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#1 sessionoo  Icon User is offline

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What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 09 August 2008 - 10:55 AM

I am looking into developing a new business online but while i know html and how to make a basic website, this site will require a lot more.

what do i need to look for in the designer, and what kind of scripting/coding is needed besides the normal html and java.
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Replies To: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 09 August 2008 - 12:16 PM

You know I am really happy to see someone is actually asking the question rather than putting together their "wish list" and expecting someone to fulfill it all. So kudos to you.

You should be looking for someone with a decent number of years experience as well as a good set of examples of what they have done. Depending on your project you will want someone that has a skill in one of the following...

1) A server-side language. Preferably the language you want the site to be developed in. They should have a lot of experience in one of the following... PHP/ASP.NET/Cold fusion/Ruby/Perl. This is going to be the code that most of the pages will use to put together dynamic pages and shopping carts etc.

2) Design experience using CSS and familiar with the differences between browsers and how they render CSS code. And if your site is going to get really "flashy" then ask for something like Flash experience. You might ask for some experience in graphic design and image manipulation if you are looking for very visual sites (like a game site for instance)

3) Client side coding like Javascript is usually a must because this is going to handle the code that your server-side language won't. Things like drag and drop, manipulating controls on the page like hiding and showing, fading etc. An extra bonus would be to ask for familiarity with AJAX and or a framework like scriptaculous/prototype. I wouldn't make it a requirement but it would be an added plus if they knew.

4) Using a database with the website. This is a must. If they are into PHP they should have experience with MySQL. If they deal with ASP.NET they should be experienced in MS SQL Server. Some developers have both which is good and always a plus. Pick which database type you will be using and then get a developer that can match it and its relevant language. If you choose SQL Server, make might want to consider making the pages with ASP.NET. If you are using mysql then you might want to consider using PHP for your server-side language.

A good designer/developer will have a combination of the three. You can find people who have PHP/CSS/Javascript with maybe AJAX and flash experience as a bonus or you might find people who are ASP.NET/CSS/Javascript with something like Atlas experience or other AJAX knowledge through Microsoft platforms. etc.

Anything up and beyond these should be related directly to what you want on your site. If you want osCommerce carts etc, then ask for osCommerce.

I just hate it when they put up web developer jobs and ask for things like knowing C++, VAX, avatar creation, how to use a kitchen sink, and fill in the blank off the wall skills when none of them apply.

Hope that helps! :)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 09 August 2008 - 12:20 PM

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#3 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 09 August 2008 - 08:19 PM

Below is a copy/paste of the job I currently hold. It is the ad I applied to - feeling very unworthy of the position because the marketing guy used a lot of big, fancy words... which, in hindsight, really said almost nothing.

Quote

Immediate Need

Master Web Developer:

PROJECT RELATED COMPETENCIES

Solution Development and Delivery
• Creates efficient and logical databases for clients.
• Designs and codes superior technical solutions.
• Easily recognizes system deficiencies and implements effective solutions.

Project Execution
• Creates and executes project work plans and revises as appropriate to meet changing needs and requirements.
• Communicates and enforces coding standards
• Manages resources within budget and project schedule.
• Reviews work of team.
• Consistently delivers high-quality services to clients.

CAREER PATH CORE COMPETENCIES

Communication
• Assists in the facilitation of team and client meetings.
• Delivers informative, well-organized presentations.
• Understands how to communicate difficult/sensitive information tactfully.

Relational Databases
• Understands complex database concepts as well as the implications of different database designs.
• Effectively employs many different database design techniques.
• Possesses demonstrated work experience with more than one relational database management system.

Programming Languages
• Demonstrates expert knowledge of at least one structured programming.
• Creates XML schemas.
• Understands the benefits of the various programming languages.

Architecture
• Possesses significant knowledge of client server and internet systems architectures.
• Creates well designed, reusable objects.
• Understands browser specific compatibility issues.
• Understands the benefits of the various design methodologies and object oriented environments.

PROFESSIONAL QUALITIES

Leadership
• Generates enthusiasm among team members.
• Proactively seeks opportunities to serve in leadership roles.
• Challenges others to set, reach and surpass personal goals.


Really... look at it closely... they asked for the following:
1. XML schemas (which I haven't done the entire time I've been working for them).
2. More than one relational database management system (um... ok... which databases?? as it turns out, they really only wanted experience with MySQL, but the marketing guy doesn't know enough about what he's writing to describe his needs accurately.)
3.Demonstrates expert knowledge of at least one structured programming. (Programming what!? Didn't even finish the sentence.)

Ultimately, don't do what my employer did when looking for a developer. Be specific. It was by pure luck that I had experience in the actual languages and systems the company uses. If you need PHP, specify PHP. If you need ASP, specify ASP. Otherwise, you're just begging for a boatload of who-knows-what to apply for the position with little or no experience in the areas you need. Skip the marketing mumbo-jumbo and get better applicants. Case in point - they added all the marketing crap and they got me - poor, poor, unfortunate them. :P
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#4 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 09 August 2008 - 08:31 PM

if they call themselves a webmaster. you don't want them.
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 09 August 2008 - 08:47 PM

View Postcapty99, on 9 Aug, 2008 - 11:31 PM, said:

if they call themselves a webmaster. you don't want them.

What about webadmin?

View Postsessionoo, on 9 Aug, 2008 - 01:55 PM, said:

what do i need to look for in the designer

My advice, would be to ask for previous work, plain & simple. If they have not worked on any published sites, then you (not knowing where to guide them) don't have the time for this sort of a developer. If you like their work, question them about it to make sure they don't use templates, & cut & paste their way around the code.

View Postsessionoo, on 9 Aug, 2008 - 01:55 PM, said:

and what kind of scripting/coding is needed besides the normal html and java.

I wouldn't say Java is a requirement. Without knowing the details of the project, it's hard to say what would be required.
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#6 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 10 August 2008 - 09:53 AM

View Postsessionoo, on 9 Aug, 2008 - 01:55 PM, said:

what kind of scripting/coding is needed besides the normal html and java.


Java? Or javascript? Two different languages, my friend.
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#7 †Mash†  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 10 August 2008 - 10:38 AM

It really depends on the project you plan on working on...

It really depends on the project you plan on working on...
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#8 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 10 August 2008 - 10:46 AM

View Post†Mash†, on 10 Aug, 2008 - 11:38 AM, said:

It really depends on the project you plan on working on...

It really depends on the project you plan on working on...


You can say that again ;) :P
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#9 jelthure  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:11 AM

You should also look for a Developer that writes valid XHTML and CSS. This will not only help you out in the future, but also is the first step to good SEO. (Search Engine Optimization )

Also when you are viewing any examples of sites they they've built check out there source code. You can learn a lot about a developer's code even if you have no clue about what you're looking at. If the code looks messy odds are, so will be working with the developer.
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#10 capty99  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do i need to look for in a web developer/programmer?

Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:42 AM

overrated validation is lame in my opinion.
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