How to become a web developer

February 10, 2023 Updated: February 10, 2023
How to become a web developer
Enjoy the warmth of your home country and family while earning one of the highest salaries in the world

Are you unemployed and looking for an opportunity to build your career?

Are you so tired of difficult living conditions and low wages in your country that you are considering immigrating to a better country?

Are you a programmer looking for new horizons?

Do you want to enjoy the warmth of your home country and family while earning one of the highest salaries in the world?

In this article, we will highlight one of the most in-demand jobs, one of the highest-paying jobs in the world, and how to build your web developer career and earn a lot of money without leaving your country.

What is a web developer?

A web developer is a programmer specializing in developing applications and features for the World Wide Web; this includes creating and maintaining websites, web applications, and web services. Web developers typically use a variety of programming languages and technologies, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and back-end languages like Python, Ruby, and Java to build and enhance websites and web applications. They may also work with databases, web servers, and other tools to create and manage the functionality and performance of websites and web applications.

Web developer salary

The salary for a web developer can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the specific industry they are working in. On average, web developers in the United States can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $130,000 per year, with the median salary being around $75,000. However, entry-level web developers may earn closer to $50,000, while more experienced developers with specialized skills and knowledge can earn upwards of $120,000 or more.

How long does it take to become a web developer?

This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. The time it takes to become a web developer depends on factors like your background, experience, the specific path to learn web development, and the amount of time you can dedicate each day to learning and practicing.One person can become a successful developer in 6 months or less, but for another, it may take longer.

Find the best way to learn coding skills

There are several ways to learn coding skills, each with advantages and disadvantages. Some popular options include College or university, Coding Bootcamps, Online resources, Self-study, and Apprenticeship/Internship.

Ultimately, the best way to learn coding skills depends on your learning style, budget, career goals, and time.

Your code doesn't care about your degree

Attending a college or university and earning a degree in computer science or a related field is a traditional way to learn coding skills. This option provides a well-rounded education and can open doors to many career opportunities.

But your code doesn't care about your degree; many companies- including some of the top 500- also don't care about your degree.

In the past few years, a bachelor's degree is no longer a compulsory requirement to find a job in IT as a web developer.

We will focus here on Self-study and coding Bootcamps.


Some people choose to learn coding skills on their own through self-study.

Many free online resources, like books and YouTube tutorials, are available for learning coding skills.

Websites like Codecademy, Coursera, and Udemy offer interactive coding tutorials and exercises to help beginners learn the basics.

Udemy, for example, offers both free and paid courses; the paid courses are cheap and can start from $13.

Before getting into the pros and cons of self-education, you should ask yourself if it suits you.
Self-education requires determination and patience. Some people start with great impulsiveness and then soon stop. Continuing even with less effort and less time is a decisive factor in reaching the goal.

Determination and continuity are affected by several factors. Perhaps the most critical factor is age. Being young, for example, means fewer responsibilities, more free time, stronger determination and persistence, and greater endurance.

In 2005, when I was young, I learned Visual Basic 6 and developed a desktop inventory management application in two months.

Not only that, the software I developed was a successful program, and it made a lot of sales in the local market.

In 2010, when I was much younger than now, I decided to transfer to web development; I learned Coldfusion, MySql, HTML, and CSS; and developed a classified website ( in less than three months. 6 months later, became the first classified website in Mauritania.

But now I can't repeat the same thing, given the factor of age, family, and responsibilities. These same factors prevent me from staying abroad for two or three years to pursue classic learning like a bachelor's or master's degree.

But this does not apply to all people. More organized people can always learn by themselves, even at 60.

Self-study has both advantages and disadvantages.

Some of the pros include:
Flexibility: You can study at your own pace and on your own schedule.
Customization: You can tailor your learning experience to your specific needs and interests.
Self-study is often cheaper than traditional forms of education, sometimes at zero cost, which makes it ideal for those with a limited budget.

Some of the cons include:
Lack of structure, It can be challenging to stay motivated and on track without a teacher or set curriculum; it is easy to lose focus or become unmotivated.
With no access to a mentor or a community of students and coding experts, getting feedback on your progress or understanding can be difficult.
Lack of interaction, Self-study may lack the interaction and social aspect that class-based learning has.

