Skills Needed to be a Web Developer in 2011

Monday May 9, 2011

Many web developers think they already have all the knowledge they need to continue their careers. Check out this list of the ten skills all web developers must have to succeed in 2011 and beyond, and see how you measure up.

1) Speak The Basic Languages of the Web

Besides the content mark-up of HTML and the style rich sheets of CSS, how are you at your JavaScript and other advanced DHTML features? HTML 5, the latest upcoming W3C standard, includes audio and video embedding, database connectivity and offline session continuance. Have you kept up to date on the new elements? Check out for an insightful demo to HTML 5.

HTML5 Rocks

2) Understand All Three Web Development Environments

Web Development Frameworks There's .NET, PHP, and Java. A modern day web developer should be an expert in at least one of these, and have a nodding acquaintance with the other two. And it's not enough just to be familiar with the related core languages -- you must also know the libraries and frameworks.

3) Know Rich Internet Application (RIA) Functionality

There's Flash, of course, but do you know the Flash offshoots AIR and Flex? Microsoft's Silverlight and JavaFx are in the mix too for added Rich Internet functionality. AJAX adds this RIA functionality as part of the base language. And we keep coming back to HTML 5.

4) Realise the Possibilities for Web Services

Do you know how to create a Web service, or integrate a third-party implementation into your project? There's XML, SOAP, JSON, and REST -- any Web developer who can't form an opinion on which might be best for a particular situation will be left behind doing only web content updates and legacy maintenance.

5) Bring In a Dynamic Programming Language

New programming languages have been popping up for the past thirty years. Some still stand out, especially those that are oriented for dynamic functionality, like Python, F#, Groovy, Ruby and its offshoot, Ruby on Rails. Knowing the concepts behind two or three of them can really improve your web development credentials.

6) Build Up Your Soft Skills

Soft Skills Skills formerly thought important only for non-IT types have become essential for any Web developer. Communication, finance, team leadership, project management: all are now necessary components for meeting with customers, working out what is needed, deciding what can be done, and reporting on status.

7) Understand Problem Domains

Give yourself a sound basis in the concepts behind problem domains, and the newest research on what's possible. Web developers with these skills will be able to contribute to development projects in a big way, and fit right in with the next skill....


8) Use Agile Methodologies

Agile Development

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Most development companies today are buying into the Agile concept of development. Any web developer who understands the Agile way will be in demand by employers.

9) Know How To Be Mobile

Mobile Development

Mobile web development hit the big time in 2008. Any web developer who knows how to translate web design to a mobile destination, as well as being able to develop directly for mobile devices, will get a leg up in the employment market.

10) Keep Development Clean

Software version control and bug tracking tools are the standard in conventional computer development environments. Web developers who know how to make use of these tools in a web development environment will fit right in with the new "clean code" development required today for Web implementations.

See this Infograhic on “What Beautiful HTML Looks Like” (click to load the full-size image)

What Beautiful HTML Looks Like


What skills do you think developers should be mindful of as we move into Q3 & Q4 of 2011?


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Written by Andy