Every software company I have been to seems to have one consistent problem amongst them. “The Website” the main kitten-kaboodle. The main spot for a company to say whatever they may want, and in less than one second convince someone to stay on the page and read more or click away. In other words, the make or break.
A lot of companies start with their website development in the engineering department and I would say there is nothing wrong with this because it’s the job of the engineering department to setup a structure and allocate work cycles and maybe even a JIRA project for issues to be submitted.
WAIT… Did we just turn our company website into an engineering project with release cycles and I have to write an issue and have it prioritized with product based or application based bugs. YOU mean I have to write a Jira ticket to get an image changed?? WTF.!! This is where all hell breaks loose. The marketing wants a press release to go up immediately, the CEO wants an image change done, and the product management department needs all links on the website that link to documentation changed.
All of these little things equal to one thing = “A WEB DEVELOPER”. I think most people think of their websites as a static block that they will develop and never touch, and sometimes that’s true, but very very rare. Most likely, clients will want their website to evolve like their business is, updated products or services would require website changes, maybe move to a new office, website change. So many things that would require you to reach out to your contractor or request engineering to do, but neither of those is essentially ideal.
Examples of the different scenarios are listed for the different owners of the website. Engineering Owner: Well, if it’s engineering, most likely it won’t take precedence over a product enhancement or feature that they might be working on. Contract Owner: You write an email or call your contractor and hope that you will get a quick response, but this contractor might have other work or be too busy to make quick changes. So once again, you’re shit out of luck. Marketing Owner: The change you want might be too technical, so the marketing person will have to talk to someone in Engineering to get it done and thus now you are using two resources to get one simple task accomplished.
A web developer. Someone that does cross-functional team work, between engineering, marketing, design. They have a good grasp of front-end technologies such as HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, NODE, Ruby, and CMS systems and how an infrastructure can empower a business, not cripple it. This person will need to keep up with the latest web trends.
Web Trends A passionate web developer typically follows along with web trends which can change the way people generally interact with a website and even lend an edge if you follow a new trend that has shown promise for consumability of your content.
Communication becomes the second main job of this person after knowing their craft, because when working in a cross-team job role. It becomes crucial.
Understanding what marketing needs to release and when they need to release it, if it needs certain trackability, or functionality for the Marketing Automation system or CRM.
Some organizations have design without marketing but not all, and the best web developers typically have enough design experience to output something great, but having a designer can definitely help take it up a notch. This relationship between the web developer and designer must be tight. Talking about sharing dessert tight.
Having a relationship to understand the backend technologies for storing data and cross communicating between user interactions and data storage. Communication must be clear for best functionality of the website.
Hire a devoted web developer to save you from pulling your hair out and several hours of sleep. If you’re worried about the web developer not having anything to do because the website is in good order. DON’T! This is when the web developer can contribute to the engineering team and be creative to make improvements. A good web developer is always looking for ways to improve their work for the benefit of a user/visitor to understand your company’s message. Til next time, Kudos.