Ultimately, self-study can be an excellent option for some people, but it may not be the best fit for everyone. It's important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your learning style and goals before deciding to pursue self-study.

Coding Bootcamps

A coding Bootcamp is a short-term, intensive program that teaches individuals how to code and develop software. The goal of a Bootcamp is to provide the student with the skills they need to begin working as a software developer as soon as possible. Bootcamps typically last between 8-12 weeks and focus on hands-on, project-based learning.

Is coding Bootcamp for you?

It depends on several factors, such as your goals, experience, and schedule. Coding Bootcamp can be beneficial for those who want to quickly learn and apply practical programming skills, but it may not be suitable for those who prefer a slower-paced, more in-depth academic approach. It's important to assess your own learning style, availability, and goals before deciding if a coding Bootcamp is a right choice for you.

Coding Bootcamp cost and employment rate

The most known coding Bootcamps announce an employment rate above 90% six months after taking their program, sometimes 97% or even more.

According to data derived from the CIRR (Council on Integrity in Results Reporting), the average coding Bootcamp graduate employment rate is 79% after 180 days. On the other hand, 68% of college grads with computer science degrees found jobs a year after graduation.

Coding Bootcamp costs vary between $1,500 (entry-level) to more than $20,000.

Bootcamp average cost varies depending on the program and duration, the Median Price is $11,900, and the Typical Price is $7,500-$13,950.

There are many coding Bootcamps with Deferred Tuition until You Find a Job like App Academy.

There are even Coding Bootcamps with Job Guarantees, where the Bootcamp gives the student a refund if they don't get a job offer within a certain amount of time after graduation, usually six months.

Is coding Bootcamp worth it?

Overall across this industry, the facts show that, in general, coding Bootcamps are worth it—a recent Course Report survey of over 3,000 Bootcamp grads shows that 79% of them were already employed in a job using these new coding skills they'd learned.

How do you find the right coding Bootcamp?

This question may need more than one separate article; with over 600 Bootcamps around the world in 2022—most of them are in the United States—choosing the right coding Bootcamp is a big decision. One of the best websites that can help you with this is Course Report.

During my long search for the best affordable coding Bootcamp, I filtered these two Bootcamps:

Codestack academy (Stockton California's first not-for-profit coding school): it is one of the longest Bootcamp, in my opinion; it is one of the best coding Bootcamp if not the best at all:

  • Duration: 10 Month Academy, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm + 2 months Internship.
  • As a non-profit, their $5,000 tuition is a fraction of the cost compared to for-profit long coding Bootcamp.
  • Curriculum: it combines web development, Cloud Services, DevOps, Mobile App Development & more.

It is a good choice for those who do not believe in 4-12 weeks' Bootcamps; their 10 Months Academy + 2 months Internship allows every student to fully master the program.

Note: for international students, it is difficult to get accepted into Codestack academy, especially if you are offshore. Even if you get accepted, I don't know which US visa allows you to pursue this Bootcamp because you can't get F1 visa for this Bootcamp, and the B1/B2 visa is for temporary visitors with a maximum stay of six months in the United States.

Bootcamps generally are not accredited; I think there is only two or three accredited Bootcamp, that why you can't get F1 visa to attend most Bootcamps.

Jax Code Academy (Jacksonville, FL): it is one of the best price/quality Bootcamp:

  • Affordable price: $4,000
  • The curriculum contains a variety of programming languages and technologies
  • 12 Week Intensive full-stack web development and coding program + an optional 12 weeks of internship
  • Internship: Work on real-world projects with real clients while they continue to teach you. This helps build your resume, experience, and skillsets while you job hunt.
  • You can stay in the internship as long as you like while you job hunt.

Note: Jax Code Academy Bootcamp duration is less than three months. They have three Bootcamps every year, each one is exactly 80 days, so I think there is no problem applying for B1/B2 visa for this Bootcamp, but I am not sure if it is legal to attend their optional internship with your B1/B2 visa after finish the Bootcamp.

Focus on a niche

The years of developers who master only 1 or 2 programming languages have gone forever. Nowadays, a developer must speak at least five coding languages and many tools, libraries, and frameworks. Web development has three main branches: Backend, Front-End, and Full-Stack, which combine Backend and Front-End.

