What is web development and what do web developers do?
Web development is the process of building the website, taking the graphic layout provided by the designer and scripting the HTML and CSS code necessary to display the site as it was originally conceived. Other technologies are often used to provide additional functionality and interactivity which may include sophisticated elements such as video / audio streaming, animation, database driven dynamic elements, shopping carts, data capture, mashups and any number of other web 2.0 technologies. Authoring and debugging these elements all fall within the remit of the web developer.
Development is not design
A web developer would spend their day producing a series of purely textural documents each of which will describe a particular aspect of a website to the web server or the web browser and/or the client platforms that must download and display the pages of the website. These documents are referred to as source code and come in many computer languages.
Developers are not designers
Most web developers have little or no skill in design and are essentially uninterested in the visual aspect of a web page. The developer views the graphic layout created by the designer only in terms of how the HTML, or these days more commonly, XHTML can be best structured to facilitate displaying the page in the most efficient manner. The only image attributes of concern to the developer are the physical pixel dimensions of the pictures he must deal with and whether or not the image needs animating in any way.
Client and server web development
Web development can be split into two major areas depending on where the developed source code is applied. The two areas are referred to as ‘Client side’ and ‘Server side’