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  1. #51
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    Great conversation guys, I've bookmarked this as a re-read for a few months on! Very helpful.

  2. #52
    SitePoint Evangelist jonbey's Avatar
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    I am probably not going to add much, but my take is simple:
    Web designer - concentrates on the visual appearance, layout, logos, stylings, graphics
    Web developer - does all the coding, builds the infrastructure, or modifies existing CMS'

    An analogy with housing:
    Web designers are the decorators and interior designers
    Web developers are the builders, plumbers, electricians

    Freelancers have to do both, larger design companies can split the work out.
    My site: My Extension

  3. #53
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Web designer - concentrates on the visual appearance, layout, logos, stylings, graphics
    Web developer - does all the coding, builds the infrastructure, or modifies existing CMS'

    An analogy with housing:
    Web designers are the decorators and interior designers
    Web developers are the builders, plumbers, electricians
    Hmmm.... and if you don't do all the coding, just the HTML and CSS, maybe Javascript and Flash, but also generally don't do the design either, and don't do the back-end and CMS stuff... what are you? I'd say "developer" but the rest of the thread seems to point to front-enders being "designers".

  4. #54
    SitePoint Zealot Nick Burd's Avatar
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    I would suggest that as a front-end developer, the main points of knowledge seem to be a great understanding of imaging software (adobe products are more of an industry standard, and seem to be the main focus in school programs as well). Also, languages such as XHTML/CSS/JavaScript... etc. Flash and Actionscript both control movement and what not in the front end.

    My thoughts as a Front-end Developer are simple.. "let the programmer dabble in the PHP and any server side coding" Reality is, there are 2 different types of people generally you are either really good at visual or really good at technical... OR. Mediocre at both, which won't get you too far.

    I read in this thread, stick with one and become great at doing that one area, because if you don't know enough about both it could be worse than knowing alot of design or programming. meaning, stick with one area, learn it really really really well, and be good at it... and maybe for arguement sake, dabble in the other area and try to get basic understanding, and enough to get you through some easy projects.

    reality is, alot of programmers can't design their way out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it... and vice versa.

    NickBurd.Com

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  5. #55
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonbey View Post
    An analogy with housing:
    Web designers are the decorators and interior designers
    Web developers are the builders, plumbers, electricians
    Who's the architect?
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  6. #56
    SitePoint Evangelist jonbey's Avatar
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    It is tricky isn't it? What you call yourself is really dependant on your customer. If you are building sites for local businesses, then "web designer" will suffice, as they are not actually going to know what you do, or how any of it works. All they know is that they need a "web designer". But if you are going to work for a large "web design / solutions / management / whatever" company, you need to state what you do, like Java, PHP, Photoshop, etc. etc.

    Really the same applies to many trades. Going back to the house analogy, I recently had a guy fit a new kitchen sink. He is CORGI registered, so he will probably at times call himself a heating engineer, but I know him as he did all the water plumbing at a local restaurant, but he also can fit kitchens and do many other tasks. So what is he? EN engineer, a plumber, a fitter?

    Who's the architect? That is very Matrix.
    My site: My Extension

  7. #57
    SitePoint Zealot FaridHadi's Avatar
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    @Eclipse:

    Here is a tip, if you don't want to get into learning PHP and MySQL at the moment, I'd still suggest you install it on your system and learn about CMS's. That way you can easily add that as a service for your clients.

    Install Apache, PHP and MySQL and download WordPress and maybe some other CMS like Frog CMS or whatever you like, have a look around and pick something you like.

    This way you can offer both static and CMS powered websites.

    Best of luck!

  8. #58
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    Yeah, I did MAMP and Joomla and Wordpress on my site but found that I really didn't know CSS well enough yet when it came to styling. I experienced this strange sort of panic when I went into the Joomla CSS files... "What do I do? What DIV am I styling? WHERE IS IT AND HOW DOES IT ALL FIT TOGETHER????" (Insert hysterical screaming)

    I think for now I just need to concentrate on XHTML and CSS in Dreamweaver until I know it a whole bunch better. I'll design most of our own static website sometime soon, and then might feel confident enough to start styling a CMS and playing around with functionality.

  9. #59
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    Who's the architect? That is very Matrix.
    "Ergo.... vis a vis... I have no idea what I'm talking about."

