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Programming IT Technology

What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"? 586

gilgongo writes "It's more than 10 years since people started making a living writing web page markup, yet the job title (and role) has yet to settle down. Not only that, but there are different types of people who write markup: those that approach the craft as essentially an integration task, and those that see it as part of UI design overall. The situation is further complicated by the existence of other roles in the workplace such as graphic designer and information architect. This is making recruitment for this role a real headache. So, how do you describe people who 'do HTML' (and CSS and maybe a bit of JavaScript and graphics manipulation)? Some job titles I've seen include: Design Technologist, Web Developer, Front-end Developer, HTML/CSS Developer, Client-side Developer and UI Engineer. Do you have any favourite job titles for this role?"
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What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"?

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  • by revlayle ( 964221 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:54AM (#27570613) Homepage
    • Screwed? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wawannem ( 591061 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:04AM (#27570759) Homepage
      I mean, it's great to have someone available to handle that sort of thing, but can you really sustain a job with this as your only skill?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by YayaY ( 837729 )


        It's old fashion, I like it.

        • Re:Screwed? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by telchine ( 719345 ) * on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:11AM (#27570873)

          A webmaster is someone who controls the content of a web site. It doesn't necessarily mean they "do HTML". they might just write a document in Word format and hand it to the web monkey to do up in HTML, or they might enter data into an HTML.

          Whilst I refer to people who "do HTML" as web monkeys, I think Front End Developer might be what I'd put in a job ad. Strictly speaking, I think a Front End Developer should only apply to someone who knows Javascript too, but most web monkeys know a bit of that too.

          • by telchine ( 719345 ) * on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:12AM (#27570887)


            "or they might enter data into an HTML."

            Should be:

            "or they might enter data into a CMS."

          • Re:Screwed? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Crudely_Indecent ( 739699 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:46PM (#27572501) Journal

            A webmaster is someone who controls the content of a website.

            Adding some ammunition to your statement above, I had a boss that was the "Webmaster" but couldn't have been a dumber blonde. She couldn't write a lick of code, didn't know PHP from HTML from Javascript, yet she was the "Webmaster". She once managed to turn a simple address input into a 9 page form (separate page for first name, last name, address line 1, address line 2, etc). I convinced her bosses that I could do it in 1 page and they agreed.

            I'm not sure if she was promoted to a position where she could do less damage, but the website she was responsible for (a California TV station) is now nothing but Google ads. Shortly after I quit I was accused of hacking their website. It turned out that her new developer didn't understand an SQL query and told her I was using it to hack in.

            I don't call myself a webmaster, because I think the term is used way too often by people below my level of expertise. I don't want to be associated with those guys. When selling a website project, I call myself a "Web Application Developer", partly because it's more descriptive of what I do and because the lesser beings wouldn't dare use it for fear that they might actually be asked to develop a web application.

          • Re:Screwed? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by rinoid ( 451982 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:57PM (#27572675)

            For us in the profession "webmaster" is less a content role anymore. A CMS provides the means for content owners to manage content.

            As for what role a "webmaster" takes on ... in my org it has moved into more of a technical position since the ground has shifted under the old meaning.

            The "web developer" tends to be one who writes code at the backend, writing bridges between data systems, or libraries for front end web folk to do their work.

            In my role I need control over the following:
            - define the data (structure the content into fields, and define the metadata that binds it altogether)
            - manipulate the data (with some type of template system typically, query the data, add/delete/modify -- although this last step is frequently a content owner)
            - present the data (this encompasses front end XHTML/CSS/JS, often the visual and behavior layers, and, it means we need to dynamically query the data on various pages to recombine it)

            I am a "Web Strategist and Designer". We also have a "Content Producer" on the team who shares tasks.

            It all breaks down according to how big a shop you are... Webmaster still works as a catch all but when you have a real CMS strategy, and a team, that traditional role breaks down. You want to start having someone think with foresight about the visual design, UX and UI of the site, the tools that people work with, and the content strategy. You want team members who either are implementing this strategy, or, using the strategy in day to day work...

