The Web as an industry

Andre Torrez makes the observation that making things on the Internet isn’t for enthusiastic amateurs any more:

I think the thing that is eating industries: newspapers, music, movies, second rate mobile phone manufacturers…it’s eating us too. Being literate in tech isn’t enough anymore. As Robin said above, knowing how to put up a web page or write a little web app is fine for a niche hobby or an amateur pursuit, but if you want things to look good and work and be something more than a semi-broken thing you have to invest a real amount time and thought.

When I got started working on the Web, you could find gainful employment simply by being a person who really liked messing around with computers. I’m not talking about jobs making Web pages for local businesses, either, but for big businesses. Those days are definitely gone.

Back when I started, there were only “full stack” developers. Everybody did pretty much everything. Then the industry evolved to have “designers” and “engineers.” Things have become more specialized since. Now it’s not uncommon to find people developing software at Web companies who don’t know HTML at all. I would never have predicted that ten years ago.

One thought on “The Web as an industry

  1. Now it’s not uncommon to find people developing software at Web companies who don’t know HTML at all.

    I think this varies wildly by the size of the company and they type of business they are in. As a small consulting shop, we still highly value full-stack developers and each new project normally brings us a challenge we haven’t worked on before. Yes, we have designers – but they add to their technical skills over time. Conversely “back-end devs” need to know HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, etc. (at least the basics).

    In a larger, product-focused company I would expect it to be easier to hire “specialists” for various positions. I don’t know that I would enjoy that type of team as much though…

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