Adding to my skillset, what is important for landing jobs

Hi everyone,

So I have been working for an agency for about 3 years now, its quite a small agency and so far I have gotten away with not knowing much about javascript/jquery.

I consider myself a website designer rather than a front end developer who happens to know more than my fair share about wordpress, dotnetnuke and magento for what I consider to be my role. I enjoy doing the pretty stuff like photoshop,css and turning them all into websites that work. I dont mind coding them into CMS systems and am happy to go with whatever cms comes my way and tend to pick them up pretty quickly.

Recently I have not seen much call for website designers and have noticed the role on recruitment websites and its more likely I find web developer jobs that call for javascript/jquery experience.

Question is: What differentiates a web designer from a developer and just how important is it that I take on the mighty jquery for my role and what would be the quickest way to learn it.

That could open a tin of worms! The designer/developer thing has been discussed many time in the past, and there are a few different viewpoints as to what is what, trouble is no-one is really right or wrong, it’s similar the “what is art?” question.

In recent years web design and development has has become a set of specialist roles including (a very broad/simplistic description):

UI designers (User Interface, ie how a button is designed)
UX designers (User Experience. ie how the button behaves when the visitor uses it)
Front end developers (HTML/CSS/JS, ie creating the button and functions using HTML, CSS and JS)
Backend developers/Programmers (PHP, ASP, Databases, make the site do stuff when the button is clicked)
Content and marketing (writing copy and promoting the site so people click the button)
… to name a few.

Certainly if you are coding up sites, CMS’s and the like then some Javascript skills are essential nowadays with Jquery being the most popular. In all honesty basic Jquery isn’t all that hard to pick up, and there are numerous plugins to add functionlity where most of the complicated stuff is already done for you. I’d suggest digging in as soon as possible and experiment!

Javascript, jQuest, MySQL all worth having brah.

As you see the trend, the need for web designer will be much less. Main reason is that well seasoned front-end coder can do design as well. For example, I would browse sites like and buy few templates that meets the project requirement. I also may buy javascript UI library to create fancy tables/dropdowns/etc… Basically, I will never create design from “scratch”. Over the years, I’ve learned how to tailor a design based off from other designs. Unless you are the masters of css… it’s safer to go with front-end world and will be more lucrative.