Designer, developer or programmer - which do I need?
Tuesday 31 December 2013
When you're looking for help with your online presence which do you search for - web deisgner, web developer or programmer?
For many these terms all mean the same thing, but all three are in fact distinct from each other, and while some of the skills commonly overlap, who you deal with on your projects will have a big impact on the direction your project takes.
|Responsible for:||Creating attractive design|
|Core skills:||Creativity, layout, imagery, artwork|
|Common tools:||Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator|
A web designer is typically the most creative of the three roles.
It is the responsibility of the designer to create visually appealing designs for content, or theme for an entire site.
While many designers are competent coders of HTML and CSS, this is by no means guaranteed and for this reason a web designer should be chosen with care. It is easy to be drawn into a designer's work by the stunning imagery when in reality such designs may not work at all well in the world of the web.
|Responsible for:||Coding style and layout, browser compatibility|
|Core skills:||Layout, HTML, CSS|
|Common tools:||Notepad++, Dreamweaver, browser developer tools|
|Responsible for:||Coding scripts, processes and algorithms|
|Common tools:||Notepad++, language-specific IDE, browser debugging console|
The most technical of the three roles by far, the programmer is responsible for taking a concept and giving it form, such as processing steps or data manipulation. Because of the intangible nature of programming, the work can be hard to test and outputs can vary, resulting in many bugs, particularly if a developer is doubling as a developer and operating outside of their comfort zone.
A programmer is your best bet when confronted with a project requiring intricate business logic or processing.
It is vital to know the difference between these three crucial roles before embarking on a web project, and allocating work to the most appropriate resources.
Be sure to know whether your project requires design, development or programming, and ensure your chosen web agency can adequately provide all three. Failure to do so may result in a project running over time and budget, and is a common pitfall of many web masters.