What Does a Web Engineer Do? 7 Essential Skills

Sydney Wess

Simply put, a web engineer is responsible for building websites and applications. However, executing on these goals requires an assortment of core skills. Any prospective web engineers should ensure they have the correct skills before taking on a web engineering position.

Web engineers are people who work on the development and maintenance of applications and user interfaces, with a big focus on JavaScript and PHP.

Their work can involve a lot of different tasks and is crucial for the overall construction of websites services, as well as the ongoing operation of those sites and services. This guide will look at what web engineers actually do and some of the key skills a web engineer has to have to succeed.

What Do Web Engineers Do?

Web engineers and developers are responsible for building websites and web applications, along with user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX). They spend their time coding sites and applications to make them functional and provide seamless experiences for the user, as well as managing the "behind-the-scenes" mechanical and technical aspects of websites and services. 

The purpose of their work is to make the site and all of its applications as functional and accessible as possible. As an example, a web engineer might be tasked with creating a contact form application for a website that collects user data and delivers that data to a database. They'll need to handle the coding and building of this application and tie it in with the existing web design so that everything works correctly.

7 Key Skills for Every Web Engineer

  1. HTML
  2. JavaScript
  3. PHP
  4. CSS
  5. Growth mindset
  6. Organization
  7. Communication

The field of web development and web engineering is growing bigger with every passing year, with employment expected to grow at a much faster rate in this field than many others, according to recent statistics. Competition for engineering roles will also increase as the number of people studying to become a web engineer continues to rise, so it's vital to have several key skills to give oneself the best chances of success in a web engineer role.

1. HTML 

HTML is the language of the internet.

It doesn't matter what sort of tool or framework you're using as a web engineer, HTML is always going to be a big part of your work, so you need to have a thorough grasp of what it is and how it works.

It's particularly important to know the most common HTML tags that you can insert into your work without having to look them up, as well as having a grasp of metadata, the general structure of HTML documents, and so on.

2. JavaScript 

JavaScript is another computer language that web engineers need to be fluent in.

It's vital for creating websites and web applications, and web engineer duties often involve working with JavaScript very regularly.

Aspiring engineers should therefore be familiar with the basic data types and variables associated with JavaScript, as well as being able to use the JavaScript console, create loops, develop user interactions, and so on.

3. PHP 

PHP is another programming language that is vital for web engineering.

It's used to manage databases, dynamic content, site building, and so more, being integrated with leading databases like MySQL and Oracle.

Web engineers work with PHP all the time, so they need to be highly efficient in terms of how they implement it in order to deliver results on time and keep up with strict project deadlines.

4. CSS 

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet and is also crucial for web development and engineering.

It's mainly used to improve the UI and UX of an application or site, and having a good grasp of CSS can help web engineers save time on their work.

You'll need to know how and when to make use of CSS properties, common CSS selectors and classes, and how to add CSS to a HTML document.

5. A Growth Mindset 

The world of web engineering and development is always changing, and the best engineers need to be able to do the same.

Being stuck in your ways or only ever willing to use the same old tools and methods you've learned years ago is a surefire way to get stuck in the past.

Web engineers need to stay aware and up to date of these technologies and practices and be willing to learn them and incorporate them into their way of working.

6. Organization 

Organization is another key trait that every web engineer should work on.

Working in the field of web development and engineering can often feel quite intense and hectic, with so many things to do and projects stacking up all the time.

Often, engineers will be relied upon to work independently and manage their tasks accordingly, so you need to be able to manage your time, stay organized, and have strict schedules and plans for your various tasks and duties.

7. Communication

Another of the key web engineering skills that can be vital for success in this line of work is good communication.

Communication is key in almost every type of work, but it's vital when working on websites and applications. You need to be able to understand client needs, communicate with design and development teams, and ensure that all visions are aligned in order to push projects forward.

It can also be important to be able to communicate and explain what you're working on to people who don't have the same understanding of coding as you.

Web Engineers Need Key Skills and Traits to Succeed 

In order to truly be successful as a web engineer, you need not only technical understanding of coding and programming languages like JavaScript and PHP, but also an organized approach to work and effective communication too. Engineers need to be well-rounded people with multiple skills across the board.


Sydney Wess

Content Writer & Editor

Sydney researches and writes about marketing and tech trends for Visual Objects.