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  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    I think it really depends on who your target market is. Pick a field, for instance construction. It's saturated, yet many new companies continue to make good money there. Why? Because they aren't just "construction companies".

    The same applies with web development. There are many very profitable niches. Aaron (Sketch) just finished a series on SitePoint on one of these, non-profits.

    I believe trying to be a full time web designer, developer, prufreeder, anything where you do not differentiate yourself (I didn't say anything about marketing mmi ) is a waste of time.

    Decide what you want to do, decide what clients need, and fill that hole. There will always be holes. The challenge isn't keeping up with every technology, the challenge is always being "in a hole".
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  2. #27
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Saying that any child can do HTML or design a web page is a furfy. It's like saying that any four year old can paint abstract art worthy of hanging in a gallery.

    You can say that about most jobs:

    I could bake bread in my oven, so why would I use a baker?

    I could paint my house myself, so why would I use a painter?

    I could take the photos for my catalog myself, so why would I hire a commercial photographyer?

    and so on...

    It's called specialisation of labor. Adam Smith wrote about it a few humdred years ago. Sure anyone could develop their own website, but they are better off running their business and getting someone else who can do it better and more efficiently.

    If it wasn't for this principle there would be no economy. We wouldn't buy and sell anything because we would make everything we consumed ourselves.

    I've got this client who is a website designer but who doesn't want to do anything else other than webpages. If a small business needs a corporate identity along with their web page (ie, a new logo for business cards, letterhead, etc). Too bad - she only does web pages. So, I think to myself, she is in business for herself, not for her customers. You really need to be in business for your customer if you want to be successful. So what does your customer need - a website? No! Your customer needs to make more money. A website may be part of an e-commerce strategy that will help them - communicate to a broader audience of prospects; improve customer support and satisfaction; source cheaper supplies; improve communications efficiency; and so on.

  3. #28
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
    beley's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid
    Saying that any child can do HTML or design a web page is a furfy. It's like saying that any four year old can paint abstract art worthy of hanging in a gallery.

    You can say that about most jobs:

    I could bake bread in my oven, so why would I use a baker?

    I could paint my house myself, so why would I use a painter?

    I could take the photos for my catalog myself, so why would I hire a commercial photographyer?

    and so on...

    It's called specialisation of labor. Adam Smith wrote about it a few humdred years ago. Sure anyone could develop their own website, but they are better off running their business and getting someone else who can do it better and more efficiently.

    If it wasn't for this principle there would be no economy. We wouldn't buy and sell anything because we would make everything we consumed ourselves.

    I've got this client who is a website designer but who doesn't want to do anything else other than webpages. If a small business needs a corporate identity along with their web page (ie, a new logo for business cards, letterhead, etc). Too bad - she only does web pages. So, I think to myself, she is in business for herself, not for her customers. You really need to be in business for your customer if you want to be successful. So what does your customer need - a website? No! Your customer needs to make more money. A website may be part of an e-commerce strategy that will help them - communicate to a broader audience of prospects; improve customer support and satisfaction; source cheaper supplies; improve communications efficiency; and so on.
    WOW! I don't think anyone could have said it better than that! I think I'll print that out and put it on the wall in front of me to look at every day

  4. #29
    SitePoint Evangelist azizur_rahman's Avatar
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    time for my second post and bit of change of mode and thinking:

    I agree with what Jeremy W. and freakysid are saying.

    Now can I ask anyone where who's been to any of the recent Macromedia Seminars (Products update Seminers)?

    Well I've just spent all day today and will be there tomorrow, but not because I want to buy anything or want to know how to use dreamweaver. thank you very much I know my HTML, asp and few others. but I wanted to see how powerfull the softwares are getting as time goes by.

    But from what I've seen totay, I'd completely say what some people never been able to pereform so far was preformed live on stage and in 2 min timed!

