Part 2: What Companies Should Look for When Hiring a Web Developer
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Citrus Studios has been designing websites since 1999, and, to majorly understate things, the web has changed a lot in that time. The skills we look for in a web developer have evolved quite a bit.
We spoke recently with Citrus Studios’ web developer Steve Rifkin about the changing role of a website developer and its future. In Part 2, we consider it from the perspective of companies who hire developers, whether for a website project or longer term gig.
Steve, you’ve said that it’s important for companies to find a web developer who is not just smart about development technology, but who also understands how businesses operate. Can you tell us more?
The talent pool in our area is growing but it is very difficult to find smart, adept developers and engineers who are able to bring additional value to a project other than their training gives them. I’ve often worked with developers that need a lot of hand holding to get the job done and what I have found over time is that it is not always the technical side that is the issue. Understanding a business’s value and direction and helping to validate those things while engineering custom business solutions is a critical skill to bring to any project and one that I have found is lacking in a lot of people who work in the technological space.
What should companies do to help make talented web developers more employable?
If they really do want to pass along their talent to other employers and or possible clients to help them maintain systems that are already built, employers should include their web developer in the initial passes of any work being done. Whether it is a single one-off task to debug or build a quick feature or if it is a build from the ground up, having the web developer (or site architect) as part of those conversations is very helpful. It gives the developer a chance to understand that it isn’t just about bits and bytes, and while they are being asked to provide a solution, they’ll see that other possibilities exist that might benefit the client more. Over time this type of integration will benefit those developers and help them become more employable as they will be able to offer more in future conversations they have that with clients or potential employers.
In what way do you expect the role of an effective web developer to change by 2022?
Well in the next 7-8 years I expect a lot of what we do to be automated. WYSIWYG implementations like Wix, Squarespace, and the like will have gotten very customizable and more or less take away the “web” side of any development. So I see people getting forced into either a strictly creative/design position or into an engineering position. But the crossover web developer of the last 5 years where you build a product might just go the way of the Dodo.
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