Image of a man smiling upwards wearing a hat and glasses. He is surrounded by a blue background with lines representing a computer hard driveThe image of a web developer in action may drum up images of a young person in a hoodie crouched over their laptop in a colourful office where free cereal and poké bowls are the norm, and employees navigate the open floor plan on one wheels. This is thanks to Hollywood's (mostly) positive yet derivative portrayal of tech workers (see The Intern or Parks and Recreation's infamous and personal privacy-averse tech company, Gryzzl).

But even Hollywood gets some things right about today's technology-driven society now and again, even if exaggerated. We'll dive into the details of a web development career.

Want the jist? No problem, jump to a section below:

Is web development a happy career?

Generally, web development is a fulfilling career that leads to many growth opportunities, personally and professionally and with a competitive salary. Developers also have ample opportunities to switch from one industry to another or move into consulting or entrepreneurial work. With a high rate of job creation, the sky's the limit. Additionally, you'll join a thriving community of skilled tech talent who help each other, share side projects, and offer mentorship and personal support.


One aspect of web development work that movies and TV overlook is the job's flexibility. Many web developers work exclusively from home or have a hybrid setup. Developers are also needed in almost every industry, beyond trendy offices, from shipping companies and healthcare to construction firms and startups. Of Lighthouse Labs graduates, 52% work remotely, 43% work hybrid, and just 5% work full-time in an office.

Overall, those in programming can set their own hours. This is most common among freelancers, but you can always negotiate with your employer. The most flexible companies even let you work from anywhere in the world. So whether your idea of living the dream is on the beaches of Costa Rica or the slopes in the Alps, you may be able to work from wherever as long as there's an internet connection. Even if packing up your bags for a new home isn't on your to-do list, you'll still most likely end up working with people worldwide, which can lead to an enriching career experience.

Although Hollywood does take things to the extreme, the idea of showing up to work in your comfiest garb isn't too far off the mark. If you do go into the office, many workplaces have a casual dress code for programmers. Of course, this can vary from place to place or if you're meeting up with a major client, but overall, those leggings you want to be buried in count as appropriate workplace attire.

Job security

Job stability, especially during uncertain times, goes beyond statistics. It means not having to worry about making payments on the car, the house, or the heating bill. It means planning a future for your kids and your well-being in retirement.

It's no wonder that when Lighthouse Labs reached out to alumni, job stability was one of the main reasons they gave for switching to a career in tech. For example, 36% of 2020 alumni were seeking more job stability post-Program. We over-delivered, with 97% of that year's graduates reporting stable and growing careers.

And those numbers don't just apply to Lighthouse Labs students, but tech roles were keeping steady across the country as demand for other jobs sadly fell. As Now Toronto reported, "When COVID-19 hit, while employment levels across the country decreased by 15% from February to April, they only decreased by 4.2% for tech workers. By May, employment levels were still down by 13.2% – except for the tech industry, which had already rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistics Canada Labour Force Surveys."


As a programmer, you'll constantly pick up new languages and systems or stay up-to-date on the latest data science innovations. Consistent growth and continuous learning as part of your job mandate keep your mind sharp and your programming skills sharper.

It goes without saying that you'll be designing apps, website infrastructure, data systems, or a mix of the above and designing requires a creative mind. The outward look of a website has to get users to stick around, and the back end has to function well enough that they won't get frustrated with the user experience. This is where creative problem-solving skills come into play, something you'll likely use daily.

According to Payscale, various developer jobs have a high career satisfaction score. Software engineers and front-end developers rate themselves as "highly satisfied," while these two and back-end developers report having comprehensive benefits like medical and dental coverage.

Is it stressful being a web developer?

Each job comes with its share of stressors, including web developers. Programmers can be subject to creative burnout, isolation if they work from home, and long hours if they're not careful to stay on top of projects or clients that prove difficult. For some, keeping up with new programming languages, skills, and databases can be tiring.