            It's a tricky space. What does this role perform?
            Are you recruiting for a catch all?

            Will this person lead the development of the overall Design strategy? Note the big D there... it's more than a photoshop template as you know. It's the XHTML/CSS structure that is forward thinking, the behavior layer that builds upon the user experience, that interacts with a content layout or information architecture...

            Will this person only code back-end to middleware solutions?

        • Re:Screwed? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:09PM (#27571859) Homepage

          I consider webmaster to be someone who can administer server aspects. Jump into httpd.conf, hosts config file...

          • Re:Screwed? (Score:5, Informative)

            by piripiri ( 1476949 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:26PM (#27572171) Journal
            Nope. That would be a system administrator. A webmaster is more the guy who maintain the website, ie. uploading the html/php files updates and so on.
            • Re:Screwed? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @02:00PM (#27573855) Homepage

              Not necc. At least when those terms were common the system admin dealt with the OS and the hardware related issues.

              So for example:
              set up the raid = system admin
              install apache = system admin
              configure apache = webmaster
              install perl = system admin
              install mod perl = webmaster

              You are right though the person in control of content was often the webmaster so:
              put html files on development server = web developer
              put html files on production server = webmaster

      • I mean, it's great to have someone available to handle that sort of thing, but can you really sustain a job with this as your only skill?

        I personally know a guy that owns a web design service & consultancy with $100k/yr in revenue. Of course, he does much more than simple HTML pages. I know he has done things in ASP and PHP, maybe some other tech as well.

      • ..on what the website that needs design and maintenance does in the first place? There's no such thing as a generic website, some are just for fun, and may be quite involved and complex, but aren't really designed to rake in cash, so no, it couldn't be self supporting for the web-person most likely, whereas others are designed from the start to be profitable, an e-commerce site for instance.

        Just as a casual web surfer, I can see the difference between a well designed and easy to use site or not, and that ha

    • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:08AM (#27570837) Homepage

      But what about the people who are given pictures of what to code, and so there's very little actual 'design' aspect of it?

      (I'm not saying that hand crafting code isn't an artistic process -- It's one of the many tasks I've do, I just don't deal too much with the graphics / colors / etc aspect of it ... that's left to the designers ... I deal with taking someone else's design, figuring out what it'd take to implement it in HTML, and then write the programs to generate it dynamically and interface with the database)

      When I've had a job where that was my primary task, we normally differentiated the two groups as 'Designers' vs. 'Developers', where I fell into the Developer group. At my current job, I still make a few web applications, but it's not my primary focus -- mostly back-end work (database, a little sysadmin, SOAP interfaces, a whole bunch of automated tasks to feed the interfaces), with various clients, including a web-based app.

      The 'official' job titles I've had, once you strip out the 'Junior', 'Senior', 'Lead', 'Principal', etc:

      • Programmer/Analyst
      • Multimedia Applications Analyst
      • Systems Programmer
      • Systems Engineer
      • Software Engineer

      (I'd personally steer away from the 'engineer' titles if I could -- as those in the field aren't PEs.)

      • by Knara ( 9377 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:30AM (#27571173)

        Oh god, not the "if you don't pass the PE test you can't call yourself an engineer" nonsense again.

        • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:42AM (#27571397) Homepage
          In many places, It's a protected word. Like Doctor. You don't want people who aren't doctors around calling themselves a doctor, prescribing drugs and doing surgery, and you don't want people who aren't civil engineers designing bridges. I think the same should be true for the software field.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rah1420 ( 234198 )

          "Six munce ago I cudn't evin spel Injuneer - and now I are one."

        • by oneiros27 ( 46144 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:30PM (#27572223) Homepage

          Yep. And I have a CivE undergrad from an ABET accredited school, and I've done programming work for a state Board of Licensure for engineers and architects. But I've never taken the FE/EIT or PE tests. I do have Brainbench certificates as a Web Developer, Web Designer and Web Administrator, but they're not really worth anything. (I got bored one month, with an unlimited license, and got certified in 26 jobs)

          If you're a licensed engineer, and you're shown to be neglectful, you can lose your license. Wouldn't you love for there to be some sort of repercussions for bad programming? Be it crappy voting machines, or the electrical grid shutting down, or a lost satellite? As it is, maybe company folds, the programmers/managers/whomever make a new company, and continue to spew their malware-by-negligence into society.

