Welcome to our comprehensive Web Development vs Programming guide!

In this guide, we will explore the various aspects that set the Web Development Career path apart from Programming.

After reading this guide, you’ll know the critical differences between the jobs to decide which of the two is right for you and your career goals.

This guide will go over the following:

  • What’s the Difference Between Web Development and Programming?
  • Web Development vs. Programming Course of Study
  • Web Development vs. Programming: Skill Requirements
  • Web Development vs. Programming: What Are Their Benefits?
  • Similarities Between Web Development and Programming

So, let’s dive straight in!

What’s the Difference Between Web Development vs Programming?

Web Development vs Programming

Many people use Web Development and Programming interchangeably; however, there are several differences between the two processes.

Programming focuses on creating instructions that direct a computer on how to perform a task while Web Development extends to developing websites used on the internet

For one, while Programming focuses on creating instructions that direct a computer on how to perform a task, Web Development extends to developing websites used on the internet.

More technical aspects make the two processes and professions vastly different, which we explore below.

Focus Areas

Despite Web Developers and Programmers using code to instruct a computer to perform a task, the outcomes of their processes are often different.

Programmers are usually responsible for creating tools like software that Web Developers can use to process a website.

Hence, programming is often seen as the first phase of any Web Development Project.

On the other hand, Web Development uses various tools, code, and software to develop and maintain websites.

So, in a nutshell, while Programming focuses on the development of codes to create programs, Web Development uses programs, software, and, at times, codes to develop web applications.

Programming Languages

If you’ve ever worked on a coding project, you’ll know that choosing the correct programming language is crucial to achieving the desired outcome.

With that in mind, since Web Development and Programming achieve different outcomes, it is logical that both would use different sets of programming languages to get there.

Regarding Web Development, Developers often use HTML and CSS (not really programming languages) to create text files that browsers read to open a web page.

Web Developers also use JavaScript to observe client-side work and PHP to track server-side behavior.

Contrastingly, Programmers use different programming languages, with a few that often stand out.

Go, a more recent programming language created by Google is used by Programmers to handle multicore and massive codebases.

C, C++, and C# are used to develop different software; for example, C is exceptional when working with utility programs.

Contrastingly, coding app software that will have many user dialogues works best with C++.

Java and Python are also other popular programming languages used by Programmers.


The implementation process involved in translating a language to a machine (i.e., a computer) varies considerably across languages.

Programming languages like C++ and Java (mainly used by Programmers) are considered high-level languages that command heavy abstraction from actual machine instruction when typed.

On the other hand, HTML and CSS, known as the web assembly languages, are lower levels of code that command little to no abstraction from a machine’s instruction set, making their codes more tedious to type.

Web Language Processing

As we discussed earlier, HTML and CSS are synonymous with Web Development.

Developers use them for creating a web page’s presentation and structure.

In other words, HTML conveys how blocks of information should be structured, while CSS describes how the structure appears.

Contrastingly, programming languages like Python are functional and used to perform computation.

So, while Web Developers and Programmers are considered to perform similar tasks, their end goal is quite different – Web Developers build the websites that clients see, and Programmers build Software.

Additionally, they utilize various tools and processes to accomplish their tasks, making them very different from one another.

But apart from their functions being different, the course of study to become a master of each differs too.

We explore this next.

Web Development vs Programming Course of Study

As with any profession, becoming a Web Developer or Programmer requires gaining a certain level of knowledge acquired through education.

With this guide already establishing several differences between Web Development and Programing, you might have guessed that the curriculum studied during an educational program for the two professions differs significantly.

As with any profession, becoming a Web Developer or Programmer requires gaining a certain level of knowledge acquired through education

To demonstrate this difference, we explore the course of study for both career paths below:

Web Development Course of Study

Becoming a Web Developer requires you to hone skills in at least one of three focus areas.

You can either hone skills in Front-End Development which involves developing interfaces that users interact with, or Back-End Development which consists of writing the code that transmits data to and from front and back-end servers.

The last focus area is Full-Stack Development, which is Developers with the skill to build both Front-End interfaces and Back-End processes.

Once you decide which focus area you would like to develop and gain expertise in, you can choose an appropriate educational program to help you reach your career goals.

Web Development vs Programming: Becoming a Web Developer requires you to hone skills in at least one of three focus areas

If you decide to go the college route, a Computer Science Program will teach you the fundamentals of all three focus areas.

However, you can also opt to take a self-taught online course.

Some good online course options include Coursera’s Web Design for Everybody, Basics of Web Development and Coding Specializations, and the Master Foundational Programming Languages course administered by edX.

Once you’ve learned the fundamentals of Web Development, you can join Tech Bootcamps offered across the U.S. to expand your knowledge further.

Programming Course of Study

Although studying to become a Programmer takes a similar route as the Web Developer course of study, the specific training and skills you’ll have to learn may differ.

For one, Programmers must decide what industry they’d like to work in before choosing a course to enroll in.

Knowing your future industry will help you determine the type of programming languages to learn first.

Some popular Programming languages that Programmers choose to learn first include Python, Java, C+, and SQL.

Some great Programming courses include Udemy’s Java Programming MasterClass and the 2022 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python, also administered by Udemy.

You may also seek to take courses that teach HTML and CSS, as knowing some basic skills in these Markup languages may prove advantageous for your career.

Finally, like Web Developers, you can choose the college route by enrolling in a Computer Science Program.

However, select majors in Mathematics, Engineering, Software Development, Software Engineering, or I.T. to ensure you gain the necessary skills to become a Programmer.  

