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  1. #51
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    What a hopeless debate. I am not arguing about who should and should not be allowed to make websites.

    I am simply stating what I see in the industry:

    - Web development has a lot of incompetent programmers producing commercial code, thus the quality of work is low. This is not to say that there aren't any competent programmers in web development.
    - This is due to the fact that web development is too easy. Leads to a saturated market, anyone with a keyboard can do it!
    - This means that the average salary of a web developer is low (compared to other software sectors).
    - This means that competent programmers (those with SW eng/CS degrees, or those with a lot of experience) will not work in the web development industry. Rather, they will work with lower-level languages (C, Assembly) where the pay is MUCH higher.
    - This again means that not enough talented programmers enter the industry.

  2. #52
    SitePoint Addict n0other's Avatar
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    I think this marked is saturated with bad quality is partly because the web is a global thing. The market is flooded with cheap designers and programmers from countries where living expenses are probably below where you live. The access to those cheap workers is inexpensive, you don't have to cross borders, make atlantic phone calls, you can sort most of the needed things with the means that the Internet gives you.

    Now, because of fierce competition of those cheap service providers, most other folks have to leave the industry or cope with the low pay. And the ones that do cope with it often do not have what it takes to deliver a good service.

  3. #53
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renderstream View Post
    What a hopeless debate. I am not arguing about who should and should not be allowed to make websites.

    I am simply stating what I see in the industry:

    - Web development has a lot of incompetent programmers producing commercial code, thus the quality of work is low. This is not to say that there aren't any competent programmers in web development.
    - This is due to the fact that web development is too easy. Leads to a saturated market, anyone with a keyboard can do it!
    - This means that the average salary of a web developer is low (compared to other software sectors).
    - This means that competent programmers (those with SW eng/CS degrees, or those with a lot of experience) will not work in the web development industry. Rather, they will work with lower-level languages (C, Assembly) where the pay is MUCH higher.
    - This again means that not enough talented programmers enter the industry.
    As you have noted there are competent programmers in web development and many of them get exactly the price they ask for. Would you have web development be more difficult? Sounds hokey to me.

    I still disagree with your last statement. There are scads of talented programmers in web development and as I said before, many of them get their asking price. Those who don't fail, not because of a saturated market, but because they have programming skills but not the skills to sell their services in a competitive market.

    No one (not even n0other ) has to cope with low pay if they know how to sell the quality of their services to prospective clients.

    Stufow, from a client's perspective, says it well, "We are looking to replace the expensive one, not because of the price, but beacuse of the business relationship we have with them is bad. They produce bad code, they deliver late, they never take the blame. The other company, are so much more professional, and bend over backwards to provide a service."

    My whole point is that certifications and education aren't going to help if you don't have the people and business skills to succeed.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  4. #54
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I actually think there is some truth to renderstreams comments. I work in BOTH the web development and the software industries and I have for a long time.

    Sure, there are talented people in both but there you'll find that the most capable programmers who can handle the most difficult types of programming generally gravitate towards the software industry where wages are quite a bit higher. This is just a fact - it's rare that a good php programmer makes anywhere near what an average Java/c++ programmer makes.

    The reverse is also true - in the web industry, there are lots of ill-qualified and inexperienced coders/developers trying to make it in the industry. There are lots of experienced types, too, but with little barrier to entry and so much work-at-home-on-projects type work there are lots of people jumping in all the time (and jumping out). In software, it's possible but difficult to get a decent job without either having real experience or an academic credential or certification.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  5. #55
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    Shyflower - Yes, as in every industry, there are always a few people who seem to be making above average salaries. But the fact is, as Sagewing pointed out, that PHP (and other web/high level languages) programmers do not make anything near what those working with C/Assembly and even Java (HL language) do. It should also be noted that any graduate coming from a CS /SW Eng program are well versed working with C and Java (and often Assembly). Wouldn't it make sense then, that they would pursue careers in that field rather then enter a saturated, competitive, and low-paying sector?