If we take Backend, for example, there are dozens of programming languages like Ruby, PHP, Java, . Net, Python, Coldfusion, Go, Cotlin, C#

To be a successful developer, you have to learn as much programming language as possible, but at the same time, you must focus on a niche. Focusing on a niche will make it easier for you to grow your expertise and build your reputation. Once you’re an expert, clients won’t mind paying a premium for your services.

Narrowing down on a niche may seem counterintuitive because you’re saying no to a lot of opportunities, but it will pay off in the long run.

Don’t make the same mistake as I did

If you think choosing the right coding Bootcamp is a big decision, choosing the right programming languages and technologies is more challenging, especially if you decide to go with self-education.

At least choosing the wrong Bootcamp will not cost you much because Bootcamps courses always match market requirements, while choosing the wrong technologies when pursuing self-education may sometimes cost you your career.

In 2010, when I decided to learn web development, my main goal was to learn a serverside language and build a classified ads website quickly. I made a comparison between 4 backend languages; if I remember they were PHP, JSP, ASP, and Coldfusion.

In this comparison, I took into consideration two factors: the learning curve and the performance, I neglected many, many other essential factors like popularity, community, future outlook, language stability, ongoing development, future support, trending, market part, demand, payment rate, etc. and that was the first mistake I did.

Finally, I chose Coldfusion. It was the simplest programming language I could learn in a short time. I loved it, and I built many applications using Coldfusion-MySql, like the last presidential elections application in 2019 for the Constitutional Council and many others.

My second mistake was not updating my knowledge by not learning new languages and technologies.

After a decade of using Coldfusion, I found myself isolated in a world with a lot of new technologies.

Most potential customers in my country are governmental institutions that do not have Coldfusion on their own servers. Day after day, the number of institutions that accept to host their applications elsewhere decreases dramatically, making the ColdFusion developer's life harder.

When thinking of freelancing as a solution, I discover that for every 10,000 jobs for known web development languages and technologies, there is one Coldfusion opportunity.

To avoid this, take time to decide which coding language and technologies to learn. There is no best place than Stack Overflow to help you make a decision.

Again, Web developer salary

We discussed that at the beginning of this article; on average, web developers in the United States can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $130,000 per year, with the median salary being around $75,000.

How about other countries?

Don’t ever expect a web developer's salary in countries like Canada, Australia, the UK, or any other country to be equal to a web developer's salary in the United States.

It is not surprising that the United States is the highest-paying for IT jobs, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta Platforms, Dell Technologies, Intel Corporation, IBM, eBay, Oracle, Accenture Plc, PayPal, Cisco Systems, and the list goes on, they are all American companies.

Let's take some examples, average salary based on the latest data provided by Indeed, Glassdoor, and other websites for the job title “web developer”:

Country Web developer avr salary
Australia $62,044 USD
Canada $51,559 USD
Germany $57,167 USD
India $5,757 USD
UK $45,571 USD
USA $75,848 USD

Web  developer average salary

So if you are in Africa or Asia -except a few countries like Japan and South Africa- don't expect much as a web developer, maybe something between $5,000 and $15,000 per year.

Should I immigrate to the United States to be better paid?

Certainly not. Why not make IT companies in the United States and everywhere in the world come to you instead of going to them?

No doubt visiting the United States to pursue coding Bootcamp or a professional trainee may make a quantum leap in your career.

But I may agree or disagree with you about immigration to the United States.

Anyway, immigration to the United States is a personal decision, but you can earn more than a classic web developer job's salary in the United States while enjoying the warmth of your home country and family; how? The answer is remote jobs and freelancing.

Remote job

A remote job is a type of work arrangement where an employee can perform the job duties from a location outside of the office, typically from home or another remote location, using technology such as a computer, internet, and phone. Remote jobs can include full-time, part-time, freelance, or contract work.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in remote work as many companies have adopted remote work policies to keep their employees safe and maintain business continuity.

A remote job is not the best solution to working in the United States or any other high-paying country for the following reasons:

  • Remote work opportunities abound; however, companies require your presence in the same country, sometimes they need your presence in the same city, and they require, of course, a work permit for international candidates. It's hard to find a remote job position in such countries while you live in Africa or Asia unless you are already working with a company and you decide to return home, in this case, as they know your capabilities and may need your expertise, they may offer you to work with them remotely.
  • There is no reason to bypass the significant number of citizen prospect candidates to hire someone on the other side of the globe with all the risks that entail unless you have a very high experience or they need entry to a mid-level developer that may accept a low salary.

