WoW! This is EXACTLY what's been lingering in my mind....
Trying to figure out what's the difference between both words..."Developer or Designer" <tomato or tomatoe> and which path to choose.
Thank-You Soooooo MUCH! KDLA
For Ur Enlighten Words and Knowledge.
LOL U sound like a walking Encyclopedia…LOL
Did I say……
Gracias…Merci…..Thank-U…. Sionara…Ooops! I need spell check he-he...
I am posting this question up here because I felt is was relavent to the topic as opposed to the threads lower down...
I have been trying to figure out whether or not to be a web developer or software developer. I was sitting in class when someone very adamently told me that web developers are a "dime a dozen" go for software developer/engineer. This kind of concerns me as I don't want to be wasting my time and money in school only to not be employable once I am out. This tread contained lots of helpful advice, but I am wondering about the state of the industry today. So my question is this...what is the current state of the industry? If you had it to do all over again, would you choose differently? Are web developers a "dime a dozen" therefore, its hard to get into the business?
Thank you in advance for any advice you may have...
Fly-by-night (I just bought Dreamweaver or Expressions) "web designers" are a dime a dozen; educated and experienced web designers (not reliant upon a product) are a hot commodity.
I think the reason your friend told you that Web developers are a dime a dozen is because there are a lot of people who can post a HTML page on the Web, and they then call themselves a Web developer. Kind of like the guy who makes a long comment post to a blog and says he's now a published writer. KDLA is right. If you're good, there is work, and plenty of it.
It feels good to read something you already know about, doesn't it? (OK, I am not trying to be ****y, just stating the facts ) Right now I am studying and also undertaking projects as a web developer. In a year's time, I will graduate and want to build a career as a web developer. Can someone please enlighten me on what I possibly could specialize in as a web dev? I am also quite good as a web designer.
Making a web site pretty is just the start ...
I have been a web designer/developer since EARLY on. Posted my first web page to the internet in 1992. In general I agree with the separation between developer and designer... think backend vs frontend. But making something pretty is only the beginning of the web design. To be really good? You need to know more than a little about Information Management practice (what goes where and more importantly, why?) Human/Computer Interaction (what are the most common expectations and challenges our user face? how do they deal with them?), and to get deep into it you will study Cognitive Psychololgy (what is the role and use for color and shape in visual interaction? what about visually impaired users? [sec 508 compliance] and Cultural Cognitive Anthropology (how did your users' cultures shape their expectations about information and how it is presented - - localization and internationalization). Skilled graphic artisans are needed, but skilled graphic artisans with a foundation in Art, Art History, and Art Theory are as hen's teeth and paid handsomely. There is one org I know of that tries to address this and more ... formerly the World Organization of Webmaster, now: World Organization of WebProfessonals. http://www.webprofessionals.org.
Short version: the days of a bit of code knowledge to build html/dhtml site, a bit graphics and the basics of site navigation / site management are GONE. We have become highly skilled, well paid, well educated professionals.
Welcome to the fold!
Making a web site work ...
True skilled developers are highly employable. To me as a project lead and system architect I look for people who have indepth knowledge of at least one programming language and a solid working skill with related frameworks. For example: Java using J2EE or C,C+, C# using .Net. Building site functionality, effective functionality requires a firm grasp of OOA, OOD, OOP (Object Oriented Analysis, Design, and Programming). There is more than one way to 'skin a cat' but which way is flexible, scalable, maintainable? Calling a database for data is easy, but what techniques support tracability and scalability? You need a solid grounding in process, too. Agile, RAD, Iterative Waterfall, etc. You will need to know/learn how to plan, build and test effective services from a Use Case, and in many cases how to write a Use Case, tied to a Requirement. Which of course means you need to know/learn Requirement Management, Code Management (Source Safe, CVS, etc).
Try this analogy (very loose). When you build a car one team researches, designs, and builds the body and interior - - the designers. Another team researches, designs and builds the rest, engine, transmission, braking system, etc. -- the engineers (developers).
Each has its virtue, each is a skill. Corporate employers tend to concentrate on recruiting developers, too often with the belief developers are designers. IT Service companies look for both - - most of the really effective corporate web sites (e-com) are build by IT Svc companies ... very few corporations, not specifically in the IT business, build their own sites.
So how to start? Intern at a IT service or software house. Take the entry level job at either - - work crazy hours, LEARN. The upward curve in compensation is quick as your skills increase. Find a mentor - - then LISTEN and LEARN.
To quote an old sales axiom: "The only place Success comes before Work is in the dictionary."
Last edited by javawebdog; 11-26-2008 at 06:58 PM.
How do you developers out there get round the 'design' issue?
Do you generally just design the site yourself as well or do you outsource?
With the common misconception that web designers are the same as web developers, how does one survive without the other?
Personally, my design skills suck, however i get by ok and tend to do more technical sites rather than pretty sites anyway. But there are so many great looking sites out there that i'm gonna need to start outsourcing the designs to remain competitive - is this a common practice and if so how much does a simple one-page image-only design usually cost?
The key is collaboration. If you are working independently find someone whose work you like and team-up. If you are in a 'captured' environment check out your team ... you may have a talented designer and not know it.
Build an inventory of templates: There are a lot of great sites around where you can buy design templates (check the licensing !) and even a few with free templates (check reqs .. usually just have to leave a credit for who did the design). If you are in private practice then it is a tax-deductible expense in most cases.
More and more I've noticed that web design and development as a whole is fracturing into 4 main areas: Server and network administration, server side programming, client side programming and design.
Server and network administrator
As web sites become more robust and require more processing muscle, as well as bandwidth, maintenance of a network and servers is becoming a job in and of itself. You basically ensure the server side developers have a stable environment in which to develop, and the client side programmers have a responsive web site.
Server side programmer
These are programmers through and through. They use languages like PHP, C#, Java or Python to develop full fledged applications utilizing software development best practices. Data base management knowledge is a must.
Client side programmer
You know color theory, proportions, and visual communication. You can take Photoshop, Illustrator and/or Fireworks for a waltz, and after the dance you leave it breathless with flushed cheeks (i.e. you REALLY REALLY know how to use this software).
Thanks for the break up. But I was wondering what scope is there for someone who has experience and is interested in the entire process. If I were to pick from the categories that you have listed above, I would check server-side and client-site programming. I am interested in both. Is there an opening to do a bit of both, or must I pursue only one?
You don't need to only pursue one. Your choice of server + client side programming is very marketable, mainly to smaller companies that cannot afford employing all 4 types of people.
So glad to hear that! There is one more thing troubling me. I have a year to go before I launch myself into my career. I am currently studying and want to make most of the spare time that I have now (thankfully my college gives me a lot of it). I was wondering what are the things I should cover in the next 12 months.
Here is a list of things that I am already well versed in:
- jQuery (learning this currently)
- SproutCore (learning this currently)
- AJAX / JSON
I read somewhere that it is important to know at least one of the frame works (like CakePHP). How important is that? Please list the other aspects of Web Dev I can cover in the next 12 months.
Frameworks, like CakePHP or Code Igniter, follow the Model-View-Control pattern of programming. This is common in enterprise level programming. In fact, learning about programming patterns will serve you better than learning about AJAX. Since you already know PHP, pick up a copy of "PHP Object, Patterns and Practice, 2nd ed."
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