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Client side developer focus

By dr_j ·

I've been in the web biz for about 5 years, and have recently taken a leave from my day job to do some consulting. I'm a generalist at heart, most succinctly described as a 'client-side' web developer.

I'm very comfortable with html, css, javascript, and have strong XML/XSL-T skills from my last project. I have been moving away from straight-up web *production* and moving more to document analysis and schema development for document management systems.

Here's the thing - I'm having trouble describing my skill-set; beyond the "in-between guy" rubric:

- no, I'm not a programmer, although I can deal with server-side (CFML, PHP) templates without breaking stuff

- no I don't design databases or do sysadmin, though I'm comfortable using SQL on the command line

- no, I don't do graphic design, tho' I'm comfortable extending an existing design and I enjoy working through interface and usability challenges

I'm trying to hone my skills in the presentation layer; *not* the business logic layer (programming)... so here's the question:

How do market myself in a "programmer - graphic designer - project manager" world?

And, what skills should I develop further in order to make myself more employable? FYI, I'm located in Vancouver, Canada.

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The title isn't a problem

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Client side developer foc ...

Limiting yourself to the pesentation layer is. If I was looking at whether it was 'worth' employing you, my concern would be that I'd have to employ another body to do the server side stuff. Now if you could install and implement a LAMP/IIS server. Bash together a simple database and implement it in MSSQL/MySQL and your server side scripting was beefed up, you become a much more marketable product.
PM skills are an area you might want to go if you are not comfortable with the above though to my mind you'd need at least a working knowledge of them anyway.

I abhor the term generalist and prefer the term multi-skilled, but in your postion and looking at the market I would definitely want to round out and become a single person solution. Most of the time you wont require arcane knowledge of all these specialities, but being able to show you have the capability/experience to get an entire system off the ground will give you much more scope even if they only want your front end skills.

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re: The title isn't a problem

by dr_j In reply to The title isn't a problem

Thanks for the thoughtful reply; I have been thinking of sharpening my skills in the server-side scripting and db areas, but I hadn't even considered the LAMP/IIS admin area, as I have heard lots of horror stories about vunerable servers that are administered by people who know *just enough* to get themselves (and by extension their clients) into trouble.

But I do see your point about knowing (and having done) the full shot (server and db setup, scripting, html) in order to be an effective PM.

So, any thoughts on most common flavours of *NIX and IIS I should get acquainted with, and min req's to *secure* the server / db setup?

Links to good sites for this most welcome.


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