    As far as your second point, software (and most computer-technical) jobs are unlike others. The skills and knowledge you gain are structured and it is very hard to beat around the bush. What I mean by this, is that on a resume you can state "I have X years experience with this language, and I am proficient with this software...etc" - so it is near impossible to use your "people skills" to build yourself up if you simply don't have the background (as you can often do with listing your interpersonal skills). Not to mention they often tag a long one of their software people to quiz and test you on your knowledge.

    Would you have web development be more difficult? Sounds hokey to me.
    As I said previously, I'm not trying to push any point. I am simply stating the truths in the market, and why it is the way it is.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by beley View Post
    For one thing, I think some big players in our industry need to get together and come up with industry certifications that are accepted and then market them so consumers know what to look for.

    Also, consumers need to take some responsibility and instead of blindly giving their money away, do some research and find the best person for the job. The lowest price usually equals the lowest quality!! It's a life lesson, doesn't just apply to web design. There will always be discounters and discount shoppers, they're in every industry.
    I agree wholeheartedly!!!!!! What standards define "the best person for the job," in your opinion?

    Elle61
    Last edited by longneck; Jan 6, 2008 at 19:31. Reason: removed self-promotion

  7. #57
    I am obstructing justice. bronze trophy fatnewt's Avatar
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    I agree with Shyflower about industry certifications, at least in some respects.

    And aspects of the web dev/publishing/design industry involve marketing, graphic design, copywriting and various other things that can't become standardized as easy as a programming language can. Some languages could probably benefit from a certification program but I don't think I'd enjoy having to pay the money to earn one at this point, especially for languages I'm already proficient with.

    I do agree with beley's point about responsibility on behalf of the consumer. Look for a portfolio, some metrics or a reference. I think the Web still baffles some business owners so they're just looking for some 'web guy' to entrust the whole thing to. Education could help there -- but like every market you still need to do your shopping.
    Colin Temple [twitter: @cailean]
    Web Analyst at Napkyn


  8. #58
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobyme View Post
    I was talking to prospective client just before Christmas who has been dealing with probably one of the best known web design studios in the United States and his tale of woe makes getting ripped off for a couple of thousand dollars seem painless by comparison. To start with because they are so "well known" he agreed to a deposit of $8000 and made a further progress payment of $5000 even though he was unhappy with what had been done because he was assured that this was part of the development process and that they would meet his expectations. He has had to deal with 7 different project managers and the project is still nowhere near complete even though the completion date was August 1st 2007. I have seen the exchange of emails between them and they beggar belief; several say that due to the person dealing with his project leaving the company there have been unavoidable delays while another states that they agree that the submitted graphics are not of the required standard and this was due to disruption within their graphics department while having to relocate to another office. This is from a company that will not touch projects that are less than $20'000; have a website that is full of referrals and a portfolio of completed projects that would allay the fears of the most suspicious or cynical client.

    This is almost bound to go legal. So what's gone wrong? Looking in from the outside it would appear that they have lost the the talent that made them the force that they were and are unable to attract people of a similar calibre.
    The company is almost certainly living on past glories but there is no way a prospective client can know this because let's face it no company puts in it's referrals " we ballsed our last project up because the people who made us successful are no longer with us". A substantial amount of time is going to pass before it becomes common knowledge that this company are a spent force, but many unsuspecting buyers are going to be "taken in" in the meantime.
    This company probably charges about 30% more than we do and probably 70% more than an independent freelancer. So in this instance if you went with this company you almost certainly wouldn't get what you paid for.

    A client looking for a provider on a freelance site at least has the benefit of feedback both good and bad. While the good may not always be true; providers can do very little about the bad.

    I guess if I was a buyer and wanted to make sure I was getting good value for money and up to date referrals; I would make the freelance sites my first port of call and then make sure I only dealt with providers who had good feedback with several projects similar to mine under their belt.

    60% of our business comes as a spin-off of our bricks and mortar business and the remainder by word of mouth.

