Web Designer vs. Web Developer

[Opinion, with a little fact thrown in]

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38 Replies - 50707 Views - Last Post: 05 September 2009 - 02:52 AM

#31 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 06 August 2009 - 11:22 PM

Quote

But again, thanks Betawar for throwing out those points. A lot of people would agree with you.

No problem Martyr, I am glad you liked the article. I am planning on writing another short rant sometime in the next week or so on (you may have already guessed it) more web design/developer stuff. It will be a pretty different topic though.
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#32 dsherohman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 07 August 2009 - 06:00 AM

View Postc0mrade, on 5 Aug, 2009 - 09:55 PM, said:

Web Developer: This is a front end developer specializing in web interfaces. The primary job of this role is to make the designers mock-up a reality. The web developer will write css, javascript, and (if needed) some server side user interface code. Note that the web developer does not write code implementing business logic, that is the job of the software developer. The final product from the web developer is the user interface layer of the system (commonly known in this case as a web site).

Software Developer: The software developer role is all about implementing the underlying business logic backing up the web site. Does the system need to send emails? Process batch jobs? Talk to other systems? This all falls under the software developers role. The software developer may work with the web developer to integrate the user interface into the system, but this is not their main responsibility. The final product coming from the software developer ranges from a simple set of scripts talking to a database to a complex system of separate applications all working together to support the website, as well as any other user interfaces that are needed.

That's my view on things - does anyone think differently?

This is basically how I define things, to the point of refusing to let anyone call me a "web developer", because, to most people, that seems to mean "web designer who is also able to throw a little Javascript or AJAX on the page". I tend to refer to myself as a "software developer who happens to do a lot of work on web-based applications". I tried to explain this a bit more in a blog post last January, but I'm not really sure how clear it ended up being for those outside of the web and/or programming world.

In any case, this topic is a pretty big deal to me, not out of any particular concern over pay scales, but because graphic design doesn't interest me in the least (and I have no skills in it) and my life would be much easier if I didn't end up having the "Do you know what you want your site to look like?" "Huh? That's what we wanted to hire you for!" conversation with the vast majority of potential clients that I talk to.

This post has been edited by dsherohman: 07 August 2009 - 06:01 AM

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#33 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:05 AM

I generally refer to myself as a "PHP developer" or a "web-based software developer"... but I do everything, start to finish -- I do the proofing, the logos, the graphics, the HTML, CSS, Javascript, Flash, databases, custom content management systems, custom blogs, custom everything. In fact, when I'm talking to someone who is completely out of the tech loop, I generalize myself as a "computer programmer with a focus on internet-based applications".... and usually get as much a blank stare as I would if I said "web developer", "php developer" or "llama farmer".

I don't identify myself with being a "designer" for a couple reasons:
1. it gives people the impression that all you can do is design. that you're a "graphics person" and not much else.
2. given the choice, I would rather write PHP for eternity than spend more than 2 hours on a graphic or proof.
3. graphics are not my strong point. I'm decent with them. I can hold my own. But they aren't what I would classify as the top of my game.

Give someone else the graphics and the html. let me write the php and I'm happy. Now, if they would pay me more than your standard WalMart cashier, I'd be flippin' ecstatic....
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#34 paperclipmuffin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:30 PM

View Postnoorahmad, on 6 Aug, 2009 - 01:22 AM, said:

Posted Image


:lol: +1 :^:
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#35 PJLabowski  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 19 August 2009 - 10:16 AM

Noorahmad, I love the pic!!
BetaWar,
Great topic and there were some very nice descriptions of what everyone here thinks the different roles are. I just have one problem with this thread, it's being read by people who pretty much already know the difference between the two roles. No if we could get some employers, or potential clients, to join the discussion it would be the perfect thread :) .
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#36 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:53 PM

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No{w} if we could get some employers, or potential clients, to join the discussion it would be the perfect thread .

Agreed, but that requires that the employers or clients have the initiative to actially come look for job titles and their respective responsibilities/ roles. Most of the time people will just go through and look for people wanting a job, not worrying about looking through all the additional texts out there.

Maybe we should Digg this or something to make it more popular, or at least get it out there for the main-stream world to have the potential to see. Anyone have a digg account?
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#37 ekzach  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:38 AM

View Postpaperclipmuffin, on 14 Aug, 2009 - 09:30 PM, said:

View Postnoorahmad, on 6 Aug, 2009 - 01:22 AM, said:

Posted Image


:lol: +1 :^:



LOL
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#38 sansoo22  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 02 September 2009 - 11:33 PM

I know this post is a little old now but I came across it on a google search and wanted to reply. I am currently in school to learn either web design or web development. I don't know which to pick. The problem is i really enjoy both.

I know enough PHP and MySQL to build a database, create server side includes, and write functions to validate form data. Pretty basic i know. But on the flip side I use dreamweaver and i can honestly say i have never used the design view. I hand code all of my css and html. I simply like the interface of dreamweaver. And yes i do practice good coding style. If i didnt i wouldnt even remember what the hell i was doing when i came back to it.

So where does someone like myself fit in? If i keep pursuing a server side language on my own while pursuing a a web design degree do i get to consider myself a developer? The design part is actually quite easy for me. The creative part just makes sense. Thats probably why i enjoy the coding so much. Its a real challenge. I am asking because i am trying to figure out which path to take in my education and how to market myself when i get out.

I find it really hard to beleive that a designer wouldn't have any part in the actual development of the site. I would think a designer would at least have to have and understanding if not some first hand knowledge of the development of a site to know where limitations lie.

A quick look at Careerbuilder scares the hell out of me. I see job postings wanting people proficient in web site layout as well as languages and concepts I have yet to try and comprehend. Do employers simply not know what the hell they are talking about?

Sorry for a long post. Im just curious of other peoples paths they took to get where they are right now. And how anyone who can code and design markets themselves to maximize their potential income.
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#39 NickFever  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Posted 05 September 2009 - 02:52 AM

I am in the same boat Sansoo.
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