What do actually web developers do?
A short answer: they create and maintain/support the websites.
However, in order to provide you with a deep explanation, we need to take into account the specific type of work performed by a developer. The good news is that web developers are in-demand, albeit they work pretty hard, they can lot upon a high salary and a convenient relation between work and life. This specialization is rewarding the developers who solve real tasks and derive enjoyment from a building.
A more detail explanation by a well-known source learn.org:
Your Job Duties
Your job as a web developer is to present your clients’ products and services to a wide audience by creating attractive, functional websites. You will likely be asked to identify potential site users and design a website to appeal to these constituents. Your work may include meeting with clients to discuss their desires for a website or discuss how to keep their websites functioning and up to date. You might construct the layout of a website, creating a visually interesting home page and user-friendly design. You may also write the content for the website.
After a website is up and running, you’ll make sure that the site is functional on all web browsers, periodically testing and updating it as needed. A client may also need you to include interactive capabilities on their site using Visual Basic or Java programming languages.
Where do you work
Web developers may work for large corporations, small companies or as freelancers. Most positions will have you working 40 hours a week, while others – especially freelance positions – allow flexible schedules. Occasionally, you may be required to work during the weekend or other non-standard business hours in order to perform website maintenance or assist during emergencies.
Since this is a very client-based, project-oriented field, you must be able to communicate effectively, set goals and meet deadlines. You must also be creative and have a grasp of art and design principles. You should also be able to concentrate, work on a team and pay attention to small details. You need to have familiarity with technology and understand how computers and web servers operate. You also need to be familiar with many software programs, web applications and web programming languages.
Highlighting key moments:
Developers often work for clients that want to present their product or service on the web.
The work is strongly project-focused and includes coworking with a team of developers who help you to match the clients’ requirements with the final product.
Not all the developers work for external clients. The matter is that the client may a company where you work. It can be an organization or a public office that require a website or web application.
It is pretty funny as you really create the things used by other people and you can play with many modern web “toys”. It is perfect, is not it?
“Front-end” versus “Back-end” developers
The frontend is usually everything you see on the website. This shows how the content is presented, including all the small user interface elements like menus, dropdowns, beautiful animations and modal windows.
Backend, most commonly, is the part of an application that lives on a server. Back-end development is more focused on making the required data correctly sent to the browser. This tip of the iceberg is hidden under the roof. Many things should work correctly to send the data to front-end where it will be properly displayed.
For example, Google may be a simple search engine in our understanding, but they constantly hire an army of engineers to make its backed working correctly and bugless.
Full-stack developers work with both parts simultaneously. Despite the fact that each of -end developer includes dealing with a huge amount of data, full-stack developers can smoothly deal with both the database and browser simultaneously. Nowadays, it becomes more and more popular to search for the specialist able to deal with both parts.
Web developer versus Web designer
So, if you have back-end and front-end developers, then who deals with making the website attractive? Who unifies the images, logos, and colour schemes? It is all about a web designer.
Итак, если у нас есть бэкенд-разработчики и фронтенд-разработчики, то кто же делает веб-сайт действительно красивым? Кто объединяет изображения, логотипы и цветовые схемы? Это работа веб-дизайнера. Although it has historically formed that they were less involved in the direct website development, nowadays even designers are expected to be able to roll up their sleeves at the right moment and write some code. Some of the top web developers come from the design sphere.
Wikipedia fully covers the topic of web design.
May seem as a fact or a joke, but this infographics displays the realm of web design vs web development.
Another infographics for the entertainment
Website vs Web Applications
Not everyone can agree that they distinguish these two concepts, but usually, websites are more designed to display static (unchanged) content, and web applications require “smart” code running on the server (the same one that you learn to write) to create dynamic content.
A more specific example: think of visiting a website as opening a document (E-book) on your hard drive. Your computer will find it, open it and show it to you.
Visiting a website managed by a web application is similar to the previous example, but the e-book no longer lies and does not wait until you open it. Your e-book request is caught by a small nosy application that checks what you request and then dynamically generates the right book for you that is completely customized for you (well, it could just be an extra line that says “This book has been opened” and followed by today’s date).
This is a more or less noticeable difference between a server that simply shows you static HTML and a server that dynamically generates the page you need, using a bit of Ruby on Rails code.