Kay lives here

working with the web

Being professional

Andy Clarke has come out and said what many of us wish we could, but don’t.

Via Molly’s Web Standards and The New Professionalism

Those people still delivering nested table layout, spacer gifs or ignoring accessibility can no longer call themselves web professionals.

Interview with Andy Clarