Hard to Swallow Pill...


#1

So the more I’ve gotten back into the Web Development side of things, the more I’m seeing how CMS services such as WordPress and Wix have outclassed the speed and capabilities of most freelance web developers who are used to coding things by hand, from the ground up. I’m included in this group of increasingly disgruntled individuals who mumbles expletives to himself while sipping coffee and seeing just how much the learning curve has shifted and nearly disappeared due to CMS. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate it, but personally, when working on a project I don’t feel as satisfied in my work if someone has done all of the framework and heavy lifting for me. It took me ages to accept using Bootstrap!

I understand that in this increasingly competitive environment, the need for SEO, and so on, that time is off the essence. While I’ve never been one to drag out a website for longer than a week at the most even for the most complex sites, it’s hard to beat something that can do the same thing in in 8 hours or less in competent hands. It also isn’t palette-able for startups or even existing companies to pay for a week’s worth of web development work, when you can pay a “knowledgeable” employee their $17.50/hr salary for a day’s worth of work using said CMS to create an entire site.

I enjoy web dev, or at least I thought I did, but find myself stymied by the lack of available work due to these innovations in this industry. Do I bite the bullet and begin marketing the creation of websites using Templates through WP or Wix, or do I just move on to something that still requires and appreciates real human effort?

What do y’all think? I’ve also found that many other tech forums that I used to frequent have had subsequently less and less activity in their web development subforums, perhaps another sign of changing times.


#2

The trick is in using the right tool for the right job. If using Wix or Wordpress or another solution gives the customer what they want and it saves you time, you should absolutely use it. The things we learn will always keep evolving and changing. Some of the things we struggled to learn back then will become obsolete. Other things will come roaring back into fashion like the many static site generators that we are starting to see :stuck_out_tongue:

There are still a variety of jobs that require a deeper understanding of how building web sites/apps work, and those won’t be ones that will easily be filled up by someone with a passing knowledge of the fundamentals. This also doesn’t take into account a large number of jobs we see for developers specializing in the hot new frameworks like React, Angular, Vue, and so on!

I totally get the frustration! I am still sad that Flash died, but that forced me to learn some new things that have given me a few more years of relevancy haha!


#3

Yeah, I remember creating Flash web pages! For the longest time, my personal company web page was a simple, Flash-based example, which aged well and remained a fast site due to minimal animation. Its downfall was lack of scaling and by the time I had considered an m. mobile subdomain site with a redirection script, responsive design with Bootstrap really hit mainstream. That was one case where I was actually glad for the change, because the idea of building a main website for the desktop environment, and then a mobile variant using jQuery Mobile (I love jQM, don’t get me wrong!) was SO MUCH WORK. Now I stick to using jQM for mobile web apps, which is still very relevant depending on what you need it to do.

I guess for the sake of relevancy, I must adopt the usage of these tools that make me feel like I’m not doing anything other than dragging and dropping things everywhere :persevere:


#4

The management buzzword phrasing is to “move up the value chain” by learning to the sorts of complex things that only you can do (and charge $$$) and leaving the commoditized/boilerplate work to someone else :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

Hmm, that would leave me with more time to grow my machine shop business :thinking:


#6

Not that I’m any big time web developer though I do enjoy the way in which basic coding to solve a problem or task comes with a great feeling of accomplishment. The coding world has become much more ‘developed’ in the past few years with so many flavours and tools that are pre-built and ready to use, and yes much of them are quite amazingly polished and fine tuned, but at the same time when one tools their code ‘handmade’ or ‘old school’ there are times when it can be much cleaner and even better performance. I recently was working up, what I thought was a good solution to having a front end that has a great static web build, Gatsby and I wanted it to work from a headless CMS to make it easier for the client to input and update their data, but one part of a modern solution does not always work with another part of a solution to give the best final result! Maybe instead of using all these complex coding tools we should just start training the clients how to fire up vsCode and start coding themselves :wink: