Interview With a Web Developer

I’m sure a large percentage of people who enjoy games or using computers have considered what it would be like to have I.T. as their profession. To try and answer this question we managed to drag the EGR tech department (one guy going by the name of Colonel Mustard) away from his desk to talk to us about his day job as a programmer.

Good evening. Could you give us your official job title and a brief description of what you do

I’m a web developer, and I work for a large publishing company in London on a number of different websites

How did you get involved in this type of work?

I’ve had an interest in computers for as long as I can remember, so when it came to deciding on what to study in further education computing seemed an obvious choice to me. I got lucky with a work placement during my University studies and landed myself a permanent role which is where I am now

Have you found using computers to be any different if you are using them for pleasure or for work?

When programming at home I have more time to work with technologies of my choice. Also

browsing the web can become a different experience when you’re a web developer, as you understand why things are done the way they are. So when a site breaks you can often pinpoint the bad/lazy programming that caused it.

Is it a challenge to keep up to date with advances in IT that may affect your work?

Yes, I think in that respect being a web developer is one of the most challenging jobs out there. There is such a vast range of technologies being used, and you have to understand everything from the front end to the databases.

Most jobs however focus on a smaller subset of technology, often supplied by a single vendor such as Microsoft, which makes it a bit easier

Is much of your time dedicated to training and learning new things? or do you cover enough of the same topics each day that this isn’t necessary?

Well I do try to keep as up to date as possible with the fundamental languages and the things I work with a lot, as I feel that I like to have a complete understanding of them. There are other things that seem to come and go, often like fashion in the software world. I try to get an understanding of these, but I don’t spend too much time focusing on something that I don’t think I’m going to use much.

I probably spend a few minutes a day reading blogs and articles covering a wide range of things. I particularly like the Microsoft blogs as they provide a good insight into the development of some languages.

What opportunities for advancing exist in the job? in terms of climbing the career ladder.

There are a number of directions in which to progress. The main directions you can go are either towards a more people-oriented position such as team management, or a more technical role such as a software architect.

There are many more opportunities, for instance a good company CIO will often have a programming background.

What would you recommend to people currently at school who are looking at this or a similar career?

Don’t study maths! I was told it was necessary for a career in computing, but they were wrong.

You can study maths if you want, I’m sure it will get you far, it just isn’t mandatory. It can help to get a degree in a computing-related subject, but often the course content won’t be hugely relevant, it’s just a way into the industry.

Try to be sure it’s what you want to do, as a lot of people give it a go and find they just

aren’t naturally good at software development.

with this being an EGR the interview wouldn’t be complete without some mention of gaming. Are you currently playing anything?

I like to play Insurgency occasionally, and a bit of TF2 every now and then. I’m against giving WoW a go as I’m scared it’ll consume my life for the next decade if I do.

I’m also currently contemplating playing Oblivion again as I started playing it when I was younger and never got round to finishing it. I used to play a huge amount of CS:Source, and was in a couple of clans a few years ago.

Do you have an all time favourite game?

That probably has to be the half-life series, especially HL2. The success of the series doesn’t surprise me. It’s one of the few games I’ve played more than once. My favourite online game has to be CS:Source

It does seem that Valve always produce top notch games, what do you think it is about them that other games companies find hard to emulate?

that’s a difficult question! Maybe it’s because they really seem to understand their audience and take the time to properly design games. Too many modern games seem to be a graphics showcase with little in the way of gameplay.

Then you get games such as Battlefield 2 which seems to have been rushed, constantly crashing before a patch was released.

Lastly, are you able to give us a quick sneak preview on what you’re working on for EGR?

Well hopefully in the near future we’ll have a more visually appealing site. It’s something that’s been on my mind for a while. Front end styling isn’t my strong point, but I think I have some good ideas. I am also busy working on both the “TF2 tactician” and “WoW tactician” which will allow users to build a large collaborative database of guides and tactics for the games they play. There is also a very snazzy CMS running behind the site which cannot be seen by the users but is being developed to allow easier posting of articles and updates and in the future will allow regular guest posts to be made by anyone wanting to try their hand at a bit of games journalism.

Those are the features I’m currently concentrating on coding and testing, there are also plans in the not too distant future to provide more functionality to the front page in the form of a calendar filled with gaming related events and various media players on the front page containing things like frag videos or just the latest virals.

Thank you for your time, I hope these answers have helped some people decide whether a career in software development is something they wish to pursue. Are there any final thoughts you wish to leave us with?

Yeah! Don’t ever bother with IE 6! Some of our biggest customers are various government bodies, and most of them happen to be stuck in the past with this monstrosity of a browser which makes my job that little bit more difficult.

