Our guide to turning coding into a career

19 Jul 2019

Jobs/Apprenticeships

IT Systems and Coding Study Programme

Our brand new study programme in IT Systems and Coding starts in September, so we’ve put together our guide to a career web development and how coding could be an exciting and rewarding career path for you to follow!

As the digital industry continues to grow, so does the need for experienced Web Developers. People are living their lives online and are expecting much more from a website than just a place to deliver information; customers need to be able to buy goods, register interest and find exactly what they’re looking for in a short window of time. So developers are relied upon to create a seamless experience and to help businesses show off their products and services as best they can.

What skills and attributes do developers need?

Developers need to be comfortable working in both a team and alone. You’ll also need to have passion and be able to keep up with changes in the industry, with developments and features changing all the time you’ll need to be reading articles and speaking with others in the coding industry if you don’t want to be left behind.

You’ll need to be able to communicate well with others. Clients may not know how to explain the problems their having or if what they want from their website is actually feasible; so being able to effectively communicate to clients telling them exactly what you’ll be doing and how you can help them is a great skill to have.

Another essential skill is time management. Developers are busy people and you’ll often work on multiple client sites or projects, so you’ll need to know how to manage your time effectively and understand how to sort your work by priority; also being adaptable and able to move quickly to fix a problem is a great advantage.

What kind of developer should you be?

In the world of web development, there are three types of developer who all work together to ensure a site is fully functional and aesthetically pleasing. We’ve explored each one and what each role involves.

Front end Developers

Front end developers need to be adaptable and ready to change with their industry. They create the website clients can see, including all the functionality and look of the site. When coding, they will produce HTML, CSS and JavaScript for a site usually to a client’s specification, so the ability to follow a brief alongside technical know-how are a must.

Front End Developers must be patient and resilient, as often ensuring a site works correctly with the right look and feel can be a time consuming task; with a real attention to detail an absolute requirement. They also might need some knowledge of the work of back end developers too…

Back end Developers

A back end developer is responsible for the server side of the website; making sure information is being fed through from the CMS (for example WordPress) and that all features are working properly. Back End Developers will write code based on the client’s needs for their website; so you’ll need a good knowledge of coding to thrive in this role. You should also be familiar with APIs and all the different elements which make a website work. A high amount of teamwork is involved with front end developers to ensure you’re both working towards the same goals too.

Full Stack Developers

Full stack developers work across both front and back end of the site; becoming a jack of all trades in the development world. These developers should be knowledgeable in every aspect of how the web works, being able to write API’s, while turning their talents to the design side of the site working on the CSS.

They must be fluent in all of the development languages and be able to use their knowledge to switch seamlessly between the front and back end of a site. They must be able to deal with a lot of information at once and should be good communicators, as they may need to work directly with clients and advise them on the functionality of their websites.

Learning the language of coding

There are many coding languages in use across the web and as technology advances, so does the need for programmers and developers who are fluent in these languages. There are plenty of coding languages for you to choose from, but you can take a look at the most used coding languages to see which you should be focusing on.

There are often opportunities to take courses to teach you the language, at St Helens Chamber our IT Systems and Coding Study Programme gives students the chance to learn the popular Java script and SQL languages, which will set you well on your way to success in the early stages of your coding career.

Get a head start in your coding career

If you’d like to get ahead in your coding career, we can help. If you’re 16-18, our brand new Study Programme will teach you everything you need to know about IT Systems and Coding and will give you valuable work experience so you stand out to potential employers. Not only will you have the experience, you’ll also have the qualifications to back it up, with a Level 2 Award in ICT Systems and Principles.

There are many opportunities for developers across our region, with over 26,000 people employed in the Digital industry!

If you’d like to know more about our IT Systems and Coding Study Programme, call on 01744 742045 or get in touch with apprenticeships@sthelenschamber.com