  10. #60
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclipse now View Post
    Yeah, I did MAMP and Joomla and Wordpress on my site but found that I really didn't know CSS well enough yet when it came to styling. I experienced this strange sort of panic when I went into the Joomla CSS files... "What do I do? What DIV am I styling? WHERE IS IT AND HOW DOES IT ALL FIT TOGETHER????" (Insert hysterical screaming)

    I think for now I just need to concentrate on XHTML and CSS in Dreamweaver until I know it a whole bunch better. I'll design most of our own static website sometime soon, and then might feel confident enough to start styling a CMS and playing around with functionality.
    I think you are quite right in applying yourself towards mastering a good xhtml/css foundation. It will make your work on the backend or with CMS systems all that much more effective and enjoyable.

    For a good idea of what dramatic changes you can make with stylesheet edits check out CSS Zen Garden (if you haven't already). The content never changes but the display changes quite dramatically when the stylesheet rules are applied.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  11. #61
    SitePoint Enthusiast reflash's Avatar
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    If you want to learn PHP & MySQL, I would highly recommend "PHP for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition)" and "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide (2nd Edition)" both by Larry Ullman. I found these books to be invaluable in learning these technologies.
    Whatever is worth doing is worth over-doing...

  12. #62
    SitePoint Evangelist jonbey's Avatar
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    I have no current plans to go into web design (but I may be forced when I lose my current banking job). My approach is to learn my way around Drupal and Wordpress, as I beleive that a vast majority of small business and corporate sites can be built with such tools. Specialise in the CMS, get involved in the community (both Drupal and WP being open source) and learn what you need to know to make your site function well and look good.
    My site: My Extension

  13. #63
    SitePoint Addict antirem's Avatar
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    To make it in the web design/dev world you need to know people.

    Go find a place to intern at and you will get good contacts... doing well at your job keeps your job but knowing ppl gets it.

  14. #64
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antirem View Post
    To make it in the web design/dev world you need to know people.

    Go find a place to intern at and you will get good contacts... doing well at your job keeps your job but knowing ppl gets it.
    That's a pretty broad assessment. If you get involved in communities and contribute as a developer creating addons and modules not previously knowing anyone you can make it just based on your skillset. To start a web design company you need to know a few ppl to get you started and spread the word, however they don't need to be anyone special. As for making it well that depends on what "making it" is to you, to some it's making ends meet, to others it's gaining notoriety etc. Having a great list of contacts is nice but everyone starts somewhere. you can also get noticed just based on your skills and self promotion, it's a harder road to travel but it is possible.

  15. #65
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I would definitely agree, I joined this forum to meet fellow professionals and learners alike. Places like SitePoint are great for networking and sharing our knowledge and get the tips to make a career out of your skills (at least I hope so, seeing as I am starting to direct my business towards web design).

  16. #66
    SitePoint Zealot Nick Burd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antirem View Post
    To make it in the web design/dev world you need to know people.

    Go find a place to intern at and you will get good contacts... doing well at your job keeps your job but knowing ppl gets it.
    It all depends in which context you mean this.

    I guess it would be right to presume that you need to know people in this world to get anywhere, but you also need to have the skillset to get anywhere to begin with.

    I started with a 6 month internship which i learnt more that school would have taught me in 6 months. in a year, I have met hundreds of people and alot of them are always turning business toward us. Like what was mentioned, word of mouth is a good sales strategy, and usually turns out to be stronger than spending thousands on advertising. But this only works if you have people to design / develop to begin with.

    A great way to meet people is forums, and what not. Not just design forums or whatever but forums in general. Alot of business that you will get will not be from a design forum, because 97% of the people here are already designers or developers, so I would imagine alot of work wouldn't be found in a place like this one...

    correct me if im wrong. please.

    NickBurd.Com

    Check out my site, give me a shout
    and let me know what you think.

  17. #67
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    web design simply means the graphical aspect of the site or the visual (what we as the user see's) web-development is where you're more or less manipulating or programming the website to function for you. Web design is like the skin where as web-development is the heart and brain.

  18. #68
    Non-Member adstiger's Avatar
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    web development => programming interface
    web designing => designing looks

  19. #69
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    web development => programming interface
    web designing => designing looks
    Again, that leaves out HTML/CSS people who can't design their way out of a paper bag. Which are they? Not designers, they don't photoshop. not programmers, they only do markup and declarative languages.


    Oh good god, I've realised it-- I'm nothing at all!

  20. #70
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Again, that leaves out HTML/CSS people who can't design their way out of a paper bag. Which are they? Not designers, they don't photoshop. not programmers, they only do markup and declarative languages.