With all that said, remote jobs still be a solution. The best evidence of that is at the time of writing this paragraph; I have an interview after four hours from now with IT Recruiter at a Ukrainian company that contacted me via LinkedIn about a remote Coldfusion developer position for a client in the United States.

They need experience in ColdFusion, JavaScript, jQuery, UI, Bootstrap, YUI. I have good experience with ColdFusion and intermediate experience with other technologies except for YUI. I also have the motivation and excitement to go for this position.

I am sure I am a good candidate for this position, but I don't expect much from this interview for two reasons:

  • The first reason is my broken-speaking English. My English is silent, I read and understand English, and I sometimes write as in this article, but as I live in a Francophone country, I am not used to speaking English; the last time I practiced my spoken English was in 2007.
  • The second reason is that it is my first time with an actual Interview, and I don't have enough time to prepare for it.

Yes, you must prepare for the interview even if you are an expert. In the technical interview, you might be asked different questions on different topics like logic, algorithm, Databases, OOP, Javascript, and Patterns, plus many other questions about the programming languages and technologies related to the job position you are applying for.
You may also need to read about recruiting company, their interview difficulty, the questions they ask, interview duration, etc. Glassdoor is one of the best websites that give you everything you need about companies, like overviews, reviews, jobs, salaries, and interviews.


Freelancing is a type of self-employment in which an individual offers services to clients on a project or contract basis rather than being an employee. Freelancers typically work independently and are not committed to a long-term employer. They may work for multiple clients at the same time and may work in a variety of fields, including graphic design, writing, programming, consulting, and many others. Freelancing offers the opportunity for individuals to have more control over their work schedule, workload, and income. It can also provide greater flexibility, as freelancers can often choose which projects they want to work on and set their own rates.

Freelance work

According to the Freelance Forward: 2022 report released by work platform Upwork: freelancers made up 39% of the workforce in the United States in 2022, and It is not surprising that this number is constantly increasing, as freelance work provides tremendous advantages, such as the freedom to choose the workload, projects, clients, flexible working hours, work location, and price setting.

Freelance work ranges according to effort and income from microservices or gigs such as writing articles, translation, design, digital marketing, and social media -starting from a few dollars per service – to working on projects that may take several months to implement and provide a significant income (working by piece or hour).

Web  developer average salary
Image source: Upwork

Freelancing websites

Freelance websites are intermediate between people who work online (freelancers or sellers) and clients (buyers or employers). These websites guarantee the right of each party in return for a commission that the website gets.

There are dozens of freelance websites ranging from microservices or gigs websites like to professional freelance websites like and that connects highly qualified freelance industry experts with companies. For more information about freelance websites, click here.

Freelancing is beneficial for both company and the freelancer.

Company benefits of working with freelancers

Companies often choose to work with freelancers for several reasons:

  • Cost-effective: Hiring a freelancer on a project basis can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee, as there is no need to provide benefits or a long-term employment contract.
  • Flexibility: Companies can bring in a freelancer to work on a specific project and then end the contract when the project is completed, which can be more flexible than hiring a full-time employee.
  • Expertise: Freelancers often have specialized skills and expertise that can be valuable to a company. By hiring a freelancer, a company can bring in a specific skill set without having to invest in training or development for a full-time employee.
  • Scalability: Companies can bring in freelancers to meet the needs of their business as it grows, which can be more flexible than hiring a full-time employee who may not have the skills needed in the future.
  • Access to global talent: With the ability to work remotely, freelancers can be located anywhere in the world. This means that companies can access a global pool of talent, which can be particularly useful for companies looking to access specific skill sets.

Overall, working with freelancers can provide companies with a flexible, cost-effective, and scalable way to access specialized skills and expertise on a project basis.

Freelancer’s benefits

Freelancer earning is not related to or affected by his location or nationality. For example, a web developer in Burundi earns an average of $3 per hour, but he can make $30 or $40 or even more per hour as a freelancer, depending on his experience. he can make 10X his salary per month without leaving his family.

