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Web Development Skill Crisis
Fortune Hunter




msg:3695650
 6:59 pm on Jul 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

Neil McAllister over at InfoWorld just released an article discussing the potential skills crisis in web development. His point is that with so many possible skills and technologies available that developers are being driven to specialize because there is no way to keep up if you are just a generalists. Here is the article...

[weblog.infoworld.com...]

I am not sure I agree for a few reasons, first how do you choose what to specialize in? Second, after you make a choice what do you do when/if that specialization is no longer wanted or needed by the market? Seems like an expensive and time consuming activity to keep re-specializing in stuff all the time.

I believe it is much better to be a generalists with maybe a few areas you know better than others and the ability to find a person that is a specialists if you must absolutely have that technology.

His other point is that with so many ways of doing some of the same activities that the world of web development is ripe for consolidation and that the wild west days are over. I doubt that very much.

New technologies will come and go and what the web is or will be is still very much changing. We all have certain standards we stick to in development so we can actually get something done, but I doubt if the innovation and changes that make this a wild west landscape at times is going away anytime soon.

What say you?

 

grandpa




msg:3695708
 8:07 pm on Jul 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

how do you choose what to specialize in?

If one wants to be a specialist, the answer is easy. Simply choose from the current market needs.

that specialization is no longer wanted or needed by the market?

I recently had a conversation with an IT recruiter. I wasn't looking for a job, just talking to a friend. I asked how many positions were available for my former skillset (AS/400 RPG Programmer). He grimaced, and told me none. There was a time when we were a hot commodity and could name our price. What have I done about that? I moved to web based applications, not by choice so much as as I drifted into it one fine day.

I don't keep up with the latest technologies, its enough to keep up with the standards I currently employ, basic HTML, PHP and style sheets. Sometimes it would be nice to have a few other skill sets, but I do fine with those I have.

New tools and applications and design standards are part of the landscape, and I hope they are always in development and release. That is a sure sign that people are still thinking, and creating solutions.

Some other things will probably not change, today or for quite a while. But I hardly think that spells the end of the wild west on the web. If this wasn't WebmasterWorld, I *might* be inclined to talk about my idea, which is going to revolutionize how people shop on the internet, and make me wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.

[edited by: grandpa at 8:12 pm (utc) on July 10, 2008]

bcolflesh




msg:3695710
 8:11 pm on Jul 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

(If this wasn't WebmasterWorld, I *might* be inclined to talk about my idea that is going to revolutionize how people shop on the internet.)

A virtual world filled with primary colors and poorly-rendered cartoon characters and furniture?

Fortune Hunter




msg:3695962
 2:30 am on Jul 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

New tools and applications and design standards are part of the landscape, and I hope they are always in development and release. That is a sure sign that people are still thinking, and creating solutions.

That was my thought as I was reading his article. My thought was that the web is exploding with new technologies and techniques. Things are expanding and growing, not consolidating and shrinking. As long as this growth is taking place and the body of knowledge we refer to as the Internet is changing this will be a bit of a wild west landscape.

The real wild west took well over a hundred years to finally start settling down, why should something as vast as the Internet take any less time?

King_Fisher




msg:3696005
 4:11 am on Jul 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

Grandpa,...Give me a drag off that before you throw it away!...KF

rocknbil




msg:3696505
 5:41 pm on Jul 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

I believe it is much better to be a generalists with maybe a few areas you know better than others and the ability to find a person that is a specialists if you must absolutely have that technology.

Agree wholeheartedly. By specializing, you never know if someone's BSing you, or are just being lazy and giving you an answer full of fluff. Right now I'm going through a nightmare issue, my admin is on assignment and I'm having to learn something new - AGAIN - because I need this thing done right away.

Specialization opens the door to things like: WHY EVERYONE HATES MICROSOFT. These programmers are gifted and talented, but they're all specialized. So no one really knows if someone in sector A is doing everything they say they are. They throw together a new OS and no one knows if the other half is really doing what they're supposed to. The result is a bug infested final product. (Exaggerated example, but you get my point.)

"Jack of all trades, master of none" is the cliche they throw at people like me. Another is "know a little bit of everything and never excel at anything." Both have more than a hint of truth, but for my money, knowing a little bit of everything is a safer bet than . . . .

"throwing all my eggs in one basket."

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