Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/life-sole-web-developer/
Then I looked at the position title and it all became clear. The title read: “Software Developer / Web Developer”. Slash web developer: The web part is just an afterthought. My employer still thinks of me as doing the same work as a software developer, but with some mysterious black-box web stuff thrown in from time to time. This is typical, and not at all something I’m bothered by or upset about – your employers don’t know everything you know about your position and they shouldn’t have to. That’s why they hired you, after all!
Being the only person focused on web in a company is not particularly uncommon, but it’s an existence that is rarely discussed. To help change that, I’m going to talk a little about my current role and I’ll try to offer some advice where I can for other web developers in a similar position.
Own your role
Being the sole web developer is challenging, that’s true, but it’s also a great chance to make your mark within the company. As the sole web developer, particularly if you’re the first web developer, you have a rather enviable opportunity to plan out the whole stack – from technology, to test environment configuration, to documentation. The flipside: you’re solely responsible for those decisions, and any negative repercussions.
Own that fact. Know you’re responsible for anything “web” and be prepared to explain yourself when something goes wrong, perhaps to a deeper extent than normal. You’ll usually be explaining yourself to someone who knows very little to nothing about web development. Don’t make up excuses and your employer will respect you for having the self-confidence and the honesty to own up to your mistakes.