    Are "web designers" the used car salesmen of cyberspace? That is a good question and interestingly enough most small car outlets based in small towns and villages live and die by their reputation and go to great lengths to protect it. The "bad boys" in the car industry are the big outfits at least in Britain.
    Very interesting story, Mobyme. The first thing that came to mind after reading it was, "Why didn't the company hire new people as the old ones left? Greed?" If for some reason they were not able to find the talent, then why not subcontract or outsource? IMO, maintaining a good reputation is much more important that making a profit on a given project.

    In my B&M business, if I took a contract and saw the delivery date slipping, I was on the phone immediately. The last thing I wanted was a buyer needing to call me.

    But if my call had been to the effect, "Sorry, I can't do this job", the result would have been devastating. And that wasn't me .. it was pretty much an industry standard / expectation. Nor was my company "very professional", just responsible.

    And I think you are probably correct about car dealers.

  9. #59
    SitePoint Addict silver trophy
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    These guys are a bit older now, but I have it on good authority that they've established a thriving business certifying "real" web developers...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRX4mlFi06A

    Hopefully, Daisy will be lending a hand to those of you requiring private tuition

  10. #60
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    web design has sucked since 2003. The problem is the market is very saturated and rates keep falling. Also, you have to be experienced in many programing languages and graphics design just to keep up with your competitors. Much better ways to make money.
    cetin hakimoglu

  11. #61
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    I think he is talking about how its become a sell out business that too many people have gotten into.

  12. #62
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    it is def. oversaturated unlike in the late 90's
    cetin hakimoglu

  13. #63
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    I mean I guess I would agree except that really its just the old ways have gotten really easy...if you want to do anything amazing with your site you have to be really good...

  14. #64
    SitePoint Enthusiast stufow's Avatar
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    And I'm sure that C/Java developers bemoan the fact that software houses in India and China are undercutting them and taking their customers away. We live in a global economy, where unfortunately everyone wants to buy everything cheap, but be paid top rate.

    And if anyone is interested, I'm being made redundant in the next few months, and yes I'm going to have a go at web design/development I'm under no illusion that it will be easy, but I see the internet as an opportunity open to ALL. So sorry, yet one more person 'having a go'.

  15. #65
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    LoL its cool man...dont worry bout it. I let you into my world with open arms...just hope you make it...its always nice to hear the stories about how people made it out of the bottom...I too am looking forward to the day that I dont have to worry about website development, I can just go about my life without stress...would be nice...hope to get there soon...SEE YOU AT THE TOP as my brainwashed friend used to say.

  16. #66
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    Money lead the world. On a client eye, why should a client paid twice the price for a standard website as even done in table, the site will still work. Ok it will not be compatible with screen reader but honestly, we have to get better argument than that to make client learn.

    For me, the problem only appear in the low budget website, where the client think he can have a great website for 500$. For big budget website, there is no problem at all.

    On my side, I have work alot since 2 years and now I am able to work and develop for me, some web services and apps. For me, I think it is the best way to go!

  17. #67
    SitePoint Zealot impunjabians's Avatar
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    hhhmmm.....' This industry needs to reinvent. let's do this job together.

  18. #68
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Seems like for those who are talented, smart, and work hard the industry is doing just fine. Since it's so easy to jump in, there is constant chatter from people complaining about how it needs to 'reinvent' etc. However, there are loads of people doing great in this industry and I don't hear them complaining.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

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  19. #69
    <code></code><WoW></WoW> nukeemusn's Avatar
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    Great post, but kind of preaching to the choir here. I think there are three kinds of people on Sitepoint:

    Pros - They know their stuff. Period.

    Not-Quite-Pros - People who've been around long enough to get the work done, but not so long that they know everything. So they know the most important thing: where to find what they dont' know.

    And finally

    People-That-Know-They-Suck - That's me. I was one of the people who didn't know they sucked, then my eyes were opened (or my depression kicked in, one of the two), and realized that I was way in over my head. I can code HTML and CSS in notepad without a problem, but scripting, aesthetic design, and beyond are far out of my reach at this point. So I gave up on the whole business idea (sig link is still there... that's me holding on for dear life, not wanting to kill my "baby" business), deciding instead to play to my strengths.

