Dan Davies{ Front-end Developer }

Cheap as chips

17th February 2014

I listened to Unfinished Business today where Andy Clarke talked about the Year of Code and it’s director Lottie Dexter with Elliott Kember. The show touched on the fact that some comments made by Lottie about easily learning code in a day could potentially harm what we do for a living and the expectations of a client.

At first when I heard her comments, I thought it was a daft thing to say and pretty damaging but looking back, she wasn’t selling the idea of learning to code to us web folk, she was speaking briefly about her objectives with the Year of Code to an audience who probably have as much a clue about code as she does.

I do wonder if the comments will be soon forgotten and that really only us coders took any notice of what she said as we know what goes into producing a very good website or app and felt devalued. I don’t think it will cause a backlash where clients expect very good sites for a cheap price. That trend has been around for a lot longer.

There is a problem in the web industry though. There are too many people who dabble. It’s almost too easy for them to be classed as web designers as there is so much software out there doing the job for them. I don’t know of any other industry where people are happy pay less qualified people to do an expert job. I changed oil on my car last week, does that make me a good mechanic?

The show touched on services like Squarespace. Like 1&1 website builders, these things are always said to scare us proper web designers but honestly, I don’t fear them. I embrace them and refer people to use them.

Way I see it, I know my value and if someone doesn’t value me the same, I don’t want to work with them so rather than cutting ties, I direct them to these kind of services. Maybe they’ll soon figure out why my valuation of my services was higher than them or they get the site they wanted and I’ve not worked 2 weeks for free. Everyone is happy.

I don’t know the answer to it really. I see people making a mint out of making websites so the work is out there both cheap and standard. We just have to accept that the web is still a growing market. There is so much ignorance but maybe in time, that will change. Who knows.

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