There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in web development. As a web developer I have to make important decisions that will affect the reliability, performance, maintainability, and flexibility of a website. I have also been hired to update websites developed by others, which were clearly developed with the goal of getting it done as fast as possible with no thought of future maintenance. Of course the web developer detests working on the site afterwards so they disappear as quickly as possible.

I’m better than I have ever been… but I’m getting better.

Back when I first started working as a web designer and developer it was a different world on the web. I was a part time web designer in 1998, then started working full time as a developer in 2004. Between browser limitations, server scripting limitations, availability of open source tools, and my lack of experience and knowledge, my capabilities were nothing like they are now. I think back on those days with much appreciation for the people that hired me and patiently worked with me as I learned the important skills I use everyday now. Like learning to walk or ride a bike, it took some time to figure out, but now it’s second nature.

Sometimes I’m amazed that people would trust me with the lack of experience and knowledge I had. Then I realize they had less knowledge about it then I had, as little as it was. They had no idea what I would go through trying to figure out the best, most efficient, secure, and effective way to accomplish things. I spent many hours researching, trying, and going back to the drawing board to provide the best sites I could. I have made bad decisions, chose systems that haven’t worked as well as I would have liked. Part of the problem has been open source systems that lose their support, so I’ve been steering clear of open source systems and plugins that do not have a very large user base. Even now I’m thinking Drupal is not as flexible AND reliable as I would like, so I’ve started using a different framework, which has been GREAT.

Although I have come a long way, I continue to expand my abilities. I learn about and take advantage of the new browser capabilities, better methods of coding, and features of new server side scripting. There are more javascript, php, and other scripting libraries and frameworks than I can count. There are still some I would like to explore, and will probably do so when I see a good reason to use them. Any web developer who has finished learning everything is outdated. The web is changing at an amazing speed.

Being trustworthy, dependable, and capable.

It seems like there are an awful lot of freelance web developers who are not as dependable as they should be. I think half of my clients came to me because their web guy just disappeared. I must admit being a freelancer can be a stressful occupation. Either I’m not sure where my next job is coming from, or I have multiple clients needing things done yesterday. So I can see why developers would look for a more stable situation. But I’m surprised they would desert their clients so high and dry in difficult situations.

I love doing what I do. My first goal in being a web designer and developer is, of course, to provide for my family, but I want to provide the best web sites I possibly can. When I take on a new site I use all my knowledge and experience to make sure the site has everything the client needs, and then I make sure I am available to back up that promise or help them find someone who can.

We’re in it together.

I am very appreciative to those that trust me with their web site needs. I know when someone is starting a business, providing a new service, or just updating their look, it’s a big deal. I know they are usually stretched to the limit with their time, money, and stress. I want to make sure they know I will be available to back them up any way I can, every step of the way. Financially it makes sense, because when my clients see what a great job I do, they tell their friends about me. And in the end I feel a lot better about what I do, when I know I really provided great service.

Elance

Recently I jumped into elance.com to find some work. I found some new clients there who gave me some great reviews. Elance is a little pricy, but it is a great place to meet up for new projects. As of the time of writing this article I’m unavailable on Elance because of my work load, but if time frees back up I’ll jump in there again.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you for taking the time to read a little about me. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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