Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Featured

Six years as a Wiliam developer

Simon Miller Team : Web Development Tags : Web Development Featured

In a month I will celebrate my sixth year being at Wiliam as a senior web developer. On top of this I’m close to celebrating 15 years as being a web developer. In this time I have worked with a huge number of excellent and completely varied clients – from start-ups with fantastic new ideas, to industry leaders and household names.

I’ve grown personally into a more well-rounded developer because of the varied work I am involved with and the great people I work with on a daily basis. Before this turns into an Academy Award speech or an excerpt from my CV, I’ll get to the point.

Five things I’ve learned:


1. Some things never change.

For the majority of clients, the design and appearance of the website is the most crucial element – and for good reason. It’s the first thing that a customer will notice. Therefore it is important to get the design right. More than right, it needs to be spectacular to stand out from the crowd. And Wiliam’s designs are easily the best in the industry.


2. Some things do change.

There is a far greater emphasis on prototyping wireframes and providing requirements definitions documents than the cowboy days of early 2000’s web development. I can’t stress how much better this is, for both the client and for the resources that will ultimately build the website. Sites are more complex these days as well, so being able to refer to detailed documentation and use wireframes as building blocks before designs are even complete is of paramount importance.


3. Technology is ever-evolving.

While some web standards don’t change regularly (HTML I am looking at you), others do. When I first started at Wiliam, technology like jQuery and MVC and tools like Chrome/Safari’s Web Inspector and Firefox’s Development Toolbar were in their infancy. Now they are our bread and butter to getting the job done. I can’t even fathom going back to modifying CSS without the Web Inspector.


4. The best companies survive.

A decade ago there were hundreds of web design firms, with staff of less than a dozen, all competing for client dollars. The web development landscape has changed significantly in that time with the emphasis being on proven and stable firms with the history and knowledge to get the job done right.


5. We still can’t get rid of IE6 or IE7.

Okay, we’ve nearly killed off IE6 but IE7 still (unfortunately) needs our support. Not long now before the axe drops… I hope. (I even wrote about it in 2009 asking us all to please, please move on!)