    Oh good god, I've realised it-- I'm nothing at all!
    What it all comes down to like I've said before is how each specific team works. Generally speaking a developer can program where as a designer can't, vice versa goes for photoshop. Really we're arguing a term which I really doubt was created by people whom actually make websites. CSS and html fall in that middle ground where it could be up to either party, I'd prefer to have the designer do it as I feel the frontend is their domain and it just makes sense as CSS is a huge design element but I don't think specific rules exist that force people to conform to some broad definition.

  21. #71
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Again, that leaves out HTML/CSS people who can't design their way out of a paper bag. Which are they? Not designers, they don't photoshop. not programmers, they only do markup and declarative languages.
    I always considered mark-up and declarative languages as programming (of sorts), of course it does not require compilation or a technical language filled with arrays, variables and strings to be manipulated. However mark-up does require logical syntax and good use of semantics (even if that syntax is close to common English). There are fixed commands that can be used, libraries of code, and with customisable DTD's you could expand the mark-up language to incorporate custom elements. Granted it isn't rocket science but I know some people to which HTML and CSS may as well be something complicated such as C++ because they hounestly can't get their head around working with the simplistic structure.

  22. #72
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I always considered mark-up and declarative languages as programming (of sorts), of course it does not require compilation or a technical language filled with arrays, variables and strings to be manipulated. However mark-up does require logical syntax and good use of semantics (even if that syntax is close to common English). There are fixed commands that can be used, libraries of code, and with customisable DTD's you could expand the mark-up language to incorporate custom elements. Granted it isn't rocket science but I know some people to which HTML and CSS may as well be something complicated such as C++ because they hounestly can't get their head around working with the simplistic structure.
    Html/xhtml is a markup language, the difference is great enough for the spec to never call it a programming language. Be it descriptive or procedural markup, it is not programming. It lacks the structures to be so. I could consider it coding, if we are to be vague. As for the complexity to some people I could say the same about PS or Gimp.

  23. #73
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuxus View Post
    Html/xhtml is a markup language, the difference is great enough for the spec to never call it a programming language. Be it descriptive or procedural markup, it is not programming. It lacks the structures to be so.
    Programming itself is defined in the dictionary as the following...

    creating a sequence of instructions to enable the computer to do something
    Now a mark-up language such as CSS does create a sequence of instructions to enable the computer to do something... it passes instructions to the browsers rendering engine to convert the stated instructional code to alter the applied settings of a particular tag. And though HTML does show preference towards using CSS to style tags, it can itself instruct the rendering engine to alter the defaulted settings for an element. Secondly...

    Programming languages are defined by syntactic and semantic rules which describe their structure and meaning respectively
    This describes HTML perfectly, mark-up languages DO have semantic structure and rules which describe their meaning and are standardised.

    Don't get me wrong, I am well aware of the differences between what is today defined as a programming language and the pseudo programming known as a mark-up language (as I do both on a regular basis). However I think it is slightly disrespectful of the methods in which they are applied to completely pass them off as "non-programming". Especially with the modern evolution of creating rich internet applications and platforms such as Titanium, Mozilla Prism and Adobe Air which allow people to use languages such as HTML and CSS to produce applications and mark up those applications with structure and style alike to the logical application of properties in a language such as VB.NET or Delphi.

    I would feel that under the circumstances the best way to solve this debate is to class HTML and CSS under the category of programming, even though they do not physically act like a programming language. Their use alongside languages such as JavaScript, PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby and Python are durable enough for them to fall under the ecosphere of developmental languages... But that is just my opinion.

  24. #74
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    Well I think I'll pipe in here... I don't think we need to be so regimented in our description of the design/development process. Every project has an architect, designer, front end developer. Some have back end developers and database developer too but those hats are often interchangeable depending on the size of the project or organization doing the work.

    HTML is a markup language clear and simple. It shouldn't be classified any other way because like SGML, & XML it already has a formal description. Why can't we just call it what it is... Writing markup or even coding up a page. It definitely involves learning a code. It can be equally complex (check out the CSS Quizes) but no matter what you call it, it isn't quite the same as programming without introducing javascript or another helper to make something happen. There are no variables, loops or for that matter an order of instructions or process in of instructions.... It's markup and it's static.
    Andrew Wasson | www.lunadesign.org
    Principal / Internet Development

  25. #75
    SitePoint Addict tuxus's Avatar
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    Alex, since I don't feel the need to type an essay that has already been typed please read http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/prog.html.


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