The introduction of the Internet has certainly brought along so many changes that now seem permanent fixtures on the way people live. Almost everyone in the planet logs on to the World Wide Web to check their emails, read the news and the latest gossip, buy and sell stuff, and just simply spend the time connecting with both friends and strangers who are entangled in their digital web called ‘social network’. Most people are now linked extensively with the Internet that it is almost impossible for almost everyone to let a day go by without them logging on and checking a myriad of websites.
Websites, in particular, have become a part of the modern individual’s existence ever since the Internet sprouted up. Celebrities and ordinary people have their own websites. Mega corporations and small to medium size enterprises have their own websites. Almost any aspect in today’s world has its own dedicated website. This, and a whole mountain of reasons, is why website development is a big deal and why web developers are so in demand right now.
A web developer, by definition, is a person who is a programmer who “develops” websites using HTML text editors, multiple computer languages, and a whole lot of HTML programs and tools such as CSS, Ajax, PHP, and Java to name a few. They devise the layouts for web pages as well as the navigation mechanism. They perform multiple experiments to test the web pages for optimum functionality to achieve excellent user experience Web developers are more focused in making websites (and websites applications) work than concerning themselves with the aesthetic properties of websites. Simply put, they are more interested in making websites fully functional rather than how they look.
The world’s insatiable demand for functional websites and their undying love for the Internet have greatly fueled the demand for more competent web developers to produce top notch websites and web applications. According to a survey administered by the US News and World Report, the web developer position is now one of the most glamorous information technology (IT) jobs in the world today, as evidenced in its ranking with other IT professions.
In the list ‘Best Jobs of 2012’, web developers ranked #6. In another survey titled ‘Eight Ideal Jobs for MBA Graduates’ by the US News and World Report, it showed web developer sitting at the #2 slot.
Employment outlook for web developers in the United States is also looking optimistic. In a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the ranks of web developers in the United States will see a growth of 22 per cent by 2020. Such pace is described by business observers as “faster than the average”.
Median pay for US-based web developers is soaring as well. In the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers in the United States receive an annual pay of $75,660, or roughly $36.37 per hour.
Despite the very positive projection of the web developers’ future in the United States, many companies are still outsourcing web development jobs to other countries. Analysts in the outsourcing industry predict that such trend will likely to continue in the future. The Philippines, among other top outsourcing destinations in the world, are expected to be at the receiving end of the influx of outsourced web development jobs from companies headquartered in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
The Philippines: Asia’s Growing Mecca for Web Developers
The Philippines has established itself as a top country for BPO-related projects. The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines has grown significantly, a far cry from its humble beginnings back in the middle of the 1990s, when most BPO operations are anchored in crude technologies of telephones and fax machines. Back then, most of Philippines’ share of outsourced work involved voice-related operations such as customer service, credit and financial analysis, and technical (product) support.
But as the years came and passed, the Philippines slowly became a hub for information and communications technology. At the academic level, colleges and universities started offering IT and computer-based courses, such as computer engineering and computer science.
Soon enough, the Philippines started producing IT professionals on a massive scale and eventually maintained heavy streams of competent and highly qualified rosters of IT specialists, computer engineers, software developers, and web developers among others. Today, the Philippines’ labor force now includes thousands of web developers who are making the country the web development hub that it is today.
While it is obvious that Filipino web developers are skilled and equally competent in comparison with their American counterparts, what really drives the outsourcing caravan from offshore clients who require web development expertise to the Philippine shores is the very significant differences in the pay rate. Judging by the figures below, one can easily speculate how many thousands of dollars companies, big and small, can save if they choose to have their web development issues outsourced to Filipino web developers.
Web developer salary averages by country (major economies) per year
- Australia $87,000
- United States $76,000
- Canada $60,000
- United Kingdom $54,000
- Germany $52,000
Web developer salary averages by country (top outsourcing destinations) per year
- India $12,000
- Malaysia $7,655
- Philippines $6,874
By looking at the figures above, it is not that hard to see why so many employers are eyeing Filipino web developers to become part of their organization. Even when compared to other nations that provide top outsourcing services, particularly India, hiring a Philippines-based web development professional will save an employer around $5,000.
If the concept behind outsourcing was to cut costs and resources, then there is no wonder why the Philippines is making a name for itself in the outsourcing industry. But as mentioned earlier, Filipinos do not only represent a large savings option for employers and investors. The Filipino workforce is a huge pool of individuals brimming with talents and backed by reputable certifications.
