Whether full-stack, specialized in back or front-end, the developer’s job has many facets and requires technical skills to meet the needs of companies. We interviewed three specialists and trainers from IFOCOP centers, who presented us with the challenges of a rapidly growing profession in a rapidly changing job market.
The development market is currently undergoing a profound transformation. While business demand remains very strong, the skills sought are becoming more scarce. “Choosing to develop is to seek the serenity of full employment. The best quickly collapse under dozens of requests each month,” explains Damien Stenger, president of ArcynerJ SAS.
More and more developers tend to go freelance to meet the needs of businesses. They feel freer to choose their projects. “This is the modern developer’s concept of life. Code to free yourself and live from your choice of projects, propelled by a booming market due to companies’ digital transformation. Some are accompanied by an agent, on the model of agents of sportsmen or artists.
The different facets of the developer profession
Two movements currently coexist within the profession. On the one hand, full-stack developers (front and back-end) must act both on the visible part of a site or application to improve the user experience and on the invisible part, which makes it work. “These Swiss Army knives are still too rare, “specifies Jérémy Cacoub, consultant agent at ArcynerJ.
On the other hand, the business is experiencing a movement of hyper-specialization with developers who master technologies in high demand. “A Python developer, for example, will find his place very quickly in big data projects. We can also cite developers specializing in a particular framework. “
Likewise, a Java developer should work in symbiosis with a web developer because information systems are more and more interconnected.
The skills required for a web development career
It is possible to learn to code in initial training or retraining. When Web design and development you are thinking of a career as a front-end, back-end, or DevOps developer, certain skills are essential: mastery of command lines in a terminal, development environments, management of decentralized versions with Git, knowledge of fundamental networks which govern the web (HTTP (S), DNS, SSH, etc.), but also HTML.
If you want to develop modern front-end applications, it is recommended to master one of the three most used libraries: React, Vue, or Angular. Other languages are required for those wishing to specialize in back-end development, such as Node.js, PHP, and Python, Go… It is also advisable to be interested in SQL databases (with MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.) and NoSQL (MongoDB, Cassandra,…) if you plan to work on data storage.
“For DevOps, it will also be necessary to acquire in-depth knowledge of Linux environments, automated tests, continuous integration platforms (for example Jenkins), containers (Docker, Kubernetes) and infrastructure management of cloud platforms (Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform),” adds Christophe Ollivier.
Like the passage of companies into the “agile” era, soft skills are the keys to the profession of tomorrow. “With equal competence, the art of communicating, exchanging, reformulating the need for its project management, will make a good developer rise to the status of a brilliant developer. These qualities will ensure his future towards taking on a managerial role if he so desires”.
From the expansion of IT teams to the specialization of developers
Large groups divide up tasks and positions. They recruit web developers, software developers, and mobile developers. For Damien Stenger, “each company has a specific technological stack, with one or more types of front and one or more types of the back. It is a whole technical panel on which the choices of hardware and software architectures are based. This technological corpus will de facto define the profile of the developers sought by specialization. A company, whose foundations are based on the cloud, will position itself on API developers who are very comfortable in an AWS or Google Cloud environment. “
The importance of generalist profiles and soft skills
For a developer, technical specialization is not an obligation because generalist profiles are always in demand. “Application developments are very rarely done in isolation. Without being a specialist in a particular technology, a developer can guide his project’s development while interacting effectively with other project managers. In this intro and inter-project communication, a developer can highlight his soft skills without technical specialization. Given the complexity of the projects, these qualities are just as sought after as pure technical skills”, confirms Christophe Ollivier.
Developers who have mastered the art of communication or with skills in project management can also turn to the tech lead or IT product leader professions. “These functions are at the crossroads between team management, coaching, training for beginners while creating code for those who wish to keep a minimum of technical background. The tech lead ensures the coordination of the teams, backward compatibility of the code by his watch, and his experience by indicating the necessary guidelines. And he intervenes on the code if necessary. He is a natural and technical leader,” explains Damien Stenger. All these professions are part of the natural continuation of the profession of the developer.
Whether you choose to become a generalist, specialist developer, or if you prefer to orient yourself towards one of these related professions, the sector is full of opportunities for you. As Christophe Ollivier notes: “today, there is not a single type of web developer. Many orientations are proposed, which the candidate can choose according to his appetites and the opportunities which will be offered to him”.
How to optimize your site for the Google Page Experience update
Google’s major update could have a major impact on the SEO of your web pages. The criteria are now clearly identified, so it becomes necessary to look into them today. Several avenues and several resources are available to you.
Improve the loading time of its web pages
The main new feature of the Google Page Experience update is the consideration of loading time. You can perform several actions to improve the loading time of your web pages taken into account by Google.
Use the Search Console Essential Web Signals report: it allows you to visualize the loading speed of the web pages of your website. This can help you spotless performing types of pages. Then focus your actions on slow URLs (red) and URLs needing improvement (orange).
Use web performance tools: they can help you find opportunities to improve the load times of your web pages. We think of free tools from Google, Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse, and other market services such as GTmetrix, Dareboost…
You can also consult these documents:
Understanding Core Web Vitals: A comprehensive article by Philip Walton, Engineer at Google, which details the Essential Web Signals criteria.
Interpreting Core Web Vitals scores with Google tools: a more technical article, which presents the integration of Core Web Vitals into Google tools.
“Main Web Statistics” report: Search Console documentation to correctly interpret the Core Web Vitals report.
Google’s press release on the Page Experience update: in this article, Google announces the release date and presents the criteria observed.
Google’s official documentation on “Understanding page usability in Google search results.”
Improve other criteria of the user experience
If the loading time is an important criterion, other elements must be taken into account. They are already used by Google to rank web pages in search results. You can perform these actions to optimize your pages.
Check the mobile ergonomics of its web pages: this Search Console report allows you to view the mobile compatibility of all of its pages.
Test the mobile compatibility of its pages with the tool offered by Google. This unit test is useful to ensure the mobile usability of your new pages or to verify a patch applied to a page that needs improvement.
Check that your site has no security problems: again, you can use the Search Console, Security tab, and manual actions to be sure that your site does not have a security problem.
Use the HTTPS protocol to offer secure browsing.
Remove intrusive interstitials: Google cites in particular pop-ups that cover the main content, autonomous interstitials that the user must close to access the main content, and layouts where the visible part above the waterline appears as a self-contained interstitial.