5 Essential Skills Every Web Developer Should Know – Coding Ninjas
Coding Ninjas
July 2019
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5 Essential Skills Every Web Developer Should Know

Michael MiraMichael Mira



Web developers are expected to know a lot of technologies and programming languages. In fact, the list of things to learn is never-ending because of how fast technology progresses. We are in an era of innovation, which means new products and new skills to learn. But there are some skills that all web developers should know regardless of rapid changes in tech. Some of the skills on the list are common sense and you should already know how to do them. If not, there’s no shame in admitting you don’t know how to do something. Simply work on those skills that you don’t possess or you’re weak at.

1. JavaScript Libraries

JavaScript is one of the most popular and essential languages that web developers use. One of the websites you should have bookmarked in your browser is a good JavaScript library. For those not familiar with JavaScript libraries, they are pre-written JavaScript which makes things easier for you to develop JavaScript-based applications. This is especially handy if you’re working with AJAX and other web-based technologies.

2. Debugging Software

Every web programmer should have a good debugger at their disposal. This tool will make your front-end work so much quicker. A debugger will also help you analyze elements on your webpage, conduct JavaScript debugging and help you analyze any JavaScript errors. One of my favorite, easy-to-use JavaScript debuggers is JSHint, which you can use for free online. It has a simple and sleek interface and gets the job done.

3. Version Control

Version control allows web developers to view, analyze and save any changes made in your directory’s contents. As a developer, you always want to back up your files whilst working on them. There are two different types of version control systems: distributed and centralized. I advise you use the former because it will enable you to make incremental changes locally and then later send the final changes to a centralized server. The most popular and almost-standard platform teams use is Git, but one of my favorite alternatives to Git is Bitbucket.


Believe it or not, there are web developers who don’t know HTML like the back of their hand, and you should. Due to the fact that web and mobile development is relatively easier today, especially with all of the loaded platforms that make it quicker for programmers to do their work. We often overlook this skill or sometimes it gets a little rusty, but HTML is basic coding. For a refresher, check out the always-helpful Codecademy.

5. Copyright Laws

You might think this is a skill that should be left for the legal department, but knowing basic and up to date copyright laws is something you should always keep in mind, especially when you are a part of a large development project where your team is given a lot of creative control. Likewise, if you’re a coding entrepreneur trying to build the next Facebook or Twitter, knowing copyright and cyber laws regarding privacy could either mean success or a devastating lawsuit over your head. You don’t need to go to a prestigious law school to learn basic copyright and cyber laws. Check out this comprehensive but easy-to-read guide by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Michael Mira is a writer, photographer and web designer based in Houston. He was born in Manila, and grew up in New York City and Texas.

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