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The rise of web developers throughout the world

If 19twenty years ago, you had asked one hundred people what they did for a living, you would be extremely unlikely to find one of them who was a web developer. Due to the huge increase in the world wide web, however, the number of web developers around the world has skyrocketed, creating with it a whole new industry of its own.

Who are Developers and What do they do?

Many people think of web developers as working for a design and development company, creating and developing websites for a large number of clients. However, there are a significant number of web developers who work with other, unrelated, companies and act as a full-time employee to take control of that company’s web development functions. Web developers may work on front-end aspects of websites such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS or they may focus on back-end technologies such as Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, ASP, and Java. These back-end technologies are sometimes referred to as server-side programming. Furthermore, some specialist web developers will actively work on databases and web servers themselves, keeping the infrastructure of the system running as smoothly as possible.

Experience is Vital…

Surprisingly, there are no formal qualifications or educational requirements needed in order to become a professional web developer, with industry experience being by far the most sought-after aspect when companies look to hire web developers. Specific companies looking to hire for particular projects might want to find a developer who focuses purely on front-end web development, server-side architecture, programming and scripting or database management. As mentioned above, each of these areas is distinctly different from the others and requires a web developer who is experienced in that particular area and can bring his or her expertise to the table.

So, how many are there?

A survey in 2007 showed that more than ten million people had made a website at one time or another. With another five years having passed, that number is sure to have grown. Some 2009 calculations showed that they estimated approximately twelve million people around the world were ‘professional’ website or software developers, in that they received payment for their skills in some form. Of course, with the number of freelance web developers now working across the globe it is very difficult to put an exact number on how many there are in total. Looking purely at Elance.com, one of the web’s main freelance marketplaces, there are almost 100,000 individual web developers registered on the website, giving just some indication of the number of skilled individuals out there.

As internet usage continues to grow throughout the UK, western world and indeed throughout the world as a whole, it seems inevitable that greater numbers of web developers will enter the industry. With more and more businesses deciding to get online nowadays (in fact, the vast majority already are) the need for talented web developers is now greater than ever, having created a whole new industry which simply did not exist just twenty years ago. In times of great economic uncertainty, being able to put approximately twelve million people into work due to the evolution of a whole new industry is something quite extraordinary and could even be credited with having taken the sharp edge off of the worldwide recession. Either way, it’s a huge industry and it’s one which is only growing larger with every day.