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  1. #26
    Kiwi Fr00t jylyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ULTiMATE
    As far as I see it web has changed a lot over the past few years, and it continues to change. University shows us this easily, as lecturers are still teaching how to design in tables and have never heard of validation, but have picked up basic CSS to make their lives easier.
    I think this pretty much sums up the problem with qualifications. Everything changes so fast you have to be actually working as a web developer and constantly upgrading your skills to keep in touch. Their very profession prevents university lecturers from being able to do this, therefore they aren't able to teach their students what they themselves don't know. And even supposing they did keep in touch with the industry, translating that into the classroom is another matter entirely. A curriculum is a very slow-moving cumbersome beast.

    I've no wish to offend anyone, but I tend to think that anyone who needs to pay someone to teach them something they could easily learn just by doing, is the kind of person who will not be able to continue to grow their skills once they have graduated. Having said that, of course there are people who will go out and get qualifications to make themselves more attractive to employers, and if that's what you want, there's nothing wrong with that. Me, I'd rather spend the time just doing it and improving as I go.

  2. #27
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jylyn
    I think this pretty much sums up the problem with qualifications. Everything changes so fast you have to be actually working as a web developer and constantly upgrading your skills to keep in touch. Their very profession prevents university lecturers from being able to do this, therefore they aren't able to teach their students what they themselves don't know. And even supposing they did keep in touch with the industry, translating that into the classroom is another matter entirely. A curriculum is a very slow-moving cumbersome beast.

    I've no wish to offend anyone, but I tend to think that anyone who needs to pay someone to teach them something they could easily learn just by doing, is the kind of person who will not be able to continue to grow their skills once they have graduated. Having said that, of course there are people who will go out and get qualifications to make themselves more attractive to employers, and if that's what you want, there's nothing wrong with that. Me, I'd rather spend the time just doing it and improving as I go.
    I disagree in some aspects of what you've said. I agree that a lecturer is probably teaching more than web, so it's not a priority to know what's happening now in industry. However, I think they are more than capable of learning about what they're teaching. Generally, a LOT of Web Developers in the industry are no better than these lecturers. Lecturers on loads of other subjects, such as networking, hardware and programming have to keep up with new technologies and things like that. They attend conferences and train for these kind of things along with their jobs. However, I've never noticed any Web lecturers having to go for training on the newest web development news and technologies.

    I don't know if I'd call it incompetence. I have a great Web Development lecturer who works hard to learn what he's doing. Whilst his techniques are a little dated he will edge students into where to go to do what you need. All a lecturer needs to do is ask the questions that brings these technologies up.

    As far as employment goes, I'd still recommend going for someone with a degree. However, you're more than welcome to ask what kind of work they done in web during their degree. If you ask the right questions you'll know if they're up to the task or not.

  3. #28
    Design and Promotion Crimson77's Avatar
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    Surely track record and portfolio should be the main areas to base your decisions on.

    The only tricky part is it they have sites in their portfolio that were worked on by more than one person. How are you to know exactly what they did on that site. People can lie.

  4. #29
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson77
    Surely track record and portfolio should be the main areas to base your decisions on.

    The only tricky part is it they have sites in their portfolio that were worked on by more than one person. How are you to know exactly what they did on that site. People can lie.
    Definately! Great point there. I've found this happen a lot with Graphic Design students.

    With Web Development though, you can crack down on it a lot more.

    If I were in any position to pick respective Web Developers for a place in my team there's one thing I'd look for past what work they've done in the past. That would be professionalism. If, in an interview, someone pulled out a briefcase or a nice folder containing the work they've previously done, along with source code, case studies, competitive analysis', and other information WHILE running me through it I'd be sure to pick them over someone who just showed me a design and said he'd made it.

    In the long term a professional will be better than someone who knows their buzzwords. Who is to say that in a few years time the person who validates his/her code doesn't follow the new rules for designing good web pages? At least with a professional you can outline your companies/teams method of work and tell him that, if the job was to fall to him, that it would be recommended for him to get up to scratch with the current web development rules. Different firms have different business aims and it is your job to set them out to your future employees.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Addict dbr's Avatar
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    Outside the Box

    Quote Originally Posted by cococo
    If I have the budget. How do i find the web designers that are both technically sound and offer visually stunning work?

