in Misc

The Classic Stereotypes In Web Development and Web Design

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Most of the people who do not work as web developers have a tendency to stereotype those who do. As with all other stereotypes, the ones about web designers and developers can either be based on facts or be completely irrelevant and untrue.

The most common misconception is imagining programmers as reclusive nerds who never step away from their computers, spending days – but mostly nights – glued to the screen. Even though many web developers are very involved in their work and end up spending many hours working on a project, it doesn’t  mean all all of them are anti-social tech geniuses.

Preconceptions

Although some preconceptions could be called “innocent”, many of them can be quite prejudicious and they make it difficult for web designers and developers to find a job, leading to low business productivity. The most common stereotypes are the ones concerning gender, race and culture. They are considered to be one of the main causes of stagnation in the web development industry.

Here is a list of stereotypes most often encountered:

All web developers and designers are men

Women are not considered to be good in this field and, if by any chance, a female web developer is encountered she will most likely not be hired. This is due to the fact that women usually tend to keep away from machines and technology and prefer to approach other careers, whereas men are mostly attracted to tech oriented professions. However , there are many talented female web designers and developers, many of whom are better than their male counterparts.

Foreigners are not very good at web developing

Most foreign developers have to deal with the problem that their work isn’t good enough. Either because they don’t come from the same country as the potential client or because they work for less money, the end result is the same: people don’t hire them. Of course, there are offshore web designers and developers who aren’t very good at their job, but the same can be said about some U.S. web developers as well. The amount of talent and competence shouldn’t be measured with regards to a person’s ethnicity. That’s why it’s recommended that when looking for a web developer, his experience in the field and his abilities should be taken into consideration, disregarding his origins. In this way, the process of election will be a non-prejudicial one and you will gain a skilled worker.

When dealing with a web developer or a designer of a certain ethnicity expect to be deceived

Ethnicity seems to be playing a very important role in choosing a web developer. Despite the fact that there have been some Internet frauds originating from Asian or from African countries, generalizing that all asian and all african web designers and developers are cons is a bit more than farfetched. Many of them are very talented and skilled and they can provide high-quality services. Again, the important thing to be considered is the experience and not the race of the person interviewed.

Cheap means low-quality

There’s a stereotype that everything that is cheap means it’s of low-quality and the more expensive the thing you buy is, the better it will be. This applies to web developing and design as well. However, it’s not necessarily true. You might find people who offer their services at lower prices and be surprised to find that their services are actually at high standards. On the other hand, expensive doesn’t always imply good quality. It’s always good to find, if not high quality at a low price, at least a reasonable price for a well done job.

Web developers for big companies = good. Freelancers = bad

Some people think that having a job in the field makes you a good web developer or designer. But does it, really? Why are people skeptical about freelancers? They might be as experienced as the ones who have a job at a large company, or even more. The key is to browse through their portfolios and make a comparison. Don’t turn your back on freelancers before finding out about their skills. You might be surprised.

These computer geeks tend to lack self-consciousness when it comes to their looks

It is true that many web designers and developers become so absorbed by their projects that they tend to spend a lot more time in front of their computers and than in front of a mirror. Therefore, their appearance can be a little sloppy and unkempt. Because people have the tendency to imagine a programmer wearing skinny jeans, a shirt and glasses, somewhat resembling a hipster, they are often disappointed by the reality. However, we must realise that someone’s appearance, especially in the case of a web developer, is in no way important and in no way does it influence the person’s abilities or work. Nonetheless, we live in a world where looks seem to be everything, so a web developer should try to be more careful about his image.

Oldie but not goldie

Young web developers and designers are more appreciated than older ones. This is because the young ones have lived most of their lives surrounded by technology and spent most of their years in front of the computer, whereas older web developers are considered to be less skilled and have a poorer ability of keeping up with everything new, like the constantly evolving programming languages. However, the older web designers and developers certainly have more experience than the young ones, therefore they’re able to work more quickly and more effectively. Hiring young, inexperienced graduates as web developers might not be a very good idea, unless you are willing to groom them.

How to find the web developer or the designer that you need

Since we are talking about stereotypes, the first thing you should do is dismiss all of them and focus on the skills and experience of the candidate. This means that the ethnic background, the colour, the culture, the gender or the age of the web developer should not be taken into consideration because they are not relevant. Where someone comes from, whether he is white or black, christian or jewish, male or female, none of these make him, or her, better or worse at web development or design. The only barrier you might encounter when dealing with a multicultural team is language. Which is why it is preferable that they all have and use a common language, like English. In this way, communicating and working with each other will be easier and any cultural differences will no longer be viewed as obstacles. When interviewing a candidate, make sure you see his portfolio, how much experience he has and how skilled he is. And if he or she meets all your requirements, then the way they look is of no importance, as it does not influence in any way how well they do their job.

Fighting against preconceptions

Because all of the preconceptions are aimed at web developers and designers, they should consider doing something about it and aid in getting rid of all the prejudices. Since what they do and how they do it are the most important things, designers and developers should put an emphasis on their work and try to do their best in order to satisfy their client’s requests. If a client is content with your work, he will most likely require your services again, or even recommend you to other people. Keeping up the good work means keeping your clients, acquiring new ones and increasing your income. Your work history is going to be the foundation for your future business. Create a portfolio filled with all your projects and present it to your prospective clients. Show them how well you work, how good you are at what you do and make them see your talent is what they need.

If so far, your clients have been satisfied, they will most certainly give you their recommendation which will help you get the job. That is why you have to create a good reputations of always doing good work. Be willing to step out of the box, be original and make your projects extraordinary, thusly taking your image from a good web developer to one of a great web developer.

If you are just beginning your career in web developing and design and you do not have a portfolio yet, you should try to create one by showing your prospective customer some of your personal work and projects that show how skilled and talented you are. Also, you can try to advertise for yourself by starting a blog, or creating tutorials.

Last but not least, although you do not care much for your appearance, your prospective client might. So, in order to make a good impression, do your best to look nice and confident at an interview and try to maintain the good image even after you get the job. Your client will surely appreciate it.

Conclusion

Nowadays, our society has many layers and it is formed by such a diversity of people and cultures that the tendency is to differentiate and categorize them into stereotypical groups. Of course, the web industry is not being neglected and it has its share of stereotypes. What must be done is that people should realise this is a problem and try to work towards solving it.

If we disregard stereotypes and look for what people know, for what their abilities and talents are, both customers web developers and designers will profit. If we stop building walls and rather open more doors to all the people that are qualified, regardless of their ethnic background, their culture or gender, the business of web developing and design will surely thrive.

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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