    The software tools has come so far advance and has become so much powerfull these days anything is possible.

    if 6 months ago I asked all the hardcore Flash designer/developer or what ever you call yourself, to build me a flash site that can capture and send live streaming video from my web cam and also allow me to have live conversation with you. What would your answer would have been? most likey answers are

    -> that it never been tried,
    -> it will take a while
    -> development and maintanence cost would also be high

    Now what macromedia has done in Flash MX Comunication Server, they gave you the power to do that in 2 min.

    Now if I tell my lil. bro all he has to do is drop this component here and that component there and double click the other component there and type few words to connect them up. and finnaly export it volla he's done it in 10 min.

    I agree with the fact is work-follow is faster and easier but job of web developer/designer is never easier, there's always things need to be done and having a specilist to do is the only way to ensure that it is of high standard.

    I dont know about your experience with clients, but of those I've in the past I was always confined to one person's presepective, making it hard for me to actually be creative.

    Once you put restriction on a creative mind you'd bound to come with something, but not innovative.

    anyway let me know what is your answer is to my question above.
    Azizur Rahman
    Web Application Developer

  5. #30
    SitePoint Evangelist azizur_rahman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid
    It's like saying that any four year old can paint abstract art worthy of hanging in a gallery.
    with respect, yes there are 4 yrs old who can paint much better then a 30yr old. You seems to undermined the future generation in that sence.

    The furute is unpredictiable and also is the next generation, you may be right at the present saying what you've said. we'd have to wait a few years to see the result.
    Azizur Rahman
    Web Application Developer

  6. #31
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by azizur_rahman


    with respect, yes there are 4 yrs old who can paint much better then a 30yr old. You seems to undermined the future generation in that sence.

    That was not really Sids point, I think. Just because a 4-year old can paint better than a 30-year old doesn't mean a gallery would want his painting. There is more to an abstract painting that "painting". And even if a 4-year old can hang his stuff in a gallery, it's INCREDIBLY rare.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  7. #32
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    That was actually in my mind when I posted the remark about a child painting an abstract painting. What is the value of the painting? Will it be exhibited in a gallery? There is all the other stuff that goes with being an artist. The intellectualism, the cocktail parties, the mixing in the right circles, sleeping with the right people - the *SELL* - that makes an "artist's" painting worth more than a four year olds.

    The same thing with web design. You can make the most amazing and compact flash intros and navigation schemes and that will mean nothing to improving the business of your client.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Evangelist azizur_rahman's Avatar
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    Few years back they gave a baby elaphant brush and paint to draw and guess what that paint was sold for 10K GBP.

    Now the question is is that a paint? is that creative? innovative? offcourse not how much creative an elaphent be? they may be 10 times big in size but they have less knowledge and unlike human I'd say no creativity at all.

    It all depends on your own view of creativity, how you precive something may mean it is creative, but only to you.

    back to main story, everyone can mockup a site, but how much of that is innovative, creative that is the real question here.
    Last edited by azizur_rahman; Sep 4, 2002 at 14:30.
    Azizur Rahman
    Web Application Developer

  9. #34
    ********* Genius Mike's Avatar
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    If you know how to design, I say go to school for a year or two and take business courses. Then take your combined knowledge and start your own website. That where the real money on the net is
    Mike
    It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.

  10. #35
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    My POV is that as long as a wide cross-section of people, whether they be grade-school kids or "high-end" developers performing a given task(s) AND there is no strong union/professional association maintaining competitive compensation for this work you are going to have the market de-value the worth of such task(s).

    For example, look at teaching. Many people can home-school, professionals 'moonlight' in private institutions, kids tutor other kids, etc, but at least in my country, there is no unionized profession (other than pro sports) that per hours worked can come close to the salary, benefits, and job security of teaching ... well maybe Air Traffic Controllers ... but you get my point. You can argue "classroom stress" and take-home work/class prep but what job doesn't have these kinds of issues.