          A doctor might be able to kill half a dozen people before he's caught ... a CivE might lose a building and kill a few thousand (assuming that it wasn't an explosive failure) ... but with software, who knows? Medical instruments, nuclear reactors, etc ... the possibilities are *huge*.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Designers = artists. They plan layouts (often just static images and slide shows).
      Developers = coders who realize a designer's plan.

      Two different jobs, two different skill sets. Some (FEW!) people bridge the gap.

    • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:27AM (#27571133) Homepage Journal
      I just call them MySpace users.
    • by howman ( 170527 )
      I think the tile of 'Idiot who made this web page stoopid' sums it up most of the time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      These people don't design, they take a design and create web pages from it. We have always called them Web Production Artists or Web Production Specialists. They are not designers, nor developers. Just like the print world, where Print Production is a widely recognized discipline.
    • Definitions (Score:5, Informative)

      by ThrowAwaySociety ( 1351793 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:50AM (#27571541)

      The term you're looking for is "Web Designer" - Someone with an understanding of visual design as well as the knowledge of HTML and CSS required to implement said designs. May not have any programming ability. Probably spends his/her time in Dreamweaver, with forays into Notepad++ or BBEdit.

      Design Technologist - Nebulous. Anyone who can use software to create visual designs. May be a print graphic artist, web designer, Flash developer. Need not require programming ability, or even any knowledge HTML or CSS. Probably a big fan of Fireworks and Flash, but could also be a big Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or Quark user.

      Web Developer - Someone who can use a dynamic web technology (PHP, ASP.net, J2EE, ColdFusion, Google Web Toolkit) to create interactive web pages or web applications. Also requires a kowledge of HTML, CSS and possibly JavaScript, as well as at least some programming ability. May spend a lot of time in Eclipse, Visual Studio, or another IDE.

      Front-end Developer - Someone who can implement a user interface for a computer system. Would include people who, for example, create GUI interfaces to command line tools. Requires programming ability, but does not necessarily require any knowledge of HTML at all. Spends most of the day in Visual Studio or Eclipse.

      HTML/CSS Developer - A Web Designer with pretentions of technical skill. Probably used FrontPage. Once.

      Client-side Developer - A Front-end Developer (see above) who exclusively works with client-server architecture. Again, does not necessarily require any knowledge of HTML at all. Spends most of his/her time in an IDE.

      UI Engineer - Someone who has at least some background in both CHI and software development; may focus on one or the other extreme. Requires some programming skill. Does not necessarily require any knowledge of HTML. Probably uses several UI modeling tools you've never heard of, and spends a lot of time drawing on whiteboards before settling down into an IDE.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      or for those with advanced skills: Commander of Visual Notepad.

  • by onion2k ( 203094 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:55AM (#27570619) Homepage

    Rude names. :)

  • Web Monkey? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:55AM (#27570621)
    Web Monkey?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Foofoobar ( 318279 )
      Second on web monkey. No design skills and just do front end? Web monkey is the HR term I believe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jbeaupre ( 752124 )

      Web monkey is a good entry position title.

      If they are especially clever, they might be promoted to Code monkey.

      If they are especially bad, they might be demoted to to Trunk monkey.

  • Unemployed? (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:56AM (#27570623) Journal

    Propaganda as Nebulous as Apple's or Microsoft's

    Unemployed? Seriously, expand your skill set and learn the backend and basic services so you can start to call yourself a full fledged "web developer."

    House wives with spare time between cooking and putting the kids to bed make geocities pages with HTML. My advice is to not rely on something like that for your livelihood.

    • Funny or an idiot? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:16AM (#27570957) Journal
      Housewives spend their time cooking. Yet many a cook makes a living doing that as well. you suggest being a cook is a not a real proffesion?

