Web Developer Vs. Front End Developer (With Salaries)
Updated 30 December 2022
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Web development and front-end development are two areas in the programming career field. There are many similarities between web developers and front-end developers, but there are notable differences between them as well. If a career in information technology (IT) system development interests you, it is helpful to understand how these two careers compare to one another. In this article, we explore the fundamental differences and similarities between web developer vs. front-end developer and understand their roles and responsibilities.
Related: Frontend vs. Backend Development: What Is the Difference?
Web Developer Vs. Front-End Developer
While considering web developer vs. front-end developer, some of the key differences between both these career fields are:
Web developers focus on building websites for clients based on their business requirements. Web developers can work in different industries as most companies have websites for online presence. These developers can work full time for an organisation or may work independently as well. They collaborate with various other professionals in this field, such as programmers, graphic designers and other web developers, to create functional websites. Web developers interact with the client to gain an understanding of their business needs and then create a website as per these needs.
Front-end website developers are programmers who focus on developing the graphical user interface (UX) of a website. Their focus areas include elements such as buttons, windows, navigation bars, widgets, articles and images. They seek to understand and improve the user's experience and work on visual features that make the website aesthetically appealing. These developers may collaborate with back-end developers, user experience professionals and graphic designers while performing their tasks. They may work as freelancers, in remote settings or regular office settings.
Related: How To Become An Application Web Developer (With Steps And Skills)
Another difference between web developers and front-end developers is the salary they receive. The national average base salary for web developers is ₹22,766 per month, while the national average base salary for front-end developers is ₹67,116 per month. Both these salaries can vary depending upon the employer, education level, experience, geographical location and certifications of the professional.
While both may add interactive elements to applications and websites, the approaches and tools used are often different. Web developers focus more on the creation of a working, functional website in line with the business requirements. They spend more time on ensuring the incorporation of required business logic and making sure that the website runs in a smooth and glitch-free manner. Web development also involves working on back-end development and interacting with the databases and repositories used.
A front-end developer pays attention to the graphical elements and user experience of a website or application. The focus of development lies on the front-facing parts of the website with which the end-user interacts directly interacts. These developers work on creating aesthetic and intuitive layouts and structures to display information and allow users to perform tasks and ensure maximum user convenience while doing so. Some front-end developers utilise graphic design skills to add visual elements to applications and websites.
Related: Front End Developer Skills: Definition and Examples
Programming Languages For Web Developers
The programming languages that web developers use differ significantly when compared to the programming languages used by front-end developers. Though there can be some common languages used, the principal languages differ based on their purposes in both areas. The common programming languages for web developers include:
Python is a popular language for web developers. With Python, developers can build various behind-the-scene layers of web applications and websites. It is a powerful and flexible programming language that is open-source and easy to learn and understand because of its English-like syntax. It supports extensive libraries and is extensible to other programming languages, making it easy to work with for web developers.
Related: How To Become A Python Developer (With Skills And Duties)
Another popular programming language for back-end development is Java. The programming language comes with several benefits and features, which make it ideal for web development. Some important benefits of Java include its scalability, multi-threading capabilities and excellent community support. Along with its rich set of application programming interfaces, its tools and integrated development environment helps ensure better results and productivity.
SQL stands for structured query language and is an essential language to learn as a web developer. Using SQL, a developer can interact and communicate with the database used. Another benefit of SQL is that it is scalable and flexible, making it ideal for most data systems. As most websites have a backend that stores user information, it is important to learn SQL to understand how to query and store data when required.
Related: A Comprehensive Guide To Different Types Of SQL Courses
PHP stands for hypertext preprocessor. This is a frequently used scripting language for developers, integrated with several popular databases. It helps to manage dynamic content, databases, session tracking and even build entire e-commerce sites. Along with its extensive range of educational and reference materials, it offers great flexibility, as you can build dynamic and static websites and web applications and is also simple to use, making it convenient for web developers.
Programming Languages For Front-End Developers
The programming languages that front-end developers focus on majorly are the visual aspects of the website or web application. The common programming languages for front-end developers include:
Related: 9 Types Of Jobs To Consider After Learning HTML (With Salaries)
The full form for CSS is cascading style sheets. The design-focused language works in tandem with HTML. Front-end developers use CSS to change fonts, colours and layouts of their applications and websites. The goal of using CSS is to make a website or application visually aesthetic and an enjoyable experience for the user. CSS helps developers save time and energy by reusing styles across their web applications. It contributes to easy maintenance of the visual aspects of an application or website and is highly platform-independent.
Similarities Between Web Developers And Front-End Developers
The similarities between web developers and front-end developers include:
Both the developers involve themselves in writing code that helps create web applications. They may also have similar responsibilities and may require working collaboratively with each other and other team members to create a product successfully. It is important to note that the nature of their work is similar, but web developers and front-end developers focus on different development aspects of a website.
Types of applications and website elements
Another similarity between web developers and front-end developers is the type of applications they may work on. Both types of developers may require working on the same applications. As a result, though they contribute to the same web application, their focus is on two different aspects of an application.
Related: How To Write An Objective For A Front End Developer Resume
Both web developers and front-end developers can pursue similar academic paths before starting their careers. They may earn a bachelor's degree in computer science or another closely related field. This would usually offer them the required fundamentals to pursue any programming career. Besides college education, they may also require taking up additional courses or classes to specialise in the areas of their interest. For example, web developers may require classes in object-oriented programming and database management, while front-end developers can consider topics like user experience design and graphic design.
Related: 10 Interview Questions for Web Developers (With Answers)
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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