Today is a good day to code

XHTML is a Programming Language

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

XHTML is a Programming Language

Picture of Irv Owens Web DeveloperWhen a developer is working on the front end of a website. They need to be afforded the same deference and respect as a developer working on Java, ColdFusion, or PHP. The reason is simple. In order to create a website correctly, one needs to be able to focus on the project at hand. Much of the difficulty companies face when trying to meet deadlines is that they treat their web developers like artists. Web development is not like art. They are different jobs, and while someone may have both skills, shifting gears between the two is difficult to say the least. That is not to say that artists can't build websites, but the skills required to take a design and translate it into a format that will work on the internet, and remain consistent across browsers and platforms without using Flash are different than the skills that allowed the artist to design the look and feel. Web Developers need to work in a location that affords them privacy. When co-workers need something from their web developer, they need to respect that the developer may need to continue working on what they are doing and that to disturb them could cause them to lose their place.

Employers should recognize that web design and web development are different. Web design is done in Illustrator and Photoshop, not in Dreamweaver or in a text editor. The people that you hire to assemble your website, should not be the same individuals that design it. Likewise, the individuals that you hire to design your website should not be the same people who make it work. Some people have overlap in their abilities, but most true designers hate to deal with the underlying code. Most developers hate to be bothered with the look and feel in more than a rudamentary sense. Why is this? If you hire an accountant to work on your taxes, you probably wouldn't have that same accountant represent your business in court to defend your use of the corporate jet to fly your family to Barbados for the weekend, right? Accountants have a different skill set than even tax lawyers. In a more extreme example, you wouldn't try to get your doctor to fix your car, would you?

Most designers can get a website together, just like most developers can cobble together an interface. But what I am talking about is being proficient at it. I am quite fond of my designs, but I do not believe they are of award-winning breakthrough interface quality. Some of my code may be, but then again I am a developer. I pride myself on writing error free code. This is probably why I am so caught up with making my sites conform to XHTML 1.0 Strict. Most browsers can display 1.0 Transitional just fine. Its a point of pride for me to get there.

Furthermore, businesses should realize, as many of the more progressive ones do, that object oriented procedures should not be limited to programming exclusively. The reason developers have switched to object oriented programming is because they can reuse parts of their code that they know to be reliable, and can use different parts of their code to perform new operations in a different program.

Are human resources any different? Most workers have a variety of skills in addition to the skill they were hired for. Many tasks that customers require of the modern business can use these skills. Why not have a project manager, like the main class in a Java application handle calling and selecting the classes it needs to perform a particular job, and release those resources when they are finished with them to perform a different job.

Perhaps John there has experience with SOAP objects even though he was hired to build web pages, maybe Mary the project manager knows this and has a job where the client needs to use SOAP objects. So Mary will put John on her team, as long as there is no other higher priority. Tying this business model back to web development, you have a stable of web developers and designers who share the skills required to create an entire website in different quantities. Perhaps you need to develop a site where the look and feel is more important than the back end so you would pull resources that had more design skill than development skill. If the job is for an intranet where the functions and features are more important, then you pull more resources who lean toward development and fewer that lean toward design. It is up to the project manager to know this about the people they work with, and the model described above will be the model that takes enterprise web development into the future creating reusable, reliable components and interfaces.