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Why Being A Web Developer Is Awesome

I should probably preface this article with the fact that, as a web developer, I may be a little biased on this topic.

There are many reasons why web development is a great field to work in, most of which have remained the same since the World Wide Web and graphical browsers first emerged from the primordial soup of Telnet, BBS and Usenet. “Remained the same” in this context may as well read “constantly changing”, both apply. That’s just the nature of the beast.

Ever since its inception the internet, its content and what defines it and its protocols has been in a state of constant evolution, from the early days of text based BBS content (Legend of the Red Dragon, anyone?) to Hypertext and later HTML and CSS in the nineties.

The technologies and methods we employ to work our magic and engage our users never stays the same for long and, for me at least, this is one of the biggest attractions to web development. There’s always something new to read about and play with in this line of work and it helps keep us on our toes and thinking creatively.

“Creatively? I thought this was a post about development, not design!” I hear you cry. Sure it is. I’m a big believer in programming (in general, not just for the web) being an art form. As a developer you have the ability to create imaginative and beautiful websites that are as technically impressive as they are visually stunning. It’s not just the graceful elegant solutions behind the scenes that lets you accomplish X in only Y lines of code while being Z% more server-friendly, (although this does make me wobbly at the knees) it’s also, more importantly, about coming up with cool ideas and solutions that lend themselves to creating really awesome online experiences.

A good example of this from recent years is responsive web design. I’ve already written a few words about RWD, but it bears repeating. RWD and asynchronous data handling methods like AJAX and SOAP/REST have redefined the web and paved the way for today’s web applications - eschewing traditional client/server architecture and at the risk of sounding cliché, revolutionising the industry as a whole. With these technologies, we’re able to develop fully-fledged software that uses the web as its platform, inherently building a bridge between operating systems and across devices while making it easier to maintain and expand the system as required without the headache of client management or patch deployment.

My point, if I ever had one, is that over the past few years our industry has evolved and the technology has matured to the point where web is a viable platform for ‘legitimate’ software development, blurring the lines between traditional software and web development. The same set of best practices can apply interchangeably to both sides of the fence and I’m excited for the possibilities this represents with regards to software development for the web. With companies like Microsoft and Google offering fully-fledged application suites such as Drive, Office and Exchange/Outlook over the last few years along with more niche offerings such as Github, BitBucket and even image editing apps like Pixlr, the state of the web development is looking really great for developers at every level; even independant developers can publish their apps on the Chrome web store. 2013 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for the industry.

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“Hyvä webstrategia mahdollistaa yrityksen näyttää isommalta, puhua kovemmin ja tavoitella pidemmälle. Siinä hieman ajateltavaa.”