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Thread: Web-Related Careers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Thumbs up Web-Related Careers

    A common misconception among many who visit this forum is that web development and web design are synonymous. Below are the distinctions between the two careers, as well as some of the skills you might need to pursue one of them.

    Web Developer

    A web developer is someone who creates web-based applications by using programming languages. Basically, a web developer makes things “happen” within a website or within a single webpage. By making things happen, I mean form-related functions; database calls, queries or compilation; or scripting include-based (dynamic) templates, etc. – anything that allows the user to interact with elements of the website.

    If you want to become a web developer, you will need to be familiar with client-side scripting and/or server-side scripting. Additionally, you will need to have some familiarity with database creation and maintenance.

    Detailed List of Options:
    Server side: ASP, ASP.NET, C++, C#, JScript, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, Visual Basic, etc.
    Client-side: JavaScript, AJAX - well, actually that’s a combo. of client and server
    Databases: MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle, as well as some XML

    A web developer doesn’t usually worry about the presentational aspects of the applications they create, beyond the overall user experience. In some cases, web developers can also be web designers, enhancing the programmatic output through presentational manipulation. But, usually, after the programmatic scripting is completed, the web developer’s project is then handed off to a web designer.

    Beyond the technical knowledge required, it is beneficial for web developers to study and understand usability (what makes a successful end-user experience), accessibility (what is needed to accommodate those with disabilities wanting to view your website), and W3C standards.

    Generally, those with good analytic and logic skills make good web developers. If you enjoy math, science, problem-solving, or mechanical manipulation, web development is for you.

    Web Designer

    A web designer is someone who works with the visual elements of a webpage. This is the person that makes the page look “pretty.” Web designers integrate things such as images, Flash files, or multimedia, etc. into the page to enhance the user’s visual experience, or to supplement existing content.

    If you want to become a web designer, you will need to be familiar with some client-side scripting, possibly some server-side scripting, HTML, Flash development and image manipulation. One very important, and integral, facet to being a successful web designer is to understand Cascading Style Sheets. Another, lesser facet, is knowledge of semantic coding (using HTML tags to delineate content, rather than using them for presentational styling - <p> for paragraph, <h1> for a heading 1, etc.)

    Detailed List of Options:
    Client-side scripting: Javascript
    Server-Side scripting: PHP, ASP
    Cascading Style Sheets
    Image manipulation and web optimization
    Flash or other Multimedia creation and web optimization

    In contrast to the web developer, a web designer often has to work with teams of people, which requires additional skills in communications. He or she will work in tangent with a programmer and/or the web content author(s) to create a design that both allows the web applications to work unhindered and that complements, rather than overpowers, the actual textual content of the webpage. Web designers often are required to have some marketing knowledge, in order to create designs that appeal to a certain clientele. Lastly, it is very important that web designers have knowledge of usability, accessibility, W3C standards for both HTML and CSS, and a thorough understanding of cross-browser compatibility.

    To be a successful web designer, you have to have an artistic eye and creative bent. If you enjoy art, social studies, or communications, you’re probably more inclined to be a web designer.

    Webmaster – A Hybrid of the Two

    A webmaster can be either a web developer or a web designer. Usually, the webmaster works alone doing both jobs as he or she maintains a website. In addition, a webmaster may be responsible for search engine optimization (SEO), web content writing, and/or marketing.

    However, for larger organizations, a webmaster may be more of a project manager, overseeing the work of web designers and web developers. Additionally, the webmaster may be in charge of system performance, usability testing, usage tracking, and other administrative-like tasks.

