In February, our beloved web developer community was stirred up by a slide from Peter-Paul Koch’s talk.
The slide, containing the text “If you can’t do without tools you’re not a web developer,” was both praised and damned by the community. Peter-Paul Koch (PPK from now) responded by asking, “What is a web developer?” and provided a personal definition for web developer.
– “What is a web developer” by Peter-Paul Koch
This appears to be PPK main argument for his slide and definition.
I care about terminology. I like to think of why something was given a specific term, research of what parts a term consists and how that changes over time. Let’s start by analysing the term.
- “Developer” refers to the technical aspect; programming/scripting.
- “Web” refers to the platform we build for.
In its simplest form, a web developer is a developer that builds web-based software. This leaves room for interpretation. To answer PPK’s question, we need to specify some criteria, essentially defining who is worthy bearing the title.
The Current State
The Future, Unknown State
This brings me back to terminology.
A web developer is aware what technology web agents (e.g. browsers) provide and is at least able to build a static page of reasonable quality.
The above definition has a property the one might consider a flaw: it is subjective. “Aware” and “reasonable quality” both leave much room for interpretation. It also leaves room for change, which is inevitable in the wonderous world of web development.