      How about child care? No money to be made there either?

      Give me someone who can do proper HTML anytime over some jack of all trades who can do everything a little bit but is master of none.

      Sure, if you think slashdot layout is good, then perhaps you don't need a html/css wizard but some of us have higher standards.

      If you are serious about web apps you need just a good a HTML "coder" as a database expert and sysadmin as a coder and project manager.

      But what to call it? No idea, the job is pretty rare on its own but as long as HTML is constantly evolving standard raped by every browser, only a handfull will be really good in it.

      • by lwsimon ( 724555 ) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:31AM (#27571199) Homepage Journal

        Amen. Lots of people can "do HTML" - in Dreamweaver.

        Give me someone who can create clean, syntactically correct, semantic markup. That's a rare gem, indeed.

      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:32AM (#27571205) Journal
        The issue isn't that good HTML is not useful, it's that producing good HTML is no longer enough of a skill. Competent designers are now producing HTML and CSS themselves, where a decade ago they were producing mockups in Photoshop and passing them off to an HTML jockey to turn into real layouts. From the other end, a lot of HTML is automatically generated from templating systems, so the back-end developers will be given a design by the interaction and design team and will create the HTML. Unless you can do either the human-computer interaction and / or creative design part, or the back-end processing you don't have the skills to develop for the modern web. Even these skills are starting to amalgamate. I know a few web developers who started at one end (either as graphic artists or as programmers) and are now doing the whole stack, from conception to implementation.
  • by Tx ( 96709 )

    Webmonkey. Can't quite pay them bananas yet, but it's getting that way.

  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:58AM (#27570661)
    Is this going to end up in a Sniglets book or something?

    Who cares what you call them, just about any job has a number of titles that are commonly associated with it. I call them web developers but if this is a popularity contest you should have done a Slashdot Poll instead.
  • 'Expendable' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:58AM (#27570671)

    The time where 'doing HTML' (and CSS) was enough to give you a decent career is over imo.

    • Re:'Expendable' (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Samschnooks ( 1415697 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:18AM (#27570989)

      The time where 'doing HTML' (and CSS) was enough to give you a decent career is over imo.

      Aside from very specialized work or defense contracting, I think that's becoming true of all coding. More and more of it, especially the business development is going overseas or is being replaced by newer types of technology - see BPEL. Who needs a programmer when the accounting department can just draw their process and have something implement it.

      And as far as those tools are concerned, you have the very rare CS person design those things and then have the overseas guys code that thing. Even then, all those CS folks that the developing countries are paying to be trained out of the tax dollars, will be able to design and develop their own systems cutting out us in the developed World. India is constantly weeding out the "dumb" folks and sending the smart ones to IIT or over here to study. Which means those of us who are average will be SOL.

      There's no more room for average or above average folks anymore in the Globalized World. You are either exceptional or you're working at Walmart. I think the skilled trades are going to have a renaissance in popularity in a few years - that will be one of the few places where a young person will have a future. No wonder parents today are so concerned about their kids and hover around them!

      Yes, I am extremely pessimistic about our futures.

      • by bADlOGIN ( 133391 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:54PM (#27572629) Homepage

        In all seriousness, any process that is so well understood with an unchanging problem domain should be shoved overseas to keep the outsource companies busy and a high turnover of limited skilled coders believing that all software development is mind-numbingly dull:) __PLEASE__ keep doing this!!! That means when the hot-shot business idiot realizes he missed the call, that the problem domain isn't that easy he'll either get the axe or quit and do the same stupid thing somewhere else. Meanwhile, the time and distance, cultural communication problems and the BLATANT conflict of interest between customer and outsource company (e.g. "Oh yes! we will do that feature right away!" - wow.. that's a horrible idea:) these guys will pay us to re-write it because they're idiots! Whoo-hoo!) will make the solution that's no longer working easy to throw away and re-start with a minimum 50-50 local/offshore team. More job opportunities for people who stick around because outsource partners can't be trusted.

