What to expect from a schools with web programming classes
Degrees in Web programming can be offered at the bachelor's and associate degree levels, and a professional certificate can be earned as well. Graduate degrees are also available to Web programmers who hold a bachelor's degree, such as the master's in Web development and design. However, as the Bureau of Labor notes, the education requirements of Web programmers can vary depending on where they are employed and the type of work they do. Depending on the employer, some Web programmers may need to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or programming as well as an understanding of HTML and SQL languages in addition to Flash. Furthermore, as websites become larger and more sophisticated, Web programmers may need to keep up to date with emerging languages and expand their programming skills.
Web design classes may also be offered online. Online Web programming schools may allow students who have already completed a related degree, such as a degree in computer science, to complement their education with the training needed to design and develop a website. Online Web programming schools may also offer students who are currently employed the option to earn a degree without sacrificing their career.
The skills web programmers need
Working in tandem with Web developers, Web programmers provide the back-end user experience of a website. They shorten page load times, optimize the site code for audio/visual elements using Flash and Java, and make sure the site's transaction system is not only functioning properly but is secure with client data. In addition to providing back-end support for the user's experience, Web programmers also design the website's architecture to support efficient page additions and proper implementation of images and video.
According to the BLS, website programmers can benefit from possessing both problem-solving and customer-service skills, as the needs of a website's visitors may not be easily resolved or addressed (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). In addition, the ability to understand a site's user base, anticipate its needs, and properly implement changes to the site to improve the visitor's experience can also be vital skills for a website programmer to have. Web programmers can also benefit from having strong analytical and concentration skills, as programmers may have to sit for long periods of time while examining data networks based on the needs of the website's clients and users. As Web programmers may work with Web designers to help meet the needs of a website's clients, Web programmers will benefit from have a strong sense of teamwork as well.
The software and technology web programmers may need
Although Web programmers may be expected to both design a website's architecture and program a website's code, this doesn't mean the programmer is starting from scratch. Web programmers can expect to use software tools such as PhoneGap 2, which gives programmers the support they need to build mobile phone-optimized sites in addition to a single compile point for programming, saving programmers both time and stress, as well as Proto.io, which gives programmers the opportunity to test new site functions without posting the content to the site for all to see.
Programmers may also expect to use project collaboration tools such as BugHerd, which organizes feedback, bug fixes and feature requests automatically, and Basecamp, which allows programmers to collaborate with developers, clients and others to assign tasks and track progress.
Potential career opportunities for web developers, including web programmers
According to the BLS, from 2010 to 2020 information security analysts, Web developers - which includes Web programmers- and computer network architects are expected to experience an employment growth of up to 22 percent, nationally (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). The growth of Web programmers may be attributed to the continuing growth of e-commerce. As companies and businesses continue to expand into the online world, Web programmers should be needed to help create, maintain and redesign websites. Those Web programmers with knowledge of multiple programming languages as well as multimedia tools may have the best job prospects.
The BLS reports that as of May 2012, Web developers earned a national median annual wage of $62,500 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts-web-developers-and-computer-network-architects.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May, 2012, Web Developers, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151134.htm