Hopefully by now you've got at least a vague idea what a web developer is supposed to do but examples speak louder than explanations when it comes to the question of "What is it like to actually be a developer?". We've given an overview below of several different types of web development gigs, though there are more flavors than you can count.
If you want to dive deeper, we've provided links to some blog posts below each example and also in the Resources tab.
The giant tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc are the largest employers out there and they need 1000's of devs to help them get their products built. They often have high hurdles for hiring but very good benefits and training programs to take you the next step of your learning journey. The possible jobs cover a huge breadth of skillsets but you're often asked to focus on a particular area once you're on the team. Established companies are often a good way to cut your teeth in the industry while being surrounded by smart people and willing mentors.
Small tech startups value the ability to build and ship code above all else, so sometimes they're a tough place to step in with a junior skillset but it's certainly a trial by fire. Particularly in Silicon Valley, just about every tech company still calls itself a "startup" but take that with a major grain of salt -- for this case, think small team and only a round or two of fundraising under their belts. They often offer slightly lower salaries, longer hours, but equity upside and highly unique environments.
Freelancers are able to command a strong hourly wage and the freedom to make their own hours and design their own products. The downside is that they're also responsible for hustling to get their own gigs (which takes time away from coding), managing billing from clients (who can be notoriously difficult), and covering the full stack of the website (if it breaks, it's your fault). They may come on to help out with existing projects or build for clients from scratch but, either way, strong people skills are necessary.
Some people can pull off the "work from anywhere" dream but don't think it happens right away... it can take quite a while to build a good enough reputation to stay fully booked.
Developers at web consultancies like Pivotal Labs, Thoughtbot, and ThoughtWorks give up some of their wage potential versus freelancing for being able to focus more on the code and less on the hustle. They're also typically working in teams and are highly client-driven so, again, the ability to work well with others is crucial. They also often employ pair programming techniques. Consultancies often provide a very reasonable work/life balance and are another good entry point to the industry.