        If the project can be speced and doesn't fail and doesn't need to change, great! That means it was a crap problem domain with nothing interesting to work through or solve - let the offshore company developers' eyes bleed with stupid feature changes for the next n years. If it does, it's job security for those of us who have stuck through this outsource stupidity (which is only a short-sighted cost savings move - the IT world equivalent of sinking all your money into credit default swaps).

        For the past decade, 100% "cheap" outsourcing has gotten more and more expensive and has proved to be a bad idea for fast moving, competitive, REVENUE GENERATING projects. Failures have lead people to keep some level of local skills to address communication and quality aspects that are vital to success. But here's the fun part: how do you become a competent Senior Software Engineer when increasingly all the entry level positions are available in India and China? You don't:) That means I become a rare commodity as corporate America digs it's own human resource grave.

        Keep digging corporate America... keep digging...

    • Actually (Score:3, Interesting)

      by weston ( 16146 )

      Translating arbitrary designs from Adobe Illustrator into HTML / CSS is pretty much what got me by for a few years following the dot com bust, and then became a decent job (and no, it's not like I couldn't have been doing anything else: during the boom, I'd done plenty of software development in C, Java, and Perl).

      Is that time over? The trend I notice is that there's no shortage of challenges in getting HTML / CSS which displays reasonably well across the proliferating number of active versions of Internet

  • Nephew? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Infernal Device ( 865066 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:59AM (#27570677)

    As in, "Why am I paying you to do this? My newphew can do that!"

  • Unemployed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <Satanicpuppy.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:00AM (#27570701) Journal

    What's this, a set up for a joke about unemployment?

    In my more recent experience, html people are liberal arty types who pick up some web design to complement their other skills. Photographers, animators, graphical artists. Webapp designers usually have some html, but often you have a coder and a design person and they have different responsibilities.

    HTML by itself just isn't a marketable skillset anymore. Hell, it's hard enough being a graphic artist, or a flash designer, or something like that, who also does html.

  • Markup Writer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oskard ( 715652 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:01AM (#27570709)
    You're a markup writer. Even if you're the best, most semantic, standard following markup writer in the world, you're not a web developer. If you only know the basics of CSS and Javascript, you can hardly call yourself anything but a markup writer.

    Design technologist? You're not designing anything.
    UI Engineer? Sorry, you're not really engineering anything if you're only using HTML. Either that or you're writing bloated, non-semantic markup.
    Front-end / Client Side Developer? If the front end is ONLY HTML (what a boring site)
    • by julesh ( 229690 )

      Design technologist? You're not designing anything.

      I've found most people in this role these days also do graphic design. Or they also do development. Take your pick. "Just HTML" is a dead profession.

  • Web Monkey (Score:3, Funny)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:02AM (#27570733) Homepage Journal

    Everyone assumes web design is as simple as it was 15 years ago, when it reality it has gotten extremely complex. People just tell you to make a web page do something, and they expect you to work like a good little monkey.

  • Web Designer (Score:3, Informative)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:03AM (#27570737) Homepage Journal

    It's a bit of a misnomer, but what else can you call it? Someone who creates dynamic content is a developer, so if they're not JUST doing HTML and CSS then you could perhaps advertise for that, or perhaps "Creative Web Developer" but that sounds fruity. Bottom line is that you're advertising a job to your potential market of applicants and it's up to you to decide what kind of people you want to attract.

  • Web Designer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:03AM (#27570739) Homepage Journal

    Web Designer. At least that title was used a lot in off-shores/out-sourcing companies I had to deal with.

    Web Developer was also used, but to lesser extent and only to distinguish those who can also do JavaScript, PHP, Perl, etc.

    Easiest way to find the word du jour is to check job listings.

  • Since HTML is simply a markup language, using tags....a child of SGML, my vote is for 'tagger'.

    There was a comment on a developer list (Obj.C) the other day... "I know a fair amount of HTML, so what's the best way for me to learn how to code?"

