Web Designer Or Web Developer: Who Do I Choose?

For anyone who has access to the internet, I am almost sure that they have come across these two terms, web designer and web developer. To anyone, these two terms sound just the same and they interchange one with the other. I mean, as long as you find someone to help get your website operating.

Hold on for a second! I will differentiate the two words for you so clearly till you will start wondering which other terms you use in the wrong way.

Why projects fail

The IT industry is very wide and involves a range of activities. Look around and you will find a web developer trying to perform the work of a web designer and vice versa.

This is the major reason why some people’s effort at getting their website running fails. It is because they did not take their time to figure out exactly what they needed from their website, thus hire the right people for the job.

Read further and find out what will help you differentiate between the two, the roles and functions of each and hopefully by the end of it all, help you decide which one you need for your website needs.

Who is a Web designer?

To put it simply, they are innovative people who have the ability to visualize what you need with your website just by having a chat with you. They then bring it to life by coming up with a very beautifully done website whose features are very pleasing to the eye.

There are web designers who hone their skills further by learning how to use features such as Dream Weaver and Photoshop which helps them come up with even more innovative websites. They can therefore be simply referred to as innovative professionals.

Who is a Web developer?

They, on the other hand, lean more on the technical side of things. They have the talent and unique ability to solve problems and have great arithmetic skills. They are always coming up with various codes in a variety of languages using features such as JavaScript and HTML. In addition, they commonly visit sites such as Fire bug to create plugins or even text editor and JavaScript. One more thing is they always know about an API and creating it.

There are people who call them programmers, but this is not entirely right because their tasks are more advanced than what is involved in programming and creating software. This is not to say that they don’t have these skills, but they are more of technical professionals.

Time to make a choice

After the above differentiation, you will have to figure out which one you need for your website. Although in some cases, you might need both. In case you need your website to be more popping and attractive, then you need the services of someone with innovative skills. On the other hand, if you need some databank or have issues to do with applications, then you need the services of someone with technical skills.

What Are The Benefits Of Taking A Web Development Refresher Course?

Are you fully qualified in the field of web development and have been working for a company that makes websites for a number of years now? If the answer to this question is yes, it might be time for you to take a quick refresher course. Not only will this give you a much needed break from the drudgery of a 9 to 5 work life, you will come back with some great new ideas to try out.

  • Keep up with the times: It seems that every day something new is being released onto the market; it can be impossible to try and stay up to date with everything that’s going on. Taking a short course can give you the chance to play a bit of catch up.
  • Have it paid for: Quite often, employers are more than happy to pay for some extra training for their web development teams. They understand that learning new skills and refining old, rarely used ones is integral to the success of their business.
  • Learn some new tricks: It is possible to find short courses that specialize in a particular area of development, so why not find something that interests you and give it a go? You might learn something that could make your job all the simpler.

As you can see, there are a number of benefits associated with taking a refresher course in web development. Actually going to a class instead of choosing to learn online also gives you the opportunity to network with others in the industry; you never know, you might just find someone who is willing to give you a much better job than the one you currently have!

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.