However, there are ways to deal with these cons. If you are careful to avoid pitfalls and take enough rest, you'll find a career as a developer quite rewarding.

Are web developers in Demand in Canada?

Given the incredible variety of places web developers can work, there are often thousands of job postings at any given time on job boards. For example, Indeed currently shows over 2,500 postings when searching for "web developer," while LinkedIn shows over 1,000.

According to the Government of Canada's Job Bank, from 2022-2031, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 10,400. In other words, if you want to enter the Canadian labour market in the next few years, you should be good to go. In fact, growth in the digital economy is poised to continue outpacing the general economy in the coming years, according to the Information and Communications Technology Council.

Launching into this lucrative career can be intimidating. Still, training programs like Lighthouse Labs' Web Development Bootcamp and Flex can teach you relevant technical skills, and we'll connect you with the right job to set you on your desired career path.

"Lighthouse Labs Bootcamp taught me the basics of web development and allowed me to create a foundation in which to build upon. The program taught me not just how to code but how to learn to code, so I can continue to pick up new languages and stay relevant way after bootcamp has ended. These skills helped me to get a job as a developer and also make it possible to continue growing in my new career."

Cameron Brown, Developer, Global Spatial Technology Solutions

Part of job satisfaction is salary. People need to make a living wage to meet their needs and have a better quality of life. Among Lighthouse Labs Web Development graduates, the average starting salary was $54,638. However, that amount increases quickly over the years. Alumni from 2021 achieved a 15% hike in their average compensation (to 2022). See the breakdown below of salaries from the most common web developer career paths. Generally speaking, web development is a high-paying job, especially with a few years of experience under the belt.

Software Engineers (Full Stack Developers)

Certain job sites have a higher yearly income estimate, like talent, which puts the average salary at $110,000 annually. Payscale puts the average annual income at C$69,825/year.

Experience Annual Pay includes tips, bonuses, and overtime pay
>1 year experience $59,646
1-4 years $67,151
10-19 years $85,475
20 years+ $91,893

Front-End Developer

Payscale $65,213/year ($101,755/year, according to talent)

Experience Annual Pay includes tips, bonuses, and overtime pay
>1 year experience $54,191
1-4 years $63,489
10-19 years $84,818
20 years+ $99,990

Different work options for web developers

There is no shortage of career paths that web developers can take. If you prefer a less people-facing role, you can work as a QA engineer or a database administrator. If working with people is your jam, you can try your hand at technical support or teaching. Team-oriented positions include scrum masters and sales engineers, and those who prefer more individual work can become technical writers.

The three most common jobs for developers

When it comes down to it, in the web development job market, most are either back-end developers, front-end developers, or full-stack developers.

  • Back-end web developers specialize in working with databases and server-side languages. The website's back end is known as the "server-side" because it's the component that communicates with the server.
  • Front-end web developers create the look and feel of a website or application. They work with designers and back-end developers to make the website act the way the client or designers want. They use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (or any other language used within a tech stack) to adjust fonts, colours, menus, and interactive elements while continually working on debugging them.
  • Full-stack web developers are knowledgeable on every level of web development: both front-end and back-end. They're involved in each part of the website's design and development. A full-stack developer doesn't have just one specialization. If the "stack" in "full-stack" is each element used to create an app, full-stack developers work in each layer of the stack.

Entrepreneurship is always on the table if you prefer to go your own route. Junaid Achmad, CEO of JackRabbit Ops, did just that, partly thanks to the technical and people skills he picked up during his time at Lighthouse Labs.

"It was an amazing opportunity I wouldn't have gotten if I hadn't taken the risk with bootcamp. My experience proves that you can turn your coding boot camp education into a rewarding career with determination and hard work."

Junaid Achmad, CEO JackRabbit Ops

Ready to launch into web development? Sign up for a Lighthouse Labs Program and receive the education you need to start your new career path.