Top 5 Issues Facing Web Developers
Web development has gone through great change since it started a mere 20 years ago. HTML is now HTML5, there are cascading style sheets, bandwidth has grown exponentially, and file formats have come and gone. If nothing else, change is happening at an increased pace.
Here are the top 5 issues facing web developers today:
With more and more developers comes more competition and that has a downward pressure on prices. Furthermore, services have arisen that will handle some of the more common drudgery type tasks. Sophisticated templates are available for less than $50. Thus many aspects of web development that served as a revenue source has been forced to the commodity end of the scale.
When the web was young and there were fewer developers around, it was much easier to market your services. You simply said, “I’m a web developer”, and basically you were hired on the spot. Now it is much more difficult to differentiate yourself from the myriad of other developers locally as well as internationally.
Web sites are becoming more and more complicated with more moving parts and unique coding. The landscape is changing constantly and it’s almost a full time job just to stay abreast of the changes in the industry. From coding best practices to new and added functionality to visual stylistic changes, it all adds up to more time keeping up rather than getting ahead and developing.
With more and more competition from lower-cost regions there is significant downward pressure on pricing. One way to differentiate oneself is to offer more services in person. More in-person contact is one thing international web developers have difficulty with. Another is the subtle nuance of your location. You know the local trends and how to market to local audiences, a differentiator that may tip the scales in your favor.
5) Do it Yourself (DIY)
Content management systems (CMS) have gotten easier and easier for the novice to use. This, coupled with marketing messages from major CMS platforms describing how easy it is for anyone to create and manage their own website, has encouraged many new users to try their hand at it. While overall, this is probably a good thing, it does tend to lower the perceived value of what an experienced web developer can bring to a project.
Change is happening; it’s happening fast; no one escapes. As Toefler said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will be those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
The web developers that survive will be the ones who can adapt the quickest to the changes forced on them by outside forces.