    Also, look at the professions such as Law ... sure there are a glut of lawyers and many "secretaries/paralegals" can do more or less the same thing, but there is still a level of prestige and measure of authenticity for all those who are members of the Bar.

    Anyway, in comparision web development is still the "Wild West" and many of its "workers" are no more than johnny-come-lately prospectors looking to cash in on the "Gold Rush" with no clue on how to pan for the gold. And it gets pretty damn cold in Klondike if you don't know how to survive.
    Last edited by tdev; Sep 4, 2002 at 14:36.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Addict smcausland's Avatar
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    I wish the web had some sort of system like the realtor system that every one recognized. Anyone can call themselves a real estate agent but you have to licensed to be called a Realtor. No if only we could get the same sort of system for the web. Of course that is as likely as chaging this strange idea that you need a license to drive a car but anybody can have a child.
    www.treelinestudio.com
    Online Showcase of works by Canadian Watercolour artist David Brougham.

  12. #37
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by smcausland
    I wish the web had some sort of system like the realtor system that every one recognized. Anyone can call themselves a real estate agent but you have to licensed to be called a Realtor. No if only we could get the same sort of system for the web. Of course that is as likely as chaging this strange idea that you need a license to drive a car but anybody can have a child.
    What about certifications? Aren't those what you are talking about?
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  13. #38
    SitePoint Addict smcausland's Avatar
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    To a point yes but no single cerification seems be the standard for anything and everything. It goes back to the real estate analogy there is nothing in web development that is as recognized as the Realtor designation and I wish there was a standard that was that accepted.
    www.treelinestudio.com
    Online Showcase of works by Canadian Watercolour artist David Brougham.

  14. #39
    Non-Member mmi's Avatar
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    Few years back they gave a baby elaphant brush and paint to draw and guess what that paint was sold for 10K GBP
    that turned out to be a scam - the elephant had attended a prestigious Parisian art school for several years

  15. #40
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mmi
    that turned out to be a scam - the elephant had attended a prestigious Parisian art school for several years
    ... yes, and the irony is, no one in that school ever noticed that it was an elephant!

  16. #41
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by freakysid


    ... yes, and the irony is, no one in that school ever noticed that it was an elephant!


    And so, while the discussion about the Web Development Job Market started out seriously, Sid, mmi and Mattias soon turned it into a tornado of wierd jokes.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  17. #42
    SitePoint Zealot choazart's Avatar
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    What a laugh....

    You web "developers" out there who are implementing serious works of complex things we couldn't understand kills me.

    Everyday a packaged solution that is cheaper, better, and easier to implement for the people who really support industry... small business, is put on the shelf. As competition for small business dollars increase, the need for your high paid positions in this space will shrink.

    Small business is what really drives this world and there is tons of work out there in "this economy" for web designers who are good at what they do.

    The most important skill to have is not Oracle tuning, enterprise-class e-commerce apps, or any of that other crap.

    The most important skills to have are good business acumen, common sense, and a natural ability to conceptualize what a client wants and get them to write checks.

    Specifically, it is my thought that a "web designer" who understands how everything fits together (and can make it happen by knowing people who are "serious" web-developers and getting them to do the monotonous stuff)with a natuaral ability to produce good looking work is way more valuable than anyone else in "this" business.

    You important "code warriors", network admins, and sys admins working serious jobs at large companies are the worker bees of tomorrow-enjoy!

  18. #43
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    Amen to Listening

    I came late to this party, but I have read all the posts....

    A couple of points:

    Everyone who says that you need a certain base-level of skills (I'll leave the definition of those skills to others) to work with most clients is right.

    Everyone who says that the kid next door or the drycleaner down the street can design their own site is right.

    What I bring to the client is the ability to listen and ask the questions that he/she might not have thought about. I look at their business with fresh eyes and listen to what they want to accomplish. I can then propose the solution that makes the most sense for them *based on my experience* They hire me because I can provide them with the solution they need now, and build in future enhancements if needed. Some clients will only need (and can only afford) a basic, static, brochure site. Others will want to start basic and, with my assistance, lay out a long-term plan to add features as their business and budget grows.