    The reason I am asking about level of skill or qualification is that I need to build a team of web developers that would be available to make small modifications to users sites. When a site/business joins our membership we need to place an icon of membership on their site. I want to provide a list of designers that understand our aim and rules of using the icon. I am concerned about recommending a designer to do the work without having qualified them. Any suggestions on how I can build a list of designers capable of doing this. I am grateful of any advice.
    I see two items of interest here:
    1) make small modifications to users sites. I personally would not be interested in having anyone else besides me or who I personally designate modify any of my sites if I were one of your users.

    2) we need to place an icon of membership on their site. Generally, sites that have a need to place an icon on others sites provide the necessary code that is usually cut and pasted into the site.

    The validator buttions from W3C Markup Validation Service is like that and other sites I've seen with similar requirements: Here is there typical code for pasting minus the <p></p>tags with the rtfloater class added for my purposes.

    <a href="http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=referer"><img class="rtfloater"
    src="http://www.w3.org/Icons/valid-xhtml10"
    alt="Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional" height="31" width="88" /></a>

    Point being, you would provide the code needed for your icon and allow their own developers to insert it into their site's code as they see fit , using your guidelines if necessary.

    Unless there is something else you are needing to accomplishe here that is not obvious, you should not need designers/developers to modify others' sites.

    Good Luck,
    Regards,
    Dave
    "Three components make an entrepreneur:
    the person, the idea, and the resources to make it happen."
    Anita Roddick ~British entrepreneur
    dbr founder of: ProximityCast.com

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jylyn
    I've no wish to offend anyone, but I tend to think that anyone who needs to pay someone to teach them something they could easily learn just by doing, is the kind of person who will not be able to continue to grow their skills once they have graduated. Having said that, of course there are people who will go out and get qualifications to make themselves more attractive to employers, and if that's what you want, there's nothing wrong with that. Me, I'd rather spend the time just doing it and improving as I go.
    I'm not terribly impressed with college as a training ground for traditional professions, let alone the fast-moving world of web design. However, I disagree with the statement that suggests web design is easy to learn, and there's no need to hire a teacher.

    In fact, I've become a huge fan of hiring tutors. I spent a few years teaching myself the basics of web design, PHP, MySQL, etc. and I've now reached the point where I'm tried of the constant grind of learning, rather than doing. I've hired a couple people to write moderately complex scripts for me, and I recently hired someone to set up Apache, PHP and MySQL on a new laptop. They've all been great investments.

    First, I have good scripts that didn't take me days to research and write. Second, it's nice being able to sit down next to a pro and take notes as they work. One problem many of us do-it-yourselfers face is a lack face-to-face contact with the pros. You can learn a lot from forums, yet you can also miss out on so many simple things if you work in isolation.

    Anyway, if I was going to do it all over again, I woudn't hesitate to occasionally shell out $100-$200 for some simple tutoring just to get me up to speed, especially when tackling a server side language and database. After all, my time is valuable, too.

  7. #32
    Non-Member the baldchemist's Avatar
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    It's fine knowing how to handle HTML, CSS,Jave etc. It's also fine knowing how to use flash and all the other gimmicks. What most and I mean most developers fail in is how to write bloody good creative content.

    Content is as important as the visuals, more so even. I think most developers get bogged down trying to impress with technical Knowledge rather than how to write creative that works for their clients.
    So ask your developer for CONTENT. How bloody good are they at writing stuff that wil retain attention.
    A developer that has EMPATHY with your business and you. One who understands where you want your business to go.

  8. #33
    Non-Member the baldchemist's Avatar
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    as an adendum. Certification is easy to get from any web-site. Go for the personal touch.
    PS Just before anyone thinks I am without certification provenance. I have more than i ever needed.
    I am fortunately,in a position to say NO to some clients who dont fit the bill. That's not conceit but keep yourself aloof. You are who you mix with.
    The Baldchemist

  9. #34
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    In which situations should the web developer be writing the content? In most cases the web developer would be designing a web site for the client's content. If the web dev is writing the content, how is the client even involved?
    "Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what
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    would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

  10. #35
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    Does anyone have any tips on how a non-web developer (hoping to be one day) can select a web developer for a job. Lots of the previous advice re, viewing protfolio, validating code etc. Requires more knowledge than I currently have. Although I understand most of the terms I can not implement or make a judgement at this stage.