As a freelancer, you can enjoy several benefits, such as:

  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose when, where, and how you work.
  • Control over work: You have control over the projects you take on and the clients you work with.
  • Potential for higher earnings: Freelancers can often earn more than they would as a traditional employee.
  • Diverse experience: Freelancing allows you to work on a variety of projects and gain experience in different industries and fields.
  • Personal growth: Freelancing helps you develop new skills and improves your business acumen.
  • Work-life balance: Freelancers have more control over their time, allowing them to balance their work and personal life more effectively.

How much money can you make as a freelance developer?

As a freelancer, your income is directly correlated to how much you charge and how many clients you have. The number of clients you have is related to your experience, rating, feedback, and percentage of job success.

Can you earn $5,000 per month? Yes
Can you earn $10,000 per month? Yes
Can you earn $20,000+ per month? Yes

Let's take some examples from Upwork.

If you do a simple search on Upwork for Talent, you'll get an idea about how much people are earning on this platform.

upwork talent earning

N.B. for privacy reasons, I can take only print screens from a profile with visibility: public

For example, Karthik G, Senior Python and Django developer from India has earned more than $200,000 since he reached Upwork.

Jesse Aiden, Android, iOS, WordPress, Shopify theme developer from the United States has earned more than $1,000,000 since he reached Upwork.

There are a lot of freelancers with earning between $100k and $ 1 million, but very few with earning above $ 1 million.

But most people on Upwork are with earning between 0 and $10k, a lot of them have little to no experience or have just signed up without searching for jobs daily.

upwork profile search

Just search for talent in Upwork, and on the left side, filter your search by entering your country in Location, and you'll be surprised by how many people from your country are there.

N.B. unless you are logged in, you will see only people who made their profile publicly visible.

upwork profile visibility

You expected me to show you my earnings on Upwork, right?
Well, as a ColdFusion developer, it is almost impossible to find a foothold. There are two or three ColdFusion jobs monthly, while there are more than 500 ColdFusion developers on Upwork with shining profiles, and they don't rely only on Coldfusion; they master many other languages and technologies.

If you do a simple job search with the keyword Coldfusion you'll find a few listing jobs, often less than 10, try any other known languages or technologies like Java, python, React, or Flutter, and you'll find thousands of listing jobs, that's why I told you in this article Don't Make the Same Mistake as I Did.

Freelancing vs Full-time Job

We have already talked about freelancing advantages; we will focus here on one point: security.

Full-time employees have the security of an employment contract. They get a regular paycheck each month that they can rely on and can access benefits like health insurance, paid vacations, sick leaves, parental leave, and a retirement scheme.

Freelancers are not secured on this point; they arrange their own health insurance, do not get any paid leaves while taking time off, and must plan for their retirement themselves.

Freelancer can earn a lot in one week, and he can earn nothing, and often there will be no guarantee of next week's work.

Full-time employees have a fixed remuneration, while freelancers have no limits on their earnings.

It's similar to the old and new debate about the choice between a 9–5 job and owning a business. 9–5 job is secure, but with limited earning, while owning a business is a bit risky but ambitious.

We can compare freelancing with business except that in freelancing, there are no charges or investments, and there are no external risk factors. As a freelancer, all the reasons for failure and success are in your hands and depend only on you.

A full-time developer may start his career as a junior with about $60k yearly, which means $5k monthly, while a freelancer often starts his career with little to nothing monthly.

It might take a little while, like 1–2 months, for a freelancer to get his first project, and that depends on his patience. He needs to bid continuously and on relevant jobs, often focusing on small tasks with fixed prices to build trust first and grow up his profile, but once he completed a few jobs with high ratings and good feedback, it becomes easy to find more jobs, every 100% success job push him forward to find more jobs easily.

Do you remember Kinematics in high school?

Two cars side-by-side at time = 0 seconds, car A, is moving at a constant speed, let's say 60, and car B starts from rest and accelerates.

We want to calculate the time T until the cars are side-by-side again (Car B catches up the Car A).

The time T is related to Car B's acceleration.

Car A: full-time employee
Car B: freelancer
Car B acceleration: freelancer experience, motivation, patience, and allocated time
Car A speed: full-time employee monthly salary
Car B speed: freelancer monthly income

What is certain is that car B will catch up with car A and surpass it
When? It depends on the acceleration value.