Friday, September 5, 2008

Are web workers reliable professionals?

It’s been a while since I made my first post and that’s largely due to having too many things going on all at once. But I suppose that is a good thing otherwise life would be really boring for me. Today I just want to talk a little about the perception of web workers as professionals. Why isn’t there any prestige that comes with the title Web Developer?

This is something that has been on my mind for some time and I want to open up the discussion to anyone who happens to come across this posting. Why is it that professionals such as Attorneys, Architects and Engineers are looked at as real achievers, but the stigma of the professional Web Developer is often thought of as a flaky teenager who spends more time on MySpace then on their clients project? OK, I can admit that there are a lot of flaky web developers out there, but I could make the argument that a percentage of architects and engineers are equally as unreliable. However, in the end, those of us to take pride in our web working shouldn't have our integrity stripped because of the flakiness of others.

Due to current status of the economy, my web business has suffered more then I might like to admit. It’s not that the work isn’t out there, I just think it has more to do with the stigma of the web worker. Rather then taking a chance to hire an outsides firm, companies have turned to building an internal staff which I suppose has more to do with control then convenience. This in itself is a sign that some people do not trust web workers. After all, how many times have you heard of a company hiring their own in-house architect? This doesn’t really happen because architecture firms are trusted to do the job they are hired for.

So with the work load (and cash flow) diminishing, I have begun entertaining the idea of searching for a “bread & butter” job. You know.. something that I can do 9-5 and continue to run my business after hours. I was recently contacted by a small company that was looking to bring their services online for the first time (a little behind the times if you ask me). So here I am, an accomplished business owner with all the experience needed to come in an manage a department of developers. It was my optimistic belief that this company had already familiarized themselves with my accomplishments and had chosen me wisely out of a select few in order to see what I can do help them achieve their goals. This belief was further amplified when learning that I was scheduled to meet directly with the company’s V.P. and head of IT. I’m thinking this will be a great positive experience! What a disappointment that turned out to be. As it turns out, I ended up having to spend the majority of my time trying to defend myself against what I felt was a challenge of my competence. And for what reason did they feel it necessary to attack me? Well I presume it all comes down to the lack of credibility us web workers are destined to carry.

Alternately, I would argue that their interviewing process was poorly structured, and ultimately that will be responsible for a team of poor developers. Regardless of who's at fault, in their eyes I walked out of that meeting with a heavy weight on my shoulders weather I liked it or not.

Meanwhile, this Las Vegas Web Worker will look forward to other opportunities to help businesses that are far more open minded and savvy to the ways of the web worker.

If any one else has had similar experiences, I would like to hear about them. Visit my profile for my contact info.

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