    I hope this information has been helpful.
    Good Luck in selecting whatever profession is best for you!
    Last edited by KDLA; 05-21-2007 at 01:47 PM. Reason: grotesque grammar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I am so glad that someone acknowledges that the two are different. The people that are looking for employees don't seem to understand that. Everyone expects that if you are a designer you are also a programmer. That is WAY off. Most programmers (ones that I know) hate the design part, or don't have an eye for it. Most designers, me included, HATE the programming part. As a designer I have a very difficult time thinking like a programmer. I am a visual thinker, not a text thinker. I wish the job market would understand this concept better.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Thanks a lot for simplifying the much used terms that often subjected to misinterpretation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Delphos, Ohio
    Thank you for helping me understand the directions I could go. even though I like little bits of both I have a passion to see something come alive by my hands, same reason I write music to I guess I'm still not sure where I would like to be but it gives me understanding over where I could go. Not being good at math narrows it down. I pretty much learned everything for becomeing a designer I just can't get a hang of flash Thanks!

    J. Conner

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Question thanks !

    I dont know thoroughly about web developer and web designer before ...
    Thank you anyway ...
    I m the one who will try from the basic ... cos' i dont know anything with web design and development .. .
    I like web design rather than development ..
    As ur talk , for becoming a web designer , are all those programs required ??
    i dont like programming ... so .. if i dont attend in programming , can i be a web designer ?? i want to know .. please explain me ... thanks all ....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by twinty
    ...i [sic] dont like programming ... so .. if i [sic] dont attend in programming , can i [sic] be a web designer ?? i [sic] want to know .. please explain me ... thanks all ....
    I believe what you want to be is a graphic designer - not web designer - if you do not wish to learn programming. A graphic designer works with image-editing programs and submits artistics elements for inclusion in a webpage (or any other type of media).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    i find this all to be a bit confusing,

    still seems to me that web designers are very similair to web developers because both need to know the same types of skills.......html, css, client side scripting and server side scripting,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Well, a web designer doesn't necessarily have to be able to write client/server-side code, only be able to understand it enough to customize it to fit the design. A web developer needs to be able to write the code.
    (At least, that's my experience. )

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    In the same respect, the Web developer doesn't necessarily need to know design, as long as they work with someone who does. One is more technical, the other is more artistic.

    ""Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."" -- Sir Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Yes, they both need to know similar skills. But a web developer will have an in depth knowledge of scripting and a web designer will only need a "working" knowledge. I have an in depth CSS/HTML skill set, but am horribly inartistic, hence I stick to development as much as possible.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    this is very interesting, so would a web designer need to know graphics well ? or would it make sense for a web designer to still outsource for graphic design, if needed ?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Unless the outsourcing is for Flash elements or creation of a logo, it would seem sort of senseless to outsource all of the graphic design elements -- what would the web designer be left with, except positioning? (especially if scripting is avoided) At some point you have to accept that you're going to have to expand your skillset to be marketable to employers. If you narrow your focus (or are just picky about what you want to do) you'll have few job offers. Employers aren't crazy about piecemeal project management; they'd much have one point of contact.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    want to do freelance,

    skillset includes good html, css, and some pretty good javascript, but i guess i wouldn't need to know extensive javascript programming as a web designer, things like object creation i'm week on,

    what i did mean was outsourcing for things like flash or logos, or anything that you would do as a graphics artist, any kind of graphics not specifically related to web design, ofcoarse i would do css, page navigation, layout, etc.,

    how does this sound ?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Thank you for this post, I had been wondering about this since I started on my adventure here. I am most certainly a web designer then. I know a little bit about coding and making things "work" but it takes me days and days to study it and try it, and eventually I get it to work.

    But I love love love to make things "look pretty". And before this thread I was a little concerned about my future work, and having to learn all the technical stuff.

    So is it common that a designer and a developer would work together on a project? Since I am at the point in certain jobs where I need someone who knows more than I do about the tech stuff....
    Last edited by Sidekick; 02-01-2008 at 10:41 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    So is it common that a designer and a developer would work together on a project? Since I am at the point in certain jobs where I need someone who knows more than I do about the tech stuff....
    Depending on the environment. Not every company can afford to have both a developer and a designer. But, yes, if the circumstances are right, a developer and a designer would work together.

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