    HTML brings none of the discipline and barely any of the logic associated with coding - call them 'lackeys' or 'site maintenance wonks' - if that's their strength please don't raise them above the status of a fluff girl...

  • Underqualified? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drolli ( 522659 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:06AM (#27570795) Journal

    Qualified would be

    a) does HTML, is a graphics designer, can write decent text and hase some education in UI design

    b) does HTML, programs any server-side-language (according to the current fashion) and knows Javascript very well, and knows UI (and can talk to class a))

    c) does HTML, does databases and knows how to efficiently xslt the xml response of the database by heart and can talk to class b)

    Seriously, the original job description given would have been appropriate in 1997.

  • Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:07AM (#27570821) Homepage
    • Coder - One who codes a document with some markup (HTML)
    • Programmer - One who writes computer language to generate a document (HTML or other things)
    • Designer - One who produces HTML using a program (i.e. Dreamweaver)

    Those would be my definitions as they relate to the production of HTML. Betty, the lady who types things up, puts them into some simple HTML, and makes a few things italic or bold or adds images is a coder. Bob, who uses PHP to make dynamic pages, is a programmer. Jerry, who uses Dreamweaver to do both, is a designer.

  • Web Producer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:09AM (#27570851)

    My title is Web Producer [indeed.com]. I didn't pick it, and I sometimes introduce the title with a joke about shooting spider webs from my wrists, or making prosthetic webbed feet for ducks who have lost their paddlers in tragic accidents. It's meant to be "web producer" as a role, like "movie producer" or "music producer", but it sounds stupid. Mainly it means I "do HTML" plus a lot of other digital/interactive design stuff (including programming and database work), and I manage other people who do this stuff.

    IMO, there is a difference between a "web designer" and a "web developer" -- the former is closer to a graphic designer and focuses on making stuff pretty, while the latter is closer to a programmer and focuses on making stuff work. In big web studios, there are fleets of "web designers" who create interfaces in heavily-layered Photoshop files, and turn them over to "web developers" who convert them into working web interfaces. It lets people focus on a specific aspect of the process. However, I think something is lost in the process... if possible, a web designer ought to understand the power and limitations of HTML/CSS/etc. Maybe I spent too much time in art school, but I liken it to advanced painters who learn how to make their own paint from pigments/oil/etc., or ceramists who can make their own clay from the raw powders. In a similar vein, I think a web designer should know how to mix their raw materials too: pixels, code, etc.

    That's my ideal, anyway.

  • Well ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by krou ( 1027572 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:11AM (#27570875)

    I've done web development for over 10 years now, and "Web designer" or "Web Developer" are the two titles I was most used to when I looked for jobs in this field. These days, my job title is Senior Web Developer, which means I'm essentially a team lead, and my remit covers a number of other fields that, while web related, are not simply just about web page design. (e.g. Server optimization for high-volume traffic, MySQL database design, etc).

    Graphic designer implies someone whose strength lies primarily with graphics, rather than a good understanding on web page construction, and how to optimize a page for best performance. They'll likely have number of other graphic-related skills, such as in print media.

    An information architect is certainly not what you're after, since that is far more abstract and higher level, IMO, than just a simple code monkey. While they would have an excellent understanding of Web Design and Database Design, I imagine their graphical expertise is very low, and they're far more interested in what should be done, rather than doing it themselves.

    Design Technologist and UI Engineer sound like their primary focus is on usability, and therefore may be weak in other areas.

    • by krou ( 1027572 )
      Oh, and I suppose I should also add that the term "developer" implies PHP or some other Web programming language knowledge, but "designer" and "developer" seem pretty much interchangeable these days, so it's not always true.
  • by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:16AM (#27570953) Homepage

    Don't let them fool you into thinking they're programmers ;)

    Seriously though, HTML is usually a starting point and they usually go on to design or web programming. You have to start somewhere.

  • "HTML Guy" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:18AM (#27570983)

    No, really.

    They are distinct (or should be, on any project larger than a local church site) from the graphic designer and the "DB Guy."