    Does any one have an opinion on how relevent a subject knowledge or type of website is in selecting a developer. Eg If I need a forum relevent to joggers? Should I and can I find developers whom have already developed forums and have a personal interest in jogging. Ta

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar
    In which situations should the web developer be writing the content? In most cases the web developer would be designing a web site for the client's content. If the web dev is writing the content, how is the client even involved?
    How is the client even involved? Seems to me s/he is still a client.

    I've been hired to write content for clients who weren't the best writers (not hard to find). They told me what they wanted me to write about and gave me tips and feedback. In fact, one web publisher even hired me to do his writing. There's nothing wrong with that, though it can get expensive.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Would this be a good way i have always been taught to use dreamweavers code view is that a good way to learn?

  13. #38
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    I've been hired to write content for clients who weren't the best writers.
    Sure, in some situations, web developers will also be able to write content, but I think eldacar's point was that most developers wouldn't be expected to do that job. If they can, it's a bonus, not a criteria for them getting the job. Also, as cococo asks, having an interest in the topic the site is about will enable a content producer to do a better job of producing content for that site, but I don't think it's necessarily that important for someone working on the code of a site.
    In situations where you're working alongside someone, then it's good to share similar interests (I saw a job ad for a developer's role the other day where one of the criteria was that the person had to be into mountain biking, rallying etc.) cos you want to maximise your chances of getting on with that person, but if the relationship is to be a remote one (ie via email etc.), then that's probably not so important.
    In cases where you want to hire someone, but know nothing about what the person you're hiring does, then it may be better to get someone who does know to do the hiring for you. That might mean getting a recruitment agency to do it for you (although I've often found the recruitment agents to have next to no clue about web dev topics either).
    Failing that, I think the best you can do is ask for references from the people you 'interview' and actually get in contact with people they've worked for before.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by cococo
    Does anyone have any tips on how a non-web developer (hoping to be one day) can select a web developer for a job. Lots of the previous advice re, viewing protfolio, validating code etc. Requires more knowledge than I currently have. Although I understand most of the terms I can not implement or make a judgement at this stage.
    You could always ask for a link to their online portfolio and then post a link to it on a web developer's forum and see what everyone's feedback is. It's probably the cheapest and easiest way to get advice.

  15. #40
    Working on it... Contrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrQuincy
    You could always ask for a link to their online portfolio and then post a link to it on a web developer's forum and see what everyone's feedback is. It's probably the cheapest and easiest way to get advice.
    Hmmm...
    And so I got lost in code...completely asphyxiated by it...

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  16. #41
    Non-Member the baldchemist's Avatar
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    my point was there are loads of young technicians around whoknow csss, html and jave etc. A client requires a developer who understands the value of great written creative.
    A client always requires a developer to understand what the goals are and how to achieve maximum results.
    A great looking css, html java site is all very well but if the written content is uninteresting and doesn't command attention with calls to action from the visitor then there is little point developing a site at all.
    My point is dont get too bogged down with the technicalities but put thought behind great innovative creative.
    In which situations should the developer be writing the creative ? Everytime!

  17. #42
    SitePoint Enthusiast Swankie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    Literally sit them down in front of a computer, give them a text editor (just to make things even worse, give them Notepad) and tell them to belt out a complete, 100% valid, semantic and warning-free Web page.
    Agreed. There is a certain (large) group of people who do really well passing the exams, but are useless in real life situations.

    A really bright individual wouldn't need a certification to land a killer job.

  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the baldchemist
    In which situations should the developer be writing the creative ? Everytime!
    Web design agencies/firms etc may provide writing content as a service but I doubt you'll find many individuals whose job description is 'developer' who actually do.

  19. #44
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    You should be careful about focusing only on the technical and graphic aspects of web development and design. A developer or designer might improve some aspect of your site while destroying another. During an interview see what they know about DMOZ, PR, SEM, SEO, backlinks, 301's, etc. If they can't show some evidence of understanding what these are and what there importance is then you should move on to a candidate that has some understanding of the web business. If they don't understand these items they may make you disappear in Google rankings or jack up your advertising costs. I recently bailed out a group that had spent months "upgrading" a site and they did manage to change the site to the CIO's prefered technology but critical items like page titles were left generic ("Home Page") instead of focused on a keyword.

