What Exactly Web Development is:
Web development simply refers to the creation and editing of web sites, like those you typically encounter while browsing the World Wide Web (the Internet). Nowadays, anyone can be a basic web developer. Many providers not only host your web site for you, but they also provide free design tools too. This should never be confused with web design, which typically focuses on the aesthetics of websites. To draw a clear distinction, web designers create designs for a website before it comes alive, while a web developer will utilize the design to carry out the actual coding of the website, bringing the ideas to life.
Web developers work on anything as simple as plain text pages, to more complex social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook. During the development, the web developer engages the web designer and the client through critical thinking, planning, and discussion.
- Client: The local computer (desktop/laptop) or device (phone/tablet) the user is interacting with to access the website.
- Server: The remote computer that “physically houses” all the files (and thus code) that make up the website.
- Database: A sub-component of the remote server, the database is a large series of data tables used to store all the dynamic information generated or used within the website. For example, the account information of a logged-in user would be stored in the database.
The exciting thing about web development as a field is the multitude of different disciplines that a newcomer can focus on, depending on his or her particular skillset and desires. While the core of web development is generally considered to be from a coding perspective and thus an education in coding is expected, there are numerous disciplines within the web development field with slightly varied focus:
- Graphic/Visual Designer: The visual designer is often well-trained in the arts, utilizing Photoshop and other tools to create mockups for pages or entire websites that will please the client and appeal to the audience. In some development shops these positions are “codeless,” while often in others, visual designers would be expected to convert visual mockups into working front-end code.
- Back–End Developer: A back-end developer writes all the code necessary for the core logic of the website: Grabbing data from the database and molding how that data is appropriately used and displayed to the user through the front end. Languages commonly used for back-end development are varied, but a handful among the most popular are Ruby on Rails, Python, PHP, and Node.js.
- Full Stack Developer: A much-lauded position, and rightfully so, the full-stack developer is one who is adept at all aspects of the development process and is capable of contributing code and functional solutions every step of the way, from planning and design to both front- and back-end coding.