In fact, many Filipino web developers are certified to highest level by some of the world’s leading creators of web development programs and tools, such as:
- Ruby on Rails
- ASP.Net MVC
- Database Design
Aside from Filipino web developers being cost effective and highly qualified, some employers chose to hire them because the Philippines itself is already a solid ground for web development work. The Philippines offer higher bandwidth and better infrastructure compared to its Asian neighbors.
“Numerous IT parks that sprung up in the last decade, besides the abandoned US base facilities, provide a solid information and telecommunications foundation for the community.”
But on top of all that, many companies that need web development services opt to hire Filipino web development professionals because there is less to no probability of cultural clash as well as having problems with the language barrier. Filipinos have grown accustomed to Western cultures, specifically the American one. This fact makes it so easy for Filipino service providers to adapt to the “American Way” of doing things, from business practices to table manners.
Language is often a vital consideration for many companies. Most employers prefer to get someone who they can easily communicate with and Filipinos have been excelling in that area. From voice-based jobs such as customer service to complex operations such as software and web development, Filipino professionals stand out because they can easily old their own in the communication process, which includes but not limited to relay of critical information, understanding and execution of instructions, and brainstorming with their superiors among others.
The Philippine economy is also another factor for the growing web development sector in the country. Filipino economists predict that the Philippines will enjoy a significant economic boost, thanks to the huge contribution by the IT and outsourcing industry. In a report released by Standard and Poor’s Rating Services, which is headed by chief economist Paul Gruenwald, stated that the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) will balloon to 7 per cent this year and expected to grow to between 6 to 6.5 per cent in 2014 and 2015. This movement made Philippines the new economic leader in the Southeast Asia.
“The Philippines, which Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded to investment grade, has taken over the ASEAN growth leadership role from Indonesia.”
The business processing outsourcing industry has been named as one of the nation’s new pillars for economic growth, according to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).
So how does this very positive news relate to outsourced web development works streaming from offshore clients? Well, a very optimistic economic outlook spells a good atmosphere for investors. And with more investments mean more jobs and growing demands for professionals in various fields, web development included.
BPAP stated in its website that the much energized Philippine economy, if it continues in its course, will be able to rake in $20 billion in revenue and generate up to 1.6 million jobs by 2016. Currently, the outsourcing industry in the Philippines is providing jobs to over 770,000 Filipinos, web developers included in its ranks.
Expert Guide on Picking the Right Web Developer
When you need professional expertise for your web development issues, you obviously need a web developer. But how do you really evaluate a web developer or his potential?
You can’t just scour the Internet and pick the first one you encounter. Analogically speaking, finding the right web developer is not akin to finding a particular grain in the sand; rather, it more like choosing someone both your business acumen and common sense dictate. Of course, it does not hurt if you check out the following tips provided by those who has “been there, done that”.
When you are still in the early phase and you do not have a clue on who and how to choose a web developer, you can start by asking people around. That is what Marie Borodenko advises her clients. Borodenko is the chief web designer of ARTY IT, a web development and design company based in Kent, United Kingdom. Borodenko encourages people looking for a web designer to ask website owners about their experiences with the developers and know how much they paid for the job as well as other fees such as hosting and maintenance.
“Your best bet for starting the process is by word-of-mouth.”
– Marie Borodenko
Identifying your goals and requirements first is always a good step towards finding the right web developer, says digital coach Matthew Mercier, who is stationed in Australia. Knowing what you want your website to be and how it should be will get you thinking, and this will ultimately lead you to consider all other aspects of your planned website.
“There are just so many options; your best chance of success will be to walk into a meeting with a rough plan for what you want.”
– Matthew Mercier
One effective way to filter potential web developers is to check their previous works, or portfolios. Web developers, the good ones, are very much eager to show their craft to potential clients and explain their work rigorously. That is what Jane Woodley says in her column. Woodley owns a digital copywriting and marketing consultancy and has worked with huge companies, including Virgin Blue Airlines Group, ADMA and Peak Usability.
“If they don’t have a portfolio, or won’t show you one, think twice about whether you want to invest time and money with them.”
– Jane Woodley
Cynthia Laluna of DIY Themes encourages people seeking web developers to ask the hard questions and gauge their personalities by how they communicate. People should expect high levels of professionalism from these service providers, such as answering your questions in a very good manner, has a physical and legitimate office set up somewhere, and provide top notch customer service to their clients. Cynthia encourages people to ask probable developers questions that delve on their experience, credentials, previous works, and their client base among others.
“Remember, when asking these questions, think about what you want your website to accomplish—because an effective website is more than just a pretty picture.”
– Cynthia Laluna
Learn more about the Philippine IT Sector today!