    I've seen all sorts of crazy titles on their resumes, and that's fine, self-esteem and all that, but "HTML Guy" is how we refer to them.

    Now, gather 'round and have some peppermints: Back in the Day, 1992-93, when I project-managed my first website, we were paying "Web Guys" six figure salaries, cuz basically Corporate needed it yesterday and it was all a big mystery. Had something to do with computers, they said, so the Web Guys came out of the IT Departments, bringing their blink tags with them. Within a very short time, it became clear that it was the Art and Content that mattered, and that's where the money went. (Best Analogy: On Broadway, nobody pays to watch the Stage Crew, essential though they may be.) The smart art and design people learned what they needed to hang out a Web shingle, and the HTML-only guys were sent back to the server room. Some of them became "designers" (they're usually the ones singing the praises of "neat" and "clean" designs; translation: they'll electrocute themselves if they try to open PhotoShop), but the smarter ones moved over to the Web DB side of things.

    What do we call the "HTML-Only Guys" today? How about: "hungry"

  • Typist (Score:3, Funny)

    by SSpade ( 549608 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:21AM (#27571021) Homepage
    Even a webmonkey does some backend work.
  • Categories (Score:5, Informative)

    by ianare ( 1132971 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:23AM (#27571059)

    There are two main groups that fall into this category: artists and engineers.

    Artists (or graphic designers) will know HTML, CSS, maybe a little JS. But it will be to complement their 'real' skill set, which is photoshop, illustrator, maybe Flash, and the like. They will focus on making the page attractive to users, and if they are worth their salt, easy to navigate as well.

    Engineers (or web application developers) will know HTML, JS, hopefully CSS (!), along with PHP, SQL, maybe Java or Ruby. Their natural environment is the backend, but they will know enough about page creation to get by, like for making proof of concept demos. Quite often their idea of an elegant and easy to use web interface is a bunch of text links and a button.

    Of course, in real life, you find yourself doing a combination of these things.

    Oh, and to answer the original question : what do you call someone that does HTML, CSS, JS and nothing else ?
    A: an intern.

  • After multi-year stints at IBM and at other companies, I have come to learn that those who write HTML are called Enterprise Architects. I have seen management time and time again put these people in charge of site development. At IBM I actually had an "Enterprise Architect" tell me that they build Java right into their web page. I thought he meant a older Type 1 JSP page. Nope, turns out he meant Javascript, and we all know that Java is to JavaScript like Car is to Carpet.

    Personally, I don't think the

  • What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"?


  • considering the way most websites are designed nowadays i would call them idiots, (or their supervisors are) :D
  • By now, the most common cases are that you use a program that generates the HTML and/or you did that program.
  • Code Monkey

  • Not an easy job... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravyface ( 592485 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:36AM (#27571291)

    Depending on how you're developing your site and/or Web application, having a guy or gal that can take the designer's design mockup (usually still in .PSD format) and properly interpret it into clean HTML and CSS wireframes is a godsend for the Web Developers.

    There's a lot of finesse involved in doing this right: you need to make sure it works in all browsers, that the page size isn't too large, and that it stretches and scrolls and wraps in all the right places. And no, Dreamweaver still doesn't cut it, so it takes quite a bit of skill and experience to do it right.

    With experience, most of the good ones move either up or down the stack, depending on their interest/strengths, but we wouldn't have been able to complete several large client projects without our "HTML/CSS/JS/UI/stuck-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place guy".

  • by neo ( 4625 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:53AM (#27571599)

    Long gone is the singular Webmaster. His/her job has been broken into these pieces:

    System Administrator:
    Installs and maintains web servers and associated technology back-end infrastructures like PHP upgrades.

    Network Administrator:
    Installs and maintains networking infrastructure including firewalls, proxies, network caches.

    Information Architect:
    Creates informational structures to help put data into understandable and manageable segments. Often creates wireframes for page layout.

    Web Designer (Artist):
    Creative talent that produces graphical content that fit wireframes or other criteria for use on websites.

    Web Editor (Writer):
    Creative talent that produces textual content that fits structured segments or other crieria for use on a website.

