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What should every programmer know about web development?

I have built 10+ straightforward websites using the Symfony framework and Wordpress. Does this mean I am a web developer or a web designer? I set the sites up in Symfony and wrote the CSS/Javascript/HTML.

I had to write themes for Wordpress and move some code about. What experience do I need to to be a web developer and not a designer? What experience distinguishes me from a designer that knows HTML and jQuery?

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Did you actually write the PHP or sql for any of these websites, or did you just take pieces of PHP/sql written by others for them? –  Jimmy Hoffa Sep 28 '12 at 15:38
    
They're plain websites with HTML pages some javascript and no database integration. –  user1702801 Sep 28 '12 at 17:08
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marked as duplicate by MainMa, gnat, Mark Trapp, Walter, Jim G. Oct 1 '12 at 8:46

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You are a web developer, with some web design and database administration skills and perhaps even some sysadmin skills, if you are somehow involved in setting up and/or maintaining the servers your sites live in.

The web is a wonderfully complex ecosystem and requires a wide range of distinct and varied skills, you will need to wear more than one hat almost every day. That's probably the main reason I moved on from enterprise development (boring!) to web development, and I've never looked back since.

Now stop worrying about silly labels, and concentrate on building awesome stuff.

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+1 for "stop worrying about silly labels" –  Doc Brown Sep 28 '12 at 11:00
    
Where is a good place to start? I can only think of building something from my university course such as a hotel booking system. Is this a good place to start? –  user1702801 Sep 28 '12 at 15:30
    
@user1702801 That's exactly how I started ;) –  Yannis Rizos Sep 28 '12 at 15:36
    
Eloquent and accurate as the second half of your answer is, I don't know that I agree with your actual answer. Are you saying someone is a web developer if they don't design and write any of the server side functions or any of the sql? –  Jimmy Hoffa Sep 28 '12 at 15:36
    
@JimmyHoffa The OP mentions using Symfony. Don't know if you are familiar with it, it's a framework and not a cms/blog engine (like Wordpress), so I naturally assumed they did at least some server side coding, you can't have a Symfony based site without writing any code at all. –  Yannis Rizos Sep 28 '12 at 15:41
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Does this mean I am a web developer or a web designer?

No worries, you are a web developer. It sounds like you have both skills as you do it alone from beginning till the end. In addition, your good understanding of Symfony framework qualifies you as web developer.

What experience do I need to to be a web developer and not a designer? What experience distinguishes me from a designer that knows HTML and jQuery?

Just keep your learning of web-development. Try different frameworks and languages. You will get a better understanding of SDLC by time. Getting involved in areas like server side and database programming distinguishes a web developer from a designer. However, knowing fundamentals of both helps in long run.

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Where is a good place to start? I can only think of building something from my university course such as a hotel booking system. Is this a good place to start? –  user1702801 Sep 28 '12 at 15:30
    
@user1702801, yeap, any application that you are familiar with business model - is a good choice to start. –  Yusubov Sep 28 '12 at 15:39
    
Could you give me some typical examples of projects that are built by new developers with web frameworks? –  user1702801 Sep 29 '12 at 10:05
    
Sure, look at asp.net mvc tutorial project, music store - mvcmusicstore.codeplex.com –  Yusubov Sep 29 '12 at 13:50
    
Do you know how much experience I need? Are tutorials enough? I'm beginning to think that I won't be able to build a Hotel booking system. –  user1702801 Oct 2 '12 at 20:03
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When I think web developer, I think of a guy who does just about everything. To me, web developer == jack of all trades This is connotative as opposed to denotative, there are some web developers who won't touch javascript or CSS, but they aren't quite as common.

Web designer all too often conjures up the idea of a designer who created the look of a website in photoshop.

So if you can't take Yannis' advice and really need your label, go with web developer if you actually write code,

Creating things for the web is not what can you do, it's what do you need to learn to do tommorow.

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