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The reason I ask is because the variety of job titles for my role astounds me. As Stanton, Ryan and Sarah mentioned on the Boagworld podcast episode 176 the number of job titles is never ending. Consider this, I have seen all the below job titles for my role or roles within my day to day responsibilities:

  • Front End Developer
  • Web Author
  • Client Side Developer
  • Web Designer
  • Web Producer
  • Web Programmer
  • User Interface Developer
  • Digital Strategist
  • Web Manager
  • Digital Developer

What do any of these mean? For my part, I believe that Front End Developer covers all the bases. Web developer will cover front and back end work and server side (or back end) developer will work for,   you guessed it, server side developer.

I don’t know if it is because of the young age of the industry, or if people are trying to create the most impressive sounding titles for themselves or their staff, or if it is HR not understanding what somebody does.

Why would this worry me? I worry because I currently have the title Senior Web Author. What I don’t want is people to read that who has a different definition of the role and immediately discount me from anything that I may suit. If I were offered the role today I wouldn’t expect to be heavily involved in HTML/CSS and Javascript development, but I would think that an author would be more involved in content authoring.

The same works the other way, I may be looking for a role and find that I completely miss my perfect job because it was advertised as a “web designer” role. Would I expect designers to build code? Not nowadays.

This specificity us geeks now show may be a direct contributor to the current job title confusion. Back in the early days a web designer will probably have had to build the site they design, but with technologies needing such attention, people really need to specialise as early as possible. The old saying “jack of all trades and master of none” applies a great deal in our industry.

Of course a lot of companies (including my employers GyroHSR*) are still trying to determine the best structure for their digital department, the job title situation may get worse rather than better, but I hope that anywhere I have influence we can set the following roles, all that should be needed in a web site development process, especially the small to medium builds I am involved with:

  • Project Manager
  • User Experience/Information Architect
  • Web Designer
  • Front End Developer
  • Server Side Developer

And User Experience/Information Architect and Front End developer roles are the ones I look out for. How better to start trying to select something new when you know the organisation has similar structure ideas to mine.

Please comment if you have any job titles I missed, or any suggestions for jobs I might look out for I would normally skip in the listings!

* I had NOTHING to do with our terrible web site, by the way

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