    Usability Expert:
    Examines and adjusts wireframes and content to fit best practices for user experience.

    Back-End Web Developer:
    Programmer responsible for creating functionality that assists the display of content on a website. Often responsible for CMS and/or Database integration through to the site.

    Front-End Web Developer: This is what you wanted, hence longer description.
    Takes graphic content, usability widgets, back-end functionality, textual content and creates layouts using (X|D)HTML, Javascript, back-end code snippets, CSS, CMS template scripts. These layouts fit into certain strict parameters regarding SEO, size optimization (both image and code), speed of loading, cross browser compatibility, limitations of layout markup and specifications of back-end delivery of data. Lacking any of the above positions (and the one below), this person is often tasked with doing whatever is missing from the classic "Webmaster" position.

    Quality Assurance:

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:04PM (#27571777)

    ... they used to call them, 'The people in the basement that we'd rather not deal with'.

    Now, they call them 'Indian contractors'.

  • Spider (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Famous Druid ( 89404 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:05PM (#27571789)
    Web... Spider... get it?

    I'm here all week, try the veal, don't forget to tip the waitresses.
  • by Lennie ( 16154 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @12:43PM (#27572439)

    A list apart did a 2008 survey under webdevelopers, which has a list of function names, etc.:

    http://www.alistapart.com/articles/findingsfromthewebdesignsurvey2008 [alistapart.com]

  • My understanding... (Score:3, Informative)

    by sherriw ( 794536 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @01:46PM (#27573555)

    A Web Developer is someone with either backend programming skills or some mad Javascript/AJAX skills.

    Someone who is mostly html/css and a tad of JS and graphic design is a Web Designer.

    A graphic/artist is the Graphic Designer.

    A Web Master controls the content, usually through some kind of CMS or by contacting the web development team.

  • Designers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pvera ( 250260 ) <pedro.vera@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @01:51PM (#27573675) Homepage Journal

    You are not a programmer unless you are writing code and/or dealing with dynamic functionality. If all you are doing is HTML/CSS layouts, slicing images, etc. then it is design, not programming.

    Pulling data from a database into a web page? Programming.

    Formatting the grid control in the web page, without touching whatever makes it tick? Design.

  • by kcdoodle ( 754976 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @02:21PM (#27574211)
    Doesn't HTML mean "How To Mow the Lawn"?
  • "Typist" (Score:3, Funny)

    by spasm ( 79260 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @02:24PM (#27574253) Homepage

    I mean, really, html as a 'skill'?

  • by GargamelSpaceman ( 992546 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @02:28PM (#27574323) Homepage Journal
    Or just HTML-F*ckers.
  • by dontmakemethink ( 1186169 ) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @02:39PM (#27574507)

    What do you call someone who does [b]UBB[/b]?

    HTML and CSS are no more difficult nor deliberately accessible than what used to be called "word processing", but is now called "writing a letter".

    Back in my day, typing and/or word processing were manditory high school courses. Do they even teach them anymore?

  • Depending on the context, you might call that person an electrician, or an auto mechanic, or a plumber, or a computer technician, or a housewife trying to change a battery.

    HTML is a tool. A job title/description tends to be more about what you are expected to accomplish.

    This can be confusing, because there is such a thing as a "C++ developer." Well, yeah, but what you really are is an application developer who uses C++. Your job is to develop applications. It just so happens that C++ is the primary (maybe even only) tool you need to accomplish that job, so that's what you get called.

    I think the reason this particular skill has not acquired a standard job title is that HTML, by itself, is not really a tool you can use to accomplish a whole lot. To accomplish a complete task, you will need to use it in conjunction with graphic design tools, if you're designing an interface, or with database tools if you are designing an app, or something else.

    So I'd say it depends on what you are expecting them to use HTML to accomplish, and what other skills they will need in order to accomplish that task.

    As for whether HTML is a complete skill set -- well, imagine applying for a job as a plumber and saying, "well, I can't use a wrench, but I can use a screwdriver..."

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.