    Do I still do SOME web work on the side? Sure. Do I do my own web work when I can get away with it? Sure. Am I gonna be the guy building the website for my World of Warcraft guild? Heck yeah. Because even though I know I suck, I also have been around SP long enough to pick up on good design and development practices to be emulated.

    So here's to us that KNOW we suck!

    By the way, the link in my post is to a speech by ADM. Rickover, the fatehr of naval nuclear power, about management style. It's a great speech.

    And tehre's also a grat site/podcast called You Suck At Web Design.
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMichaud View Post
    Wide availability is only half of the equation: the other is our lemon market. Basically, people consuming our service cannot distinguish quality, and therefore low quality offerings demand prices equal to high quality
    If the market doesn't distinguish then there is no distinction. It is what it is, not what you want it to be.

  21. #71
    SitePoint Guru dojo's Avatar
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    Well, if you complain about this in the USA, imagine how this is in Romania. We now have the "web boom" .. many people discover the internet, many discover they can make money. We have it all: clients who want a unique design for 2 dollars if possible (or why not free, since that's not so hard, even their 5 year old nephew can do my job), the newphew who's proficient in template download from torrents (come on, did you imagine he'd pay for the template monster skins?) and then modding in front page if possible on a cracked Microsoft Office, the designers who have started from zero years ago and have learnt a lot and now work in agencies or have their own firms ..

    I still have clients who require discounts as if they are buying potatoes, I still have clients who already paid for a stolen layout and now know their "name" is messed up. The best clients are those who already got scammed ... of course it's because THEY are to be blamed: would rather have a free site (or pay few bucks, than pay hundreds of euros for a design, come on they're not stupid, that's what they tell me), they just don't do a small research, are cheap and uninformed. And yes, there are a lot of low quality designers to mess up your site.

    The good thing is THEY LEARN little by little. As we develop our skills more, they also learn some more tricks. It's a good business for many of us with all the problems mentioned above

  22. #72
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dojo View Post
    The good thing is THEY LEARN little by little. As we develop our skills more, they also learn some more tricks. It's a good business for many of us with all the problems mentioned above
    That pretty much sums it up. The web business is 'noisy' and there are quite a few challenges, but for those who want to it's certainly possible to push through it all and be successful.
    The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods. Socrates

    SAGEWING LLC - QUALITY WEB AND MOBILE APPS. PREMIUM OUTSOURCING SERVICES.
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  23. #73
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Seems like for those who are talented, smart, and work hard the industry is doing just fine. Since it's so easy to jump in, there is constant chatter from people complaining about how it needs to 'reinvent' etc. However, there are loads of people doing great in this industry and I don't hear them complaining.
    My sentiments exactly.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  24. #74
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    You've pointed out what I love and what I hate about working on the web.
    It's an attractive trade, because you can get in and pay some bills without a lot of skill, and work your way up.
    It's even more attractive because it's a field that offers infinite opportunities for someone who cares about fine details, who sees the beauty of good code, who cares about quality and not just about churning out semi-functional crap to feed their greed.
    Which is why I love what I do. I suck and I know it. But I love good code, and I know what it looks like - which does give me an edge, even if the clients can't see it.
    It gives me an edge because I know that I'll persist and become one of the folks that knows their stuff. And that there will always be a market for that.
    Every field is full of greedy schmucks who do a lousy job and don't care to do better. How's your accountant? Your lawyer? Your hairdresser? Your dentist? Quite frankly, I haven't the foggiest if mine are any good at what they do, and I never will. But I am resolved to become excellent at what I do, and that's why I love it. (in spite of the idiots who don't care, and the fact that I am an utter idiot myself, most of the time)
    Of course, achieving excellence is not going to be easy (which is why so few do it, I suppose) and I have a long way to go... you offer some good suggestions for putting code out there for peer review etc. (Perhaps it would improve the state of affairs to help make those sorts of resources and practices more accessible?)

  25. #75
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I have this theory that the internet world is exactly like the real world in the sense that there are a few people who make most of the money on the internet and then there are the rest of the world which is almost everyone else who makes decent to little wages on the internet...

    Wooot! LSU just scored again!


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