What should the ultimate web developer be capable of? What is it that distinguishes this developer from his or her colleagues? How is it possible that the skillset of two developers are the same but one may still make the difference when it is required the most?
Not every vision is the same, and of course "ultimate" can be interpreted in different ways. But I can share you what my take is on this subject, evolved from over a decade of experience in the web development profession.
For a starter, if you want to be the ultimate web developer you need to have your basics covered. That is: your skillset. You can't get away by stating you know it all without actually having a decent amount of knowledge ready and available. This does mean you have to invest in your own knowledge and take it seriously at the same time. This means you have to have some discipline to pull this off. This is the first important part of the ultimate web developer: self-discipline.
Self-discipline means you can put yourself to work while other don't care. It means you can train yourself while others don't care. It means you put time in yourself while others just sit on the couch playing games.
Does this mean you always need to work on yourself? No it doesn't. It means you just take the time to train yourself while others would take the easy way out. As soon as you put the time in yourself to improve you will see the difference sooner than later. It will pay off as soon as you can put it into action, you'll be happy to have trained yourself.
Never focus on "things" you can make, always go for a deeper understanding of what's going on in the underlying mechanics. For example: Don't focus your energy on courses like "here's how to make a webshop", and then tell people you are able to create a webshop. Sure, you can make a webshop, but what if I need you to make an invoicing system connected to a book printer? Can you make it? Or can you only create a webshop? Do I want to do business with you if you can only make a webshop? Some people might, but I rather continue looking for an Ultimate Web Developer, which brings us to the next point.
Nothing is worse than a system that's difficult to understand and use. Yes, people always state their system is user-friendly, but I dare otherwise. Most systems plain suck. And I mean really suck. As soon as something is "usable" people think it is "user-friendly". No, it's not, get your facts right. A user-friendly system focuses on your grandma and your mother. As soon as they are able to use without any explanation you may call your system user-friendly. Need them to explain where to click? You failed. Need to tell them what to do? You failed. Is your system confusing your mother after she tried to accomplish a certain task? You failed.
You need to be human. A programmer is typically not the person that understands usability, so simply don't be that programmer. Be the Ultimate Web Developer, the one that has social skills and understands human thinking.
The last but certainly not the least quality the ultimate web developer needs is creativity and resourcefulness. As soon as a clients or situation demands you to change something in your software, you should able to do so without any hesitation. You'll need to be able to adapt to the current situation and come up with a solution that actually fixes the problem without limitations on your end.
Simply stating "be creative" isn't enough. There's a difference between being very creative and just creative. Creativity is not just shown in paintings, hell no, it's shown in you being able to find a solution when others give up. It's shown in you coming up with things you didn't know were possible. Surprise yourself and others with thinking outside of the box, a simple rule of thumb: The Ultimate Web Developer can create anything in the browser he or she wants, as simple as that. It wouldn't be the first time the ultimate web developer comes up with something nobody even knew was possible, so smart, so creative, technically so great it looks too simple to be true. This is where you want to be.
Simply put, take care of your skills, it counts for 50% of the total package of the Ultimate Web Developer. Be able to dig deep when needed, it makes the difference between you and a regular web developer and counts for 25% of the total package. Usability? 15%. Able to adapt in a creative way? The last 10%. But remember, all equally important! You can't leave out the last 10% and expect you to be the ultimate web developer, it doesn't work that way. You need to master ALL skills.
Does it take time? Yes it does, Does it take experience? Yes it does. Does it take brains? Yes it does. Can you do it? Well I think you can, as long as you are serious about your skill and feel like you want to excel at it.