Web Development vs Programming: Skill Requirements

Web Development vs Programming

To help you further understand the differences between Web Development and Programming, here is a look at each profession’s skill requirements:

Web Development Skills

Apart from being excellent with HTML and CSS, Web Developers should be familiar with;:

  • JavaScript Libraries and Frameworks and API Integration
  • Graphic Design Tools
  • Video Editing
  • Web Hosting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Responsive Web Designing

As you might have established, many of these skills are centered around providing clients with excellent website user experiences.

On the other hand, Programming skills are centered around creating code for programs, applications, and software and are as follows:

Programming Skills

  • Object-Oriented Coding Languages
  • Cloud Computing
  • Integrated Development Environments
  • Website Development (for design purposes)
  • Text Editors
  • DevOps
  • Database and SQL

With a better understanding of the technical skills required by both professions, let’s discuss each career’s benefits in the next section.

Web Development vs Programming: What Are Their Benefits?

Before deciding to become a Web Developer or a Programmer, it’s crucial to understand what perks the two careers offer regarding salary and job opportunity.


Several factors influence both Web Developers’ and Programmers’ Salaries, including the skills and years of experience that a professional has and the location and industry in which they work.

Nonetheless, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives an average annual salary of $93 000 to Computer Programmers based on labor market activity.

A Programmer’s yearly compensation is significantly higher than that of a Web Developer, which according to BLS, is $77 200 annually.

However, as mentioned previously, with salaries being influenced by several factors, including industry, full-time Web Developers who work in the Publishing Industry can earn up to $123 870 annually.

Furthermore, Web Developers have better chances at career growth opportunities, which often translates to consistent or better compensation.

We will explain this in detail next.

Job Opportunities

Although Web Developers earn lower than Computer Programmers, job opportunities for Developers are vast in comparison to that of Programmers.

According to BLS, Web Developer job opportunities are expected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030.

This means about 17,900 openings will be available to Web Developers annually until 2030.

Programmers, however, face a bleak job market.

As tracked by BLS, Computer Programmers will see a 10% decline in employment between 2020 and 2030.

eFinancialCareers attributes declining opportunities in Computer Programming to the automation of Software Development jobs.

Despite the bleak job market, there will still be job openings for Programmers, with BLS estimating 9700 job openings per year until 2030.

Now that you understand the benefits that both uniquely have to offer let’s explore if there are any similarities between the two career paths in the next section.

Similarities Between Web Developers and Programmers

Web Development vs Programming

Due to the careers being in the Computer Science Industry, it isn’t surprising that a few job functions or even skill set requirements may overlap.

For one, both Web Developers and Programmers need significant experience in programming.

While extensive programming knowledge will naturally be required of a Programmer, Back-End Web Developers may also find that a critical understanding of Programming is needed to perform their job duties.

The same goes for Front-End Web Developers who sometimes need to code intricate user interfaces such as Ecommerce websites.

Besides the programming knowledge required by both professions, Web Developers and Programmers must be detail-oriented.

This is because both disciplines need to identify any problems related to the code and functionality of web and mobile apps and problems associated with the compatibility of programs with operating systems like Android, IOS, or Microsoft.

Finally, should issues arise, both professions must have a flair for solving problems.


Web Development vs Programming

As we’ve demonstrated in this guide, although the terms Web Development and Programming are often used interchangeably, they are very different from one another.

Web Development focuses on developing websites that provide a good user experience.

With Web Development growing exponentially in various industries, the labor market for the career is promising.

On the other hand, Programming focuses on developing mobile and web apps critical to our everyday lives (including Web Development functions).

Programming also presents some career opportunities, although continued enhancement of skills is required to keep afloat as a Programmer.

That said, after reading this guide, we hope you fully understand the differences between the two careers enough to make an informed decision on which one to pursue.


Web Development vs Programming

Does a Web Developer require Programming?

If you are designing a web page or using tools to develop a website, then programming knowledge may not be necessary.

However, without programming skills, you may not be able to maintain competence as a Web Developer.

Writing code for complicated interfaces may prove difficult if you lack programming skills.

Is Web Development Easier than Programming?

Web Development may be easier than Programming if you are a Web Developer focusing on Front-End Development.

However, Back-End Development involves using code to allow programs to communicate with one another, which is quite difficult, perhaps equally or even more difficult than Programming.

Is a Web Programmer the same as a Web Developer?

No, there are differences between the jobs.

For instance, while Programming focuses on creating instructions that direct a computer on how to perform a task, Web Development extends to developing websites used on the internet.

Furthermore, the tools and processes each use to get the job done often differ significantly.

What do Front-End and Back-End mean in Programming?

Front-End Development involves developing interfaces that users interact with.

On the other hand, Back-End Development consists of writing the code that transmits data to and from Front and Back-End servers.

What is the difference between Programming and Web Development?

Among the key differences are the results of Web Development and Programming processes and the programming languages used to complete a coding project.

Moreover, there are differences between Programming and Web Development in handling language implementation and language processing.

What is Web Programming?

Web Programming is the writing and coding used in the Web Development process.

It differs from Programming in that Programming requires extensive knowledge of database technology and client and server-side scripting.

A Web Programmer’s job focuses on coding a website that achieves the desired user experience concerning design.

Which is better, Web Developer or Programmer?

Both careers have unique advantages and disadvantages; hence, choosing which one to pursue will depend on which of the careers will help you meet your career goals.

For example, a Web Development Career may provide you with a great job outlook, while Programmers earn more if compensation is your focus.



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