An entry-level position, junior web development is the starting point for many in a booming career. A junior developer is someone new to the web development world, usually with less than three years of experience.
Now that you’ve finished a bootcamp, university, or learned coding on your own, you may wonder, “Where do I start?” Luckily, we have a nifty guide to get you on your way to start applying for jobs.
While a junior software engineer and a junior software developer are slightly different, we’ll be using them interchangeably throughout this article. Their skills and tasks are mostly the same, mirroring the differences between a software engineer and a web developer.
1. What does a junior web developer do?
A junior web developer works alongside their team to build, maintain, test, and debug websites and applications. They also attend a variety of meetings to both brainstorm new ideas and to ensure that the content fits a client’s needs.
Senior and junior developers are paired together for mentorship throughout a project. As junior developers gain more experience, they’ll earn greater autonomy to oversee a project by themselves.
2. What skills should a junior web developer have?
Junior web developers utilize a variety of skills to succeed at their job. It’s understood that they’re new to an industry where honing muscle memory is key.
Some companies focus on sharpening frontend development skills first, as they’re easier to pick up. Others will allow ambitious junior developers to jump into the deep end to display the full range of full-stack development skills early on.
Junior developer hard skills
Hard skills are what get you into the field, and should be learned through the courses that you’ve taken. These non-exhaustive hard skills include:
- Responsive design
- Version control/GIT
- Testing and debugging
- Cross-browser platform
Junior developer soft skills
Soft skills are incredibly important for a junior developer to function well on a team. Some soft skills include:
- Setting and meeting goals
- Communicate efficiently and clearly with your team
- Asking for help from senior developers when you need it
- Persistence through projects
- Taking the lead when time and space allow
- Attention to the details of a project
- Problem-solving in daily tasks
3. Junior developer FAQs:
Before we further explore the role, let’s go through a few common questions people have:
Is it hard to be a junior developer?
How long does it take to become a junior developer?
The length of time it takes to become a junior developer varies depending on the avenue of education you take, from free resources to a university or a bootcamp. The quickest way to learn the full-stack skills that you need is to spend 3-4 months in a full-time coding bootcamp.
How old is a junior developer?
While your age can vary wildly, the median age of a junior developer falls between 25-34 at 47%, according to a Stack Overflow survey. Like any job, developers’ ages vary across a massive range, so it’s neither too early nor too late to enter the field of programming.
How many years is considered a junior software engineer?
Someone is considered a junior software engineer when they’ve been in the industry for roughly three years or less. That position is followed by a software engineer and then a senior software engineer after 6+ years, each having increasing responsibilities in team management.
4. Junior developer salary guide
Keep in mind that junior developer salaries can vary due to company size, industry, and location. For example, someone working in a large corporation in San Francisco will likely earn a higher salary than someone at a smaller company in a city with a lower population.
For our salary guide, we’ll be turning to job site Glassdoor. The number in parenthesis will be the conversion into US dollars.
Junior developer salaries in the U.S.
Nationwide range: $57,000 – $128,000
The US has a large range that accounts for company size, industry, and location. You can learn more about each state and major city in our complete developer salary guide.
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Junior developer salaries in Europe
- Ireland: €26,523 ($27,983.75)
- U.K.: £27,140 ($32,100)
- Spain: €21,647 ($22,839)
- Portugal: €27,720 ($29,246)
- France: €36,944 ($38,978)
- Germany: €39,600 ($41,781)
- Italy: €23,000 ($24,267)
- Switzerland: CHF 86,000 ($91,341)
Junior developer salaries in the rest of the world
- Australia: $70,000 ($46,130)
- India: ₹451,250 ($5,498)
- Nigeria: NGN 3,000,000 ($6,515)
- Brazil: $12,499 ($2,408)
- Canada: $63,159 ($45,940)
Junior developer salaries by industry
- Education: $50,469
- Legal: $69,139
- Agriculture: $70,401
- Aerospace and Defense: $71,176
- Financial Services: $85, 934
- Human Resources: $100,637
- Information Technology: $127,675
5. Junior web developer job description
A great way to understand what a junior web developer does is to take a look at their job description. By going over the tasks and responsibilities expected of them you can see what a workday could look like:
- Building websites and applications
- Attending both update and planning meetings
- Testing, debugging, and maintaining applications
- Brainstorming new ideas
- Implementing design features
- Correctly converting formats of information
- Ensuring the correct structure of clients’ websites
Here’s an example of a job posted on LinkedIn by NASA JPL that’s looking for a junior web developer:
Alt text: An image that shows a junior software development position from a job posting by NASA on LinkedIn. It gives a description of the position and shows a list of the requirements, skills, and experience.
6. How to become a junior web developer
A junior web developer is considered an entry-level programming job, where you’ll be managed and led by a senior web developer. The barrier to entry is lower than in most other jobs.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting you on track to getting into a junior developer job:
Learn to code
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There’s a multitude of routes that you can take to learn the languages required to become a junior web developer. You can use free, online sources like Codecademy, take a course like the CareerFoundry Full-Stack Development Program, or go to a university to get a computer science degree.
Build a portfolio
A web development portfolio showcases the collection of knowledge and skills that you’ve gained.
This will be submitted alongside a cover letter and resume in an application packet to a hiring manager. Although the three are submitted together, a portfolio is the strongest display of the skills that you’ve learned.
Oftentimes, someone in your network can connect you with a job opening that’s yet to be posted. Meet people at a hackathon or connect via LinkedIn to expand your circle.
Be sure to keep up with your class if you’ve gone through a course or bootcamp, and continue to connect with other web developers both online and in-person.
Look for companies and apply
Make a list of the ideal companies that you would like to work at. Research people that work for them and try to network as you continue to look for openings.
Remember, many job postings will have inflated requirements that they don’t expect everyone to meet.
If you want more in-depth advice, check out our guide to getting your first junior developer job.
Continue to learn
While you’re applying for jobs, it’s important to continue sharpening your skills by learning and adding to your portfolio. It’ll make you a more competitive applicant in the future.
The world of web development is vast, so whatever gives you an edge in your application packet is always a plus.
7. Final thoughts
You’re now on your way to understanding junior web development, the welcome mat for all developers that are entering the field. We’ve covered how to enter the industry, what’s important to get your foot in the door, and how much you could expect to make.
Remember, soft skills are often overlooked but could be the difference in meshing well with a team. Vulnerability inside of your team, like asking for help, is vital to getting projects out on time.