In today’s world of technology, web development and system administration are two critical aspects of creating and maintaining an online presence. Despite the fact that these two occupations share similar duties in many respects, there are noteworthy differences between them. Understanding these differences can help you choose the best position for your skillset and ambitions; let’s take a look at what those differences are!
In this blog, we will explore the differences between web developers and system administrators.
Table of Contents
What is a Web Developer?
Some of the typical job tasks of a web developer include:
- Designing layouts: Web developers create website layouts that are visually appealing, user-friendly, and responsive across various devices.
- Creating and managing databases: Web developers are responsible for creating and managing databases that store website content, user information, and other data.
- Debugging and testing: Web developers test websites to ensure that they are functional and perform optimally across various browsers and devices. They also debug issues as they arise.
- Collaborating with designers and content creators: Web developers work closely with designers and content creators to ensure that the website meets the business’s goals and objectives.
- Updating and maintaining websites: Web developers are responsible for updating websites with new content, features, and functionalities. They also need to ensure that the website is up-to-date with the latest security patches and technology.
- Monitoring website traffic and performance: Web developers use analytics tools to monitor website traffic and performance. They also use this data to identify areas of improvement and optimize the website accordingly.
- Search engine optimization: Web developers ensure that the website is optimized for search engines, which involves using appropriate keywords, meta tags, and other SEO techniques.
- E-commerce development: Web developers can also develop e-commerce websites that allow users to buy products or services online securely.
A system administrator, on the other hand, is responsible for managing and maintaining an organization’s computer systems and networks. They ensure that all the hardware and software systems are working correctly and that data is secure and backed up. System administrators are proficient in operating systems like Linux, Windows, and Unix, and they also have knowledge of network protocols and security. Often companies have specialized skillsets under the System Administrator umbrella – Network Administrator, Database administrators (DBA), Server or web administrators and Security systems administrators.
Some of the typical job tasks of a system administrator include:
- Installing and configuring software and hardware: System administrators are responsible for installing and configuring software and hardware components, including servers, operating systems, databases, and network devices.
- Monitoring system performance: System administrators monitor system performance to ensure that all systems are running optimally. They also use performance metrics to identify potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
- Troubleshooting issues: System administrators are responsible for identifying and resolving system issues, including hardware failures, software bugs, and network connectivity problems.
- Maintaining system security: System administrators ensure that all systems are secure by implementing security policies, monitoring for potential security breaches, and responding to security incidents.
- Creating and managing user accounts: System administrators create and manage user accounts and access permissions for various systems and applications.
- Backing up and restoring data: System administrators are responsible for creating and managing backups of critical data to ensure that it can be restored in the event of a system failure or data loss.
- Network administration: System administrators manage the organization’s network infrastructure, including configuring and maintaining network devices, monitoring network traffic, and troubleshooting network issues.
- Cloud computing management: System administrators manage cloud-based infrastructure, including provisioning and configuring cloud services, monitoring performance, and ensuring security.
- Documentation: System administrators document all system configurations, procedures, and policies to ensure that the organization’s systems are maintained and managed effectively.
Though the two specialties need technical skills, system administrators often work in tandem with developers to craft thoroughly functioning applications or frameworks. The primary difference between them is that a web developer is responsible for creating and maintaining websites, while a system administrator manages an organization’s computer systems and networks.
Web developers need to be proficient in programming languages, web frameworks, and web servers. They also have to be creative and have a good understanding of user experience design. On the other hand, system administrators need to be proficient in operating systems, network protocols, and security. They also have to be analytical and have strong problem-solving skills.
|Creates and maintains websites and web applications
|Responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer systems and networks
|Key Skills and knowledge
|Programming languages, web design principles, user experience design
|Operating systems, networking, security, disaster recovery planning, DevOps, CI/CD
|Office setting or data center
|Average Salary (USA)
|$82,466 per year
|$72,417 per year
Future of a Web Developer Career vs System Administrator Career?
The future of a career in web development and system administration is promising, as both fields continue to evolve with new technologies and trends. However, the demand for each career path may vary depending on various factors, including industry trends, business needs, and technological advancements.
Web developers are likely to see continued growth in demand as businesses continue to expand their online presence. The rise of e-commerce, mobile devices, and web-based applications has created a need for skilled web developers who can design and develop responsive and user-friendly websites and applications. The demand for web developers is expected to increase as more businesses invest in their online presence to reach their customers and target markets.
On the other hand, the demand for system administrators is also likely to increase as businesses continue to rely on technology to streamline operations, store and manage data, and protect their digital assets. With the rise of cloud computing and virtualization, system administrators are expected to be in high demand to manage complex IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, and networks. Moreover, with an increasing number of businesses adopting remote work models, system administrators who can manage and secure remote access to company systems will be highly valued.
To make a meaningful career in either Web Developer or the System Administrator role is – paying attention to the soft skills. Common examples include communication skills, critical thinking, leadership, time management and agility. These skills are often labelled as transferable skills as they can be applied to any job. So, software engineers – Pay Attention To Them!
In conclusion, while web developers and system administrators have different roles, they are both essential for an organization’s success. Web developers are responsible for creating and maintaining websites, while system administrators manage an organization’s computer systems and networks. Both roles require different skill sets, but they work closely together to ensure that an organization’s online presence is functional, secure, and user-friendly.