certification or certificate, you are ready to find a paying position.
When presenting yourself to potential employers or clients, always lead with your portfolio. It is the best representation of who you are and what you can do.
When you are first starting out you may not have any work experience on your resume related to web development. So instead of work experience you should list the 3 projects you worked on to build your resume.
Discuss what programming languages you used in the project and point out some of the special details you built into each site.
Your resume should have links to your portfolio or projects, a listing of your certifications or certificates, and a list of the programming languages you are proficient in.
Once you have all that together you are ready to make money!
Freelance work is when you work directly with a client to produce a website and they pay you directly. You often have to find the client and bid on the project they offer.
It may be smart to build an LLC or Corporation before taking on freelance work. Consult a tax specialist or an internet resource to determine what you should do with your freelance earnings to reduce your tax liability. You may have to pay 40% tax on your earnings if you do not plan correctly.
There are a number of sites online designed to help developers find freelance work. One of the most popular is Freelancer.com
We suggest you also use Craigslist to find projects you can bid on. It can also be a good idea to find a web designer you can work with on projects. If you can combine your skills you may be able to bid for larger projects.
Aggregate internet job boards like JuJu.com are the best place to find web development jobs.
Indeed.com is also good for searching for contract or full-time positions. It is a great aggregator of open positions from all over the web.
Dice.com is a great site for searching for IT focused positions. At the very least you should submit your resume and profile to their site.
You should also submit your resume to Monster, CareerBuilder, and any other big job boards. They may not have many good web development positions, but recruiters use them to find potential employees.
Another technique is to do a Google search for IT recruiting firms in your area. Then go to each of their web sites and submit your resume. They will contact you if you match any open jobs they are recruiting for.
We suggest you begin your career by working as a web development contractor.
Web Development contractors are hired on temporary contracts (usually 3-9 months long) by companies who need temporary help on a project or who want to try out developers before committing to hire them.
It is usually easier to be hired as a contractor. While it is a temporary position without the benefits of full-time employment, contract positions make up for that by paying you more money than their full-time employees.
By looking for contract jobs first you are more likely to find work, and you are able to get a variety of experience. If you spend your first year on two different 6 months contracts you will have built up some great experience and added two positions to your resume.
Do not worry about having a lot of short term employment on your resume. There is no stigma in web development towards short-term employment. It is understood that many people work on contracts.
Many companies use contract positions to test out developers for full-time positions. Sometimes companies will hire 5 contractors with the intention of keeping 3 for full-time employment at the end of the contracts.
These are called contract-to-perm positions, and they give you the length of the contract to prove you are worthy for the benefits of full-time employment (if you want it).
Check for contract Web Development positions in your area.
Most companies, governments, and non-profit organizations have positions available for full-time employment.
Full-time employment as a web developer is very secure. The job market is in the favor of the web developer, and it is very costly for a firm to train new web developers on their systems.
Full-time employees at an organization are usually regarded as being above the contractors in hierarchy, and full-time employment offers you all the medical and work benefits you would expect.
Interviews for contract and full-time positions are usually the same. Full-time employment may involve more background and reference checks, but your interactions with the interviewer is usually the same.
Interviews for web development positions are usually based on a series of questions and some discussion of your past work.
These resources have lists of questions you will often hear in interviews. Study these questions and write out an answer for each one before the interview so you can be ready to recite your answer in the interview.
When the interviewer discusses your past experience and projects you must be honest. You will not be able to hide the fact that you are starting your career as a web developer, but you can emphasize the positives you can offer their firm.
All you have to worry about is getting hired. Do not ever talk yourself out of applying for any job.
If a company is willing to hire you they will give you enough time after you start to learn what you need to know to work there.
Remember, even a bad interview gives you good experience for future interviews.