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The Four Types of Web Developers

I read an interesting article recently about a survey of more than five thousand developers.

The article pointed out that there seems to exist, four types of web developers. I found the descriptions quite interesting.

  • Guru: Uses CSS primarily and puts a premium on technological excellence.
  • Entrepreneur: Wants to create an audience.
  • Designer: Chiefly employs Dreamweaver; Focuses on visual effect.
  • Corporate: Wants stability and reliability from Web design.

Having met each of those types, I find myself very much in agreement with those stereotypes. Being a site about Smalltalk and Seaside, if you're reading this, I'm betting you're a Guru, but I bet you know the guy who is one of the other three as well.

Comments (automatically disabled after 1 year)

Mark Miller 3694 days ago

I wouldn't say I'm a CSS or web development guru. I've learned enough about web development to understand how the mechanism works, and I've learned a method or two of how to manage the complexity of it. I've done some simple Javascript and DHTML. That's as advanced as I've gotten. CSS is pretty new to me. I still tend to gravitate towards HTML. What I've been doing is business-oriented, forms-based apps. that interact with a database. My two highest goals are creating apps that help make work easier for people, and using the most effective tools for accomplishing that task. Those are my "excellence" priorities.

Your description of the types of web developers was kind of enlightening. I've sometimes found it difficult to get it through my head that not all web developers have the same skillset or the same priorities.

Ramon Leon 3694 days ago

"My two highest goals are creating apps that help make work easier for people, and using the most effective tools for accomplishing that task."

Sounds like an Entrepreneur/Guru mix to me. I'm sure we all have a little of each in us, but there's usually a primary goal, so which is most important of the two, helping users, or using the most effective tools?

Ramon Leon 3691 days ago

Sorry Mark, lost your last post, had a db problem and had to restore a backup.

Mark Miller 3687 days ago

What I basically said was if I had to make a choice, my priority would be helping users. If there's one thing I hate it's working hard on a project and the people its intended for not liking it, and not using it. It's a thrill for me when a customer is pleased with what I've done. I see technology as a way to improve people's lives.

I have the desire too, to "geek out" with a technology I really like, where the pleasure is all mine. Fellow programmers could understand it, but customers are not able to just because they're not into it at that level.

Sometimes I've been torn between pursuing a technology I like, and working on something that will be useful to others. With Squeak and Seaside, I see the possibility of being able to do both: "geek out", and satisfy users at the same time. That's very exciting. The challenge for me now is to find a way for it to work out that way.

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