How to Get Your first $50,000+ Job as a Web Developer
By Stanley Udegbunam || Updated Sept 18th, 2022
Whether you are a self-taught developer switching careers from a different field or a CS graduate who learned coding right from school, one thing is sure;
you would want to work in a company that can pay you precisely what you want to be paid and even more.
In this article, I’ll show you the 6 steps needed to land your first $50,000+ web development job.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Learn the required skills
The job of a web developer is to use codes to build solutions to a problem. Two types of skills are needed here: problem-solving skills and coding skills.
Your potential employers and future hiring managers will expect you to have specific technical skills and execute them as required by the role you are applying for.
But it’s essential to be intelligent and strategic about this to avoid being overwhelmed.
Learn the basics and the essential technologies first.
Make sure you have these languages at your fingertips before learning their respective frameworks and associated tools.
And most importantly, build projects while learning.
Problem-solving is a part of the soft skills required as a web developer and must also be taken seriously because, in this job, you will always find yourself being put to the test through your tech experience, knowledge, and goal.
The goal is to make sure you have acquired the necessary skills (coding and problem-solving skills) and be open to learning more, allowing your experiences to be the fuel that drives your productivity and success in this career.
2. Build a Portfolio Website and start creating projects
Once you have built two to three projects while learning, consider setting up your web design portfolio.
It would help if you built relevant projects your potential employer can see and relate to.
These projects will add to your experience and rapidly increase your skills because the same concepts you learned to build these projects will also be the ones you will need to work on when you finally get employed.
Get the word out when you’ve created something you can share with others.
Post something about it on your social media profile, especially on Linkedin.
Don’t be afraid to market it if need be and improve on it as new ideas come in and you learn new skills as a web developer.
Doing this right, you will start getting one or two freelance gigs, making some money while building your skill level up for employment.
3. Be part of a community
One of the fastest ways to grow and possibly land a job as a web developer is to be in a community.
This community can be online or offline, but the goal here is to establish your presence, commit and engage yourself in a circle of like-minded individuals.
You can learn a lot from this circle, and also give help to lots of people.
If this is an online community, bookmark or subscribe to tech blogs, youtube channels, and tutorial websites on the subject; consume their content to stay up to date.
And join online communities of tech professionals where you can learn and give help (e.g Stack Overflow, Discord channels, subreddits, and so on).
If it’s an offline community, join a meet-up group in your city; attend conferences; meet and engage with other developers; join coding Bootcamps and hackathons.
These communities will not only help increase your experience level and improve your coding skills.
They also offer you the opportunity to network which increases your chances of more freelance projects for more valued experience.
Who knows, you might get linked to your first job through one of the connections you will be making in these communities.
4. Think like a recruiter and a hiring manager
There’s a saying that if you want to catch a thief, you must think like a thief.
Likewise, if you want to catch the attention of recruiters, you have to put yourself in their shoes and think like them.
These will help you set your priorities on what you need to do to maximize your chances of getting hired.
No matter the type of web development job you are applying for, you will always get the attention of hiring managers if you have a solid working knowledge of how to make websites.
And you have demonstrated this knowledge in so many ways by building multiple projects on your own, or you’ve helped create or improve other people’s sites either as a freelancer or for free.
And finally, your community involvement shows you’re focused on your career and always motivated to be the best and produce the best.
When you put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager, you will understand what they are looking for in a résumé and tweak your résumé to include these things.
Your resume will not get to the hiring manager unless it first attracts a recruiter.
These days, your profile on social media says a lot about you, and these profiles, if optimized correctly, can attract recruiters to you.
Optimize your profiles across the social media platforms you are active on, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to portray what you can do and how well you are good at what you do.
The best way to do this is by constantly posting valuable content related to your skills.
Posting answers and solutions to web development-related questions and problems.
While educating and informing your fellow web developers, these contents will show potential recruiters and hiring managers that you are competent, knowledgeable, and know your onion regarding your skills as a web developer.
6. Contribute to an Open Source Project
Heads up: Contributing to open source is the most effective job-seeking tip you can take advantage of right now.
If you are a new web developer looking for an entry-level job, contributing to open source can significantly increase your chances of getting a job.
In addition to that, it helps you to be active and engaging in the web development space, you meet fantastic and talented people, and you will feel incredibly accomplished when your first contribution gets accepted.
Here’s a detailed guide on FreeCodeCamp that will teach you how to contribute to open source.
Web development is a high-income skill. If you can focus, acquire the required skills, and learn how to make money as a web developer, this skill will significantly benefit your financial life.
Tech companies always look for the next skilled developer to add to their team.
If you can position yourself so that their attention is pulled towards you and afterward, you show them that you are capable of filling the role they have open, then you are 100% sure to be hired.