6 Jun

4 Key skills Web Developers must have to Get a job in Canada

Posted by John Brandwagt

The IT industry in Canada is booming and with this boom, there is an increased demand for skilled web developers across the country. Not only are employers looking for software developers, an increased focus on smartphone-enabled websites has led to increase in opportunities for mobile app developers too.

What does a Web Developer do?

The position of a web developer is the most sought after in Canada next to that of the software developer. Web developers (especially the ones worth their salt) are responsible for designing websites that are attractive and function optimally. If these developers excel at what they do, they ensure visitors get a strong impression of a company’s brand and what it has to offer them that competitors cannot.

Average Salary of a Web Developer in Canada

The best developers are dealing with a slew of job offers on a daily basis, giving them the advantage of negotiating exact terms for accepting any offer. With the average salary for experienced developers reaching upwards of $80,000, it’s not hard to see how a career in this field is desirable.

After an extensive research into the IT industry in Canada, our IT recruitment experts have filtered some key skills that employers want web developers should know. Although not exhaustive, you still have to make sure that you possess these skills to get a great start in IT sector. 

Let’s review three key skills you need to get hired as a web developer.

1. HTML5/CSS

Everyone knows that in web development and in particular front-end (a.k.a. client-side) development, knowledge of programming languages like HTML and CSS are essential as these languages are the basic building blocks of a website.

What are HTML and CSS?

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for creating websites. Put in simple words, HTML is used to create content on the web page. HTML5 is the fifth and current version of this markup language. Employers expects candidates to be updated and experienced in the latest version  of the programming language - hence, having HTML5 listed on your resume is going to be a big plus.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is used for controlling the layout of content written in HTML. CSS handles the basic aesthetics of how that structure is displayed. If you really want to grab an employer’s attention, you’ll want to be knowledgeable in both these languages to give your resume an edge. The knowledge will allow you to create the entire architecture of a website - something the employers value immensely.

HTML5 and CSS3 streamline the process of adding interactive elements like video, allowing for websites to have native support for streaming video and other elements like audio. HTML5 and other updated languages (don’t forget your JavaScript frameworks!) are also important for rich web design that ports easily to a mobile format, which allows for more inbound traffic from the millions of mobile phone users in Canada. 

2. PHP

Perhaps you are more into the idea of back-end (or server-side) development, which is just as in demand as front-end development. Back-end web developers enable a website application (such as a shopping function) to store information in a database created on a server specific to that website.

 

Hypertext Preprocessor, or PHP, is a staple of back-end development, because it is a general-purpose scripting language that has the capability of creating giant database sites like Wikipedia and Facebook. PHP can also work with any website that has been created with WordPress or Drupal, which is a huge plus for small to medium businesses looking to get their websites up and running quickly. While it is best to have familiarity with several server-side languages like Python, SQL and Ruby, for example, PHP is the most widely used.

3. JavaScript/JQuery

JQuery is a significant skill that will separate you from the rest of the pack. Over 70% of the web’s top 10,000 sites use this JavaScript library to simplify any JavaScript programming. JQuery’s motto of “write less, do more” is well earned, as it can handle diverse functions, such as HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax.

JQuery’s API is also simple to use and works across many different browsers. As a CSS3-compliant programming tool, this makes it extensible in addition to adaptable. Any programming tools you can learn that take the future of web design into consideration are beneficial to your prowess as a web developer.

4. Design Tools (Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator)

Although not entirely under the domain of a web developer, a keen eye for web design and working knowledge of popular designing tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop go a long way in getting your resume noticed. The enhanced knowledge of UX, UI and Usability - the three dominant keywords in the IT sector in Canada - will give your resume a much needed boost to stand out from the competition.

A large part of what has caused the ongoing IT skills shortage in Canada is the rate at which technological innovation has boomed in recent years. Coupled with the ever-increasing demand for digital transformation, businesses are reliant on up-and-coming specialists like web developers to help drive their success. Showing that you are enthusiastic about learning the latest skills for your field makes you a strong contender to get hired as a web developer. 

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John Brandwagt

John is a Practice Leader at Inteqna. He’s been working in IT Search in Calgary since 1997. He works best with selective job seekers—those who excel at what they do and enjoy their current jobs. Since they don’t have time to look for themselves, he helps them find their dream jobs. From a client perspective, he helps organizations find the talent that will propel their business. John is involved in several of Calgary’s technical user groups and has held board roles in non-profit groups. He is a single dad of four boys who try to beat him at every physical activity from hiking to rugby.

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