    That approach is fine by me. I am in business not to create the site I want, but the site they need. I am willing to tell them that they don't need to spend $5000 on a feature when we can do something cheaper and quicker for $1500. Does this cost me short-term money? Yes. But I get the jobs done quicker (still making the same hourly rate) and make it up over and over through referrals. My approach must suit the clients, too. I have never advertised, ever. I get clients strictly through referrals and professional contacts. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen. One of my first clients (a small course-registration site) has referred a dozen or more clients my way and still calls me for all the maintenance work on his site. Is he happy? You bet. Why? Because I treat him with respect and use my experience to steer him to the most cost-effective solution that will solve his needs.

    After all, would you continue to go to a restaurant where they wouldn't let you eat what you want? Or padded the bill with a lot of extras? Nah...

  19. #44
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Re: What a laugh....

    Originally posted by choazart
    You web "developers" out there who are implementing serious works of complex things we couldn't understand kills me.

    Everyday a packaged solution that is cheaper, better, and easier to implement for the people who really support industry... small business, is put on the shelf. As competition for small business dollars increase, the need for your high paid positions in this space will shrink.

    Small business is what really drives this world and there is tons of work out there in "this economy" for web designers who are good at what they do.

    The most important skill to have is not Oracle tuning, enterprise-class e-commerce apps, or any of that other crap.

    The most important skills to have are good business acumen, common sense, and a natural ability to conceptualize what a client wants and get them to write checks.

    Specifically, it is my thought that a "web designer" who understands how everything fits together (and can make it happen by knowing people who are "serious" web-developers and getting them to do the monotonous stuff)with a natuaral ability to produce good looking work is way more valuable than anyone else in "this" business.

    You important "code warriors", network admins, and sys admins working serious jobs at large companies are the worker bees of tomorrow-enjoy!
    How depressing, especially when more and more companies are straying away from off the shelf software, and more web designers are realising there simply aren't jobs (permanent or contract) out there for pure "web design".

    Where does that leave web developers? Right where they need to be: in the middle.

    Does that mean "web development" is the future? Of course not. The future will always be in providing value, and value will always be in doing split app/web development. Your desktop app is one face, your website is another face, your extranet is another face to the same content and business logic.

    To say small businesses are straying away from custom solutions is to misunderstand small business. What they are straying away from is misrepresentation of value. Too many have been burned by 5,000$ websites that need constant maintenance and have no smarts for themselves.

    Put it this way, try and find decent HR software for less than 5,000$. My team just developed a custom solution for 2,500$.

    It's more functional, it's exactly what they need, it ties into the company's existing systems and they've already resold it for 3,500$, making a profit on their investment.

    No sweeping statement in the Internet will ever stand the test of time. As developers we need to be moving faster than customers. That's our goal. Before we write a single line of code, it is our job to consult and figure out exactly what clients need.

    My first question to clients isn't "how much can you spend", it's "what are you doing right now, and what's wrong with your process". We then figure out how to right the process, and match the software to that.

    Any business, small or large, will prefer the above scenario to one where they need to tailor their process to software.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  20. #45
    SitePoint Zealot choazart's Avatar
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    Well said

    I totally agree with you...

    Put it this way, try and find decent HR software for less than 5,000$. My team just developed a custom solution for 2,500$.

    Could not have said it better myself.

    Peace

  21. #46
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    I come a bit late in here, but I see the discussion has matured alot since the first postings.

    Main main income is freelance work. There's tons of work for freelancers out there.

    I get work because
    • I listen
    • I advice
    • I take a look at the whole business and try to figure out how this company can make/save money by using the internet-/applications


    No teenager can take away work from me because my clients depend as much upon my business/marketing skills as my skills about the internet/web.

