In the early days of the web, a web developer (or webmaster) was expected to do everything: a little graphic design, database development, server-side coding, and front-end engineering. The job was varied and rapidly changed as the technologies evolved.
Today, there’s far more divergence within the employment market:
- a designer may spend all day using PhotoShop and never touch the website code
- a back-end developer may create databases and PHP or ASP.NET code but never worry about the user interface.
Larger companies will find it easier to separate job functions. They can create a factory process where each component is built by a team which specializes in that technology. The obvious benefit is that developers can become experts in a particular field and produce a working product within a short time-frame.
Even freelancers and smaller companies can specialize in specific technologies. They can provide those services to larger organizations or outsource parts of the project where they need assistance.
We’d like to know whether your job has become more specialized. Are you still involved in every aspect of system development or do you concentrate on a certain area. Please vote on the SitePoint home page or leave a comment below.
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.