i want to be a web programmer - what do i need to know and be good at?

Hi there!

I've been playing around with frontpage, javascript and jsp for a while and am working towards mastery of these areas. I have built a couple of basic sites and would love to work in the field. I know html well and will soon be learning xml and am learning dreamweaver. If you were wanting to employ a web programmer - what sorts of thing would you want me to know and be good at - and what are the qualities that you would look for? What would make me impossible not to employ?



  • Hi,

    I've been involved in hiring web programmers, so I guess I should have some idea... ;-)

    Generally I firstly look for people who are passionate about what they do and also people with potential to adapt to new situations and apply what they know. Essentially, at the mindset.

    As for skills, HTML is essential, JavaScript is useful (basic knowledge is good, a more advanced knowledge a bonus). Even if the primary role is programming the ability to pull together a professional looking page, even one without graphics, is important.

    Beyond that point what languages are company policy. As most websites use a database to store data, knowledge of SQL is important. Good understanding of relational database concepts are very useful too. Certain companies might want knowledge in a certain database system.

    At JWCS we use Perl and MySQL as our primary development platform. We've got a growing .NET movement, but it won't squash the Perl/MySQL combo for a long time as those tools are so versatile and we know them well.

    Other places like ASP, JSP, PHP. Expereince accross the board can be good to show you know stuff.

    For us, a knowledge of UNIX concepts (e.g. permissions and file structure) is very helpful as we primarily use Linux servers.

    Hope this helps,


    Count your downloads:
    And host your site:
    Don't say I never give you anything... ;-)

  • Dear Jonathon,

    Thanks a lot for your advice - I really appreciate it - I'm getting the strong impression that database knowledge and ability is critical to website design and maintenance now - and that the market is still very much in flux insofar as what technologies are the best to learn and master - on the other hand, the more you know the better off you are and the more flexible to using different tools and adapting to new changes you would be so I get that big time. Thanks very much again!


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