    If I only knew web development, I'd probably be dead in the water as a freelance web developer.

  22. #47
    SitePoint Member
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    Originally posted by junjun
    I come a bit late in here, but I see the discussion has matured alot since the first postings.

    Main main income is freelance work. There's tons of work for freelancers out there.

    I get work because
    • I listen
    • I advice
    • I take a look at the whole business and try to figure out how this company can make/save money by using the internet-/applications


    No teenager can take away work from me because my clients depend as much upon my business/marketing skills as my skills about the internet/web.

    I must say that I totally agree with this statement. I freelance for a living, and the market in my area is anything but easy to enter into. The clients that I serve come to me for far more than my technical abilities. They choose my services because I take the time to learn what THEY want from the relationship, and then privide them with a set of solutions that will help them to attain those goals.

    Anyone can build a web page. To build a Web Site is a different matter entirely.
    If I only knew web development, I'd probably be dead in the water as a freelance web developer.

  23. #48
    Non-Member mmi's Avatar
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    I'd say you can't have it both ways, choazart - you say
    You web "developers" out there who are implementing serious works of complex things we couldn't understand kills me.

    Everyday a packaged solution that is cheaper, better, and easier to implement for the people who really support industry... small business, is put on the shelf. As competition for small business dollars increase, the need for your high paid positions in this space will shrink.
    and yet you agree that
    Put it this way, try and find decent HR software for less than 5,000$. My team just developed a custom solution for 2,500$.
    wouldn't the creation of this custom solution require, in part, the very "code warrior, network admin, and sys admin" skills you disparage? - you talk about the
    "serious" web-developers ... do[ing] the monotonous stuff
    is it monotonous? - maybe parts of it - I'm involved in a lot of marketing right now and I find much of it quite monotonous - admittedly, that should diminish as I (hopefully) progress in finding clients, but ... - don't get me wrong - I think you made some good points, but the word "sweeeping" came to my mind before Jeremy used it - e.g., I have a brother who is very well compensated basically to sit around and wait for problems to develop in the systems he administers - because he did (what I assume is) a really good job establishing the stuff, there's not a whole lot to do (except some 'a that "Oracle tuning ... crap" ) - again, I think you're right about a lot of what you said - he succeeds in large part because he has the business skills/common sense etc needed - but I don't think you could classify him as a "worker bee of tomorrow"

    I also think it's a bit of an exaggeration to say there's "tons of work out there" - even with the qualification
    for web designers who are good at what they do
    I'd say there's work out there - enough to make a decent living - but "tons"? - I don't want to make a big deal of this, but what of the developer who "more or less" knows what they're doing (and fwiw I would NOT put myself in that category) and yet has a lot of trouble finding work? - maybe they just need to be patient and develop the references and established clients referred to - an argument that there's tons of work available would seem to me to be unnecessarily discouraging
    Last edited by mmi; Sep 9, 2002 at 22:14.

  24. #49
    SitePoint Enthusiast kgish's Avatar
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    For me web development is definitely NOT a joke, no far from it. Just because the economy nowadays is having a dip does not make this exciting technology worthless. In fact, I see it as a creative art form which opens up the world for new kinds of technology-related expression.
    Kiffin
    Your average future-famous kind of guy...

  25. #50
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    I would call choazart's comments nothing more than flamebait.

    Web development is not a joke, never has been, and it never will be. Technologies change, consumers demand more, businesses require new solutions, and the Internet will continue to have a greater role in our lives as the years, decades and centuries go on, if our species makes it that long

    We are very much in the early days of the web, heck its only been less than 25 years or so since TBL brought it to fruition. That's pre-school compared to so many other industries and technologies.

    And the point about a grade 5 student knowing how to do the same stuff we're doing, in a couple of years or so? Yeah, sure why not. Most of us who are serious about our careers will be at much higher level in our technological skills by that point anyways. Then they'll catch up to that level. But we'll be even higher...you get my point.

    geof


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