Lessons Web Developers Won’t Learn in School

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Lessons Web Developers Won't Learn in SchoolWhen I was interviewed recently for a blog article about “lessons Web developers won’t learn in school”, I knew without blinking what I’d say.

Being self-taught, I can’t know for sure what is and isn’t taught in Web Developer school. But I’m pretty sure the lesson I wanted to talk about — even if it is addressed in school — is something one can only really learn on the job.

That lesson: Listen to your clients’ requirements but use your discretion in interpreting them.

If you’re a consumer of Web development services, I hope you won’t be put off by the ostensible arrogance of that statement.

If you’re a fellow developer, I hope that statement doesn’t ignite or feed any cynicism toward those we too frequently refer to as “users”.

Here’s the rest of the story. (If it rings a bell, perhaps you’ve read either this article from May 30th of last year or this one from the day before.)

In the 20 years I’ve been developing Web sites and Web applications (and 10 more designing and developing other kinds of systems), I’ve learned that clients will often initially dismiss as unnecessary content or functionality I recommend, only to arrive at a place some time in the future where it is necessary. I’ve learned not to argue (too much) with clients but rather to implement the infrastructure for those things they swore they’d never need — so that I could add them easily when they realize they were wrong.

As developers, we wear many hats and have many responsibilities. Some of those responsibilities — quite possibly the more important ones — have less to do with bits and bytes and more to do with vision.

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About JeffCohan.com

The nSiteful Tech Blog (the official blog of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc. since January of 2013) is where I (Jeff Cohan) and (occasionally) associates will be posting articles of potential interest to like-minded techies, nSiteful clients who are playing active roles in the maintenance of their own Web sites and blogs, and pretty much anyone interested in how Web strategies and tools can help them reach their goals.

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About Jeff Cohan

Jeff and his wife, Margie, are the proud parents of Sarah and Jake. Jeff is the founder, president and chief cook and bottle washer of nSiteful Web Builders, Inc., a Web development and Internet Consulting firm. In his spare time, Jeff builds Web sites and Web applications, plays guitar, putters around in his basement woodworking shop, mercilessly spoils his grandchildren, and creates videos from more than two decades of home movies. His current video project is an extended montage of people (mainly family members) asking him to stop filming them.

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