    Regarding degrees, I suggest that you just get one if it is an objection by employers. It is a valid way to do some screening as it verifies foresight, may indicate ambition, and shows that you at least made it through the schools screening process. And come on, you can get degrees easily now online.
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  20. #45
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Just wanted to let you guys (and ladies among us) know, something came up yesterday (if you're interested in what exactly, check the General Chat board), so I'll be a bit late in getting my updated summary (employment vs contracting) of qualfiications up when I can.

    I sincerely apologize for the delay.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    That's the main reason no one in my area will hire me (as in the traditional sense--to become an employee) - I lack both. Why? Not because I'm incapable of doing the job (I think anyone here back me up on this), but because I am self-taught. They demand a degree, the presence (or lack thereof) they use to screen applicants before they even sit down to even read the rest of the resume. And if the resume passes their tests (references, work history, portfolio, etc), then they'll call you in for an interview.
    That has been the BANE of my career existance. Only for me, it is I do not have certifications (CIS major, focused on Support and Networks). I do not have ceritifications because I can not afford the tests right now, and feel they are over-priced as it is. And A+ and dare I say N+ has become WAY over-rated.

    I would stick to Dans plan of attack, and heed is warning about not passing up at least looking at the "diamond in the rough". Most of this stuff is VERY easily self taught. Heck, most of the classes just have you follow a book and then the teacher just regurgatate what was in the book. When it comes to any kind of computer language, I have learned more on my own and on sites like this than in the class.

  22. #47
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    I tried taking a class a couple years ago (two years ago this month, in fact). They tried to claim that JavaScript 1.2, table-based layout, and Photoshop slices were not only the best thing since sliced bread, but also the latest innovation in the industry.

    My foot it was.

  23. #48
    is craving 'the potato' slayerment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cococo
    Is there a standard qualification/certification that I can ask for when selecting a web developer. I have noticed that w3schools.com has a html certification. Would it be reasonable to use this a a guide for skill level?
    The answer is no, there isn't. Some people with certifications/schooling kick ***, others don't. Some people without certifications/schooling kick ***, others don't. It all depends on the person. There is no certification that you can use to weed out the best, only their actual past work and experience... and even that can be a questionable measurement as some show work they did 10% of the work on while you think you are getting the full 100%. It's tricky stuff finding good, smart people.

  24. #49
    SitePoint Member simonfj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl
    If you yourself cannot make up a list (know the technology involved) then you have no hope of being able to qualify someone.

    Work ethics. Even if they are certified it does not mean they have good daily work habits and document things. Can they follow an outline of a project? Certification does not cover this.

    Go by word of mouth and reference work. Preferably getting references from a live person as well. And remember always, validation is seriously over-rated when it comes to business.
    That's good. So taking the problem with many organisations is that they employ people who know little or nothing about the (latest) technology (and don't want to) is there any consideration being given to running a Sitepoint accreditaton system?

    Peer to peer review is the basis of the university system. But the poor old bug**** can't keep up, which is why technical colleges started in the first place at the beginnings of (OK, half way through) the Industrial age. Seems like there is a need to doing something similar in an Electronic Age.

    I'd also be interested to know, now the comms, like VoIP, etc has to be integrated into the Web mix, if anyone is offering a course.

    I've just come off the lurk list because this I(info) and C(omms) T(echnology) integration is starting to get serious, and I could use some feedback. Taking that this moodle is the core of the forum design universe for technical teachers in Oz, seems like it makes more sense having sitepoint associates qualify them rather than them validating you. Love to find their equivilants in other countries.

  25. #50
    Non-Member the baldchemist's Avatar
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    Just wanted to thank you all for the great comments. I'm a new boy to the technology side of the business, in fact I'm pretty bloody useless at the more advanced stuff.
    What I have been involved with most of my life is Entertainment, Advertising and Producing. I have become a latter day developer entirely by accident. Only because the people I have met over the years asked me to write the creative for them. Now, I'm well aware of java, css and html codings and the need for key words etc to enable the search engines to get the viewers to the site. Keeping them there with interest and with a need to want more or to buy is what the end result is about. Or have I missed something? Anyway, many thanks for the good reading, I look forward to reading more, maybe contributing too? The baldchemist


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