A web developer is responsible for the technical design of web sites. Along with the technical design the web developer is involved in the maintenance of the web sites. A web developer is different to a web designer; the developer is responsible for the technical aspects of web sites and applications, while the web designer is responsible for the look and feel of the site or application, i.e. colours, graphics branding etc.
In order to plan, produce and maintain web sites, the web developer will use web programming languages, particular software applications and technologies. A web developer will work closely with other ICT professionals such as web designers, business analysts, information analysts, network and usability specialists.
A web developer exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and from the Leadership competencies for Queensland.
Within the SFIA profile, the web developer has level 4 and 5 capabilities, i.e. enables, ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.
Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.
SFIA skill code
SFIA skill level of responsibility
SFIA skills level descriptor
Information content publishing
Develops standards and procedures to support content publishing across one or more platforms/channels in a form accessible to all potential users, including those with disabilities. Leads publishing activities and assignments, ensuring design of the overall structure and graphical style as well as the publication processes comply with agreed policies and strategies. Understands the range of publishing options available and advises on specification and procurement, taking account of the key costs and benefits of different channels and applying objective measures of effectiveness. Selects tools, templates and standards appropriate to customer expectations (differentiating, for example, between needs such as optimisation and ease of modification). Ensures that any legal issues related to publishing, including associate copyright concerns are adequately managed.
Accepts responsibility for creation of test cases using own in-depth technical analysis of both functional and non-functional specifications (such as reliability, efficiency, usability, maintainability and portability). Creates traceability records, from test cases back to requirements. Produces test scripts, materials and regression test packs to test new and amended software or services. Specifies requirements for environment, data, resources and tools. Interprets, executes and documents complex test scripts using agreed methods and standards. Records and analyses actions and results and maintains a defect register. Reviews test results and modifies tests if necessary. Provides reports on progress, anomalies, risks and issues associated with the overall project. Reports on system quality and collects metrics on test cases. Provides specialist advice to support others.
Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.
Actively maintains recognised expert level knowledge in one or more identifiable specialisms. Provides definitive and expert advice in their specialist area(s). Oversees the provision of specialist advice by others, consolidates expertise from multiple sources, including third party experts, to provide coherent advice to further organisational objectives. Supports and promotes the development and sharing of specialist knowledge within the organisation.
Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.
Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:
- Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
- Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
- Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
- Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
- Chief executive (leads the organisation).
When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
However, having of tertiary qualification in areas such as information technology will make it much easier to gain employment as a web developer. A certificate or diploma course in information technology that is conducted though TAFE will provide the basic skills that are required to start in this career. Generally, it is expected that TAFE students will have a minimum of Year 10 to be accepted to a Certificate course and Year 12 to be accepted to a Diploma level course.
A traineeship is another way to enter a career as a web developer. A careers advisor will be able to provide assistance on gaining a traineeship in information technology (multimedia).
Learning and development
Finding a course that will increase your skill in a specific area is difficult. On the job experience, in-service training or a course at TAFE or University are all considered to be highly beneficial.