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The right approach to web design and web development

  • # April 2, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I think my head’s going to explode. In this company that I am working with, I don’t really know what is my job title anymore. I’ve been doing some web design and then back end development. It might be easy to others but as a junior designer, I feel like its overloading. Especially in this generation where a lot of stuff is updating, upgrading and evolving. I don’t know how to cope up anymore.

    # April 2, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I feel your pain lol. I love making things pretty, but when they ask me to get into coding, it gives me the headspins. Web design is one thing, but then making it functional is another. It’s overwhelming at times, but know your limits. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to turn down projects from time to time. However, I find that you learn more by taking on the challenging ones, and once you’ve done it, it’s not so hard the next time.

    # April 2, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Yeah, i do have that problem in the beginning but i agree with Sapphire. You really got to know your limits & that will help you advise them what could be done & what couldn’t (due to your limits).

    Of course updating, upgrading & evolving is something that never stop just like learning.

    Till now……………….I’m still learning.

    # April 2, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Sometimes the best way to learn new things is to get thrown into it! It can be overwhelming, but just stick with it because the web business better than having to learn how to flip all the different variety of burgers out there!!!

    # April 2, 2013 at 5:03 am

    Thank you for all your replies so far. I just had a bad day. Probably one of my Boss’ April Fools’ episode. His specialty is under industrial design, print and branding. He doesn’t know anything beyond basic html coding. Whenever we talk about a website project I imagine him having a big question mark on top of his head when I start to explain about php, databases, javascript, seo and so on. He gets all the dimes by taking a lot of web projects and then throwing all the work to me. Is this even healthy for a web designer? I mean, I think I can’t learn much if I stay under a company that doesn’t specialize in web development. Any advice? @Sapphire, @moer2237, @msguerra74

    # April 2, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I hear you. I was lucky to work for people who believed in me for a really long time and I got to grow and learn and try new things. I recently tried to transition from freelancing for 7 years to working a regular job again and I worked for a guy like that. He had no clue how things worked, but he was a killer salesman. He could sell a website to a monkey! I was creating responsive sites, with all of the latest CSS3 and making them cross browser and accessible and so on, but he would just look at them the way he looked at all of the other crappy sites they used to make. To him, it was no different. One day he had a client in the office and he was telling her how all of our sites have colors and “move”, as in sliders and stuff. The final straw came when they hired this young kid who didn’t even know what CSS floats were. I taught this kid all about responsive design and semantic code and how to “do things right”. The kid was cool and all, but he told me what they were paying him and it was the same as me. I have been in the business since 1997 and this guy had just been doing it for fun for a year or two. Literally, within a week, I was gone. If this guy is so naive to his own business that he doesn’t know talent when he has it, you need to move on. There are better places that will appreciate your skills and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Here’s what it boils down to in my opinion: If the boss doesn’t have a clue about what’s involved to make his business work, then it’s not gonna work for long. Get out of there and find something else. If you have to freelance to make ends meet, then do it. I don’t mean to go off on a rant like this, but I was just flabbergasted by my experience, so it rings true to me. I totally get what you’re feeling. Just build an awesome portfolio and apply somewhere else. If you don’t have a portfolio, just make up cool sites and build them for fun. An employer doesn’t care if you did an awesome site for a real person, or just in your spare time. It almost means more to them if you took the time to build something cool just for fun. If you do it for fun, then you must be passionate about your work and that’s something that “serious” employers want. As for job titles, they’re all over the place these days. If you design and can code good HTML and CSS, while having a good understanding of JavaScript and PHP, you are both a designer and a developer, or the popular thing to call yourself these days is a front-end web developer / designer. Just hang in there and you’ll find your place. Don’t settle for less, or for the stress. Take care sir!

    # April 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    @ajnoguerra

    Welcome to the world of small teams.

    I used to work for a small non-profit where I was the IT. Literally. 1 person. Doing server management, Microsoft Access, MySQL, PHP, HTML, CSS; you name it, graphic design, email marketing, print design, etc, etc…

    One thing you have to do is learn to say “No!”. Respectfully of course. Otherwise, you’ll have massive backlog of things if they think you’re the superman.

    You need to communicate better with your boss about how different aspects of web design/development need to be treated. Companies hire people to make money, not throw cash away. So you need approach the issues from the perspective of ROI and bottom line for the company. There’s nothing they’ll listen more.

    # April 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Quit. No, seriously.

    You can look at this in two ways:

    1. It’s an incredibly challenging environment that will help you grow as a multi-faceted Web Technologies Professional (I just coined that title, I think)

    2. It’s a mind-melting, stressful, high-pressure environment that might take a toll on your health and, in the long run, kill you early.

    In the case of #1, keep calm and carry on. In the case of #2, GTFO.

    Best,

    Tanner

    # April 2, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Haha! Well said @tannercampbell

    # April 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Wow! This is a great thread so far. Its nice to realize that I am not the only one experiencing or has experienced this. All of you guys shared great words :) and I’m very thankful for that. Actually, its not just web design and web development that has been cracking my head for some time now. Like @AlenAbdula, I also do graphic design, print, email marketing and even PDF web forms under this company. Imagine, if those are separate jobs with separate payments each, I could have earned a lot now and maybe bought myself an apartment. Thanks guys! Really you’ve been a great help.

    # April 3, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Unfortunately, people think a ‘web designer’ is automatically a ‘web developer’, and vice-versa, unaware that these two are best separate. Sure, it makes sense that they want the designer to do frontend work, but to throw them into backend without the proper experience? It’s bad.

    ….my company does this, too. :/

    # April 4, 2013 at 5:19 am

    I don’t quite agree that web developer and web designer are necessarily best separate, especially since the line is kind of… fuzzy in a lot places, however, this:

    > to throw them into backend without the proper experience? It’s bad.

    Where I work we have a designer who does the designs and hands them over to me or my coworker in PSD format. We then do everything in the implementation (well, generally based around a CMS, in particular WordPress). Outside of websites we are also the general IT people: Support, installation, etc.

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