The Best and Worst Things About Being a Web Developer

Keyboard Photo by Rayi Christian Wicaksono via Unsplash

Today I’d like to share with you my favorite things about my career, and the not-so-great things. We’ll start with the worst, since the “best” list cancels them out.

The 3 Worst Things About Being a Web Developer

#3 People believe you perform magic.

I can’t tell you how many times someone referred to my job as waving a magic wand. You’ll get the occasional “just add this [Insert Ridiculously Complex Feature Here],” as if it’s some checkbox you can mark that’ll add the feature.

#2 People are shocked when they find out web development is a “real job.”

I can’t speak for other developers out there, but every time I tell someone what I do for a living, they assume that I am a freelancer working out of a basement. When I mention my office, they assume I mean “home office.” The fact that I work full-time and in an office seems to throw them off entirely.

#1 Everyone thinks you are a designer.

I don’t actively look for freelance projects, but occasionally someone contacts me for a site. I don’t enjoy designing, but I’ll take whatever extra work I can get. The average person doesn’t need you to debug plugin issues on their site or whip up a form that uploads to a database. So I end up doing web design work, even though I don’t like it and it’s not a skill I keep up on.

The 3 Best Things About Being a Web Developer

#3 People believe you perform magic.

Even though this is on the “worst” list, it fits here, too. It does feel pretty awesome to be able to take a Photoshop document and make it into a live and operational site. It basically is magic.

#2 No two developers are alike.

If you are a developer, you know how there are too many languages to even count, let alone learn. This is awesome because you have the flexibility to pick your poison. For example, when working with APIs, you can usually choose between working in PHP, Python, Ruby, and more. It also means that the industry is not as competitive/cutthroat as others, because we each have a specific niche. Which leads me to my final point…

#1 The community rocks.

There are a bunch of resources out there, because we are the curators of information online! There’s things like CodeSchool, W3Schools, and StackOverflow where you can learn and get help with (mostly) positive responses. In the WordPress community, specifically, the developers are really nice to each other and users and business owners also get involved. The community stays active by having WordCamps, various Slack channels, and meetups. Honestly, who else can say that they get feedback from others in the industry from all over the planet?

And now, I leave you with one of my favorite web development memes:
Code for six minutes, debug for six hours.