Four Recommended Tips for a Team of SEO for Web Development

If a company decides to rely on an expert to create a window to the web he does to have an advertising return and wants to be located more quickly and comfortably than the old systems (e.g. yellow pages) as the potential customer relies increasingly on search engines like Google.

Unfortunately, not all webmasters, designers are often helped by Dreamweaver & Co, are aware of the dynamics necessary to satisfy the SEO company, then forced to turn to experts to optimize the visibility of your site.

The best case is the presence of an SEO expert in every field of web development company that creates an initial guideline and are consulted each year by the client to update the web space under the new rules SEO: remember that the web and its rules vary very quickly, updating the site code and content is essential for lasting results.

The worst case for the company that wants the site is well positioned to find a study of web development even without knowledge in SEO, at which point the company has to go to another studio or find a freelance SEO expert puts his hand the code and possibly a redesign of a project born evil, or to update.

This is clearly not the optimal situation even for the SEO expert who will have to hand code to others, placing emphasis on analyzing the structure of spider traps, check for broken links, robots.txt misconfigured, not having a semantic structure (wireframe) lacking in content and so on.

So let’s see recommendations 4 and 4 things to avoid for a web agency that is planning the site of a customer and want to avoid him spending more money (possibly losing the contract when the customer will notice that your web provider is “lame”) offering rather than a service with bows and complete 100%.

4 things to do to provide a quality product:

Planning

The site must be planned together with an SEO expert right from the first drafts, by studying the semantics, the positioning of various frames, the right keywords.

Access

The collaboration must be horizontal: the SEO expert must have decision-making power in the team and give advice during the chosen code, create a site with perfect code badly positioned just a waste of time.

Communication

The coder needs to communicate at any time of the project on choices, ideas and possible errors with the expert in SEO. It should not be a consultant but a real team member.

Competence

Although the company has knowledge of SEO does not mean that I know what an expert. The SEO changes dramatically, just see the news in the social environment. Having a full-time SEO worker who knows the news is essential to have a result: if the web development company is large enough there is definitely need more experts – why pay 10 programmers flash and then have only an expert in optimization and positioning on search engines? And ‘counterproductive.

4 things to do to be filled with problems:

Wait

Show the wireframe to SEO expert to work day after day is over or even very serious mistake. If you follow the expert advice to assist the team, may be too late and having to redesign entire pages.

Afraid

The team should not be afraid to see the creativity stifled by the expert in SEO: working together to find viable solutions, achieving a balance between creativity and accessibility.

Underestimate

Many webmasters think that the SEO expert is only a marginal figure of the team: the result is to underestimate the SEO aspect and get a website invisible to search engines and therefore useless. If the SEO is not in accord with the design ideas should not hide our heads in the sand and ignore it but you have to ask alternative routes.

Seek Perfection (no reach)

If your SEO expert is competent and the team did not collaborate in the production process need to be afraid to launch the site. You have to constantly worry about instead of work: often the most common mistake is to start well and then rest on their laurels.

Essentials While Choosing A Joomla Web Development Firm

Joomla web development is becoming more and more popular among businesses these days. Joomla is an open source technology that enables you to create and manage your website in the most efficient manner. For building a Joomla website you can hire any offshore company but certain essential points you need to keep in your mind. Here are some essentials that you need to consider:

• Higher Quality Website Design: The most important thing that you need to consider while selecting a Joomla web development company is the quality of the delivered project. Quality is the most essential thing that matters for a website. You should hire a company that can create a feature-rich website by understanding your business objectives as well as their need and requirements. The website must be interactive offering information about your business and products.

• Knowledge & Experience: Knowledge and experience of the company is the other thing that matters while hiring a company. You should hire a company that is experienced in this field and owns developers with great knowledge and skills. The expert developers will help you to build an attractive, informative, functional, feature-rich and user friendly website by understanding your business needs.

• Search Engine Friendly: You need to hire the services of a Joomla development company that creates a search engine friendly website for you. Search engine friendly means a website that appears in the top results of the search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Bing, etc. Greater visibility will drive more traffic to your website and hence, ultimately increases the revenues of your company.

• Timely Delivery Of Project: Time is money in business. Hence, the other essential thing that you need to keep in mind while choosing a Joomla Web Development Company is the timely delivery of the project. You need to find that the company is delivering the projects within the set time frame or not? So, hire a company that meets deadlines and deliver projects on or before time.

• Reasonable Price: A number of companies are available in the market that charges a huge amount for Joomla development. So, you need to select a company that charges reasonable prices as this is a free open source and does not require huge amounts.

You need to conduct a research keeping all the above mentioned points in mind while choosing a Joomla web development company. There are various firms which are offering these services, hence properly check their reviews and feedback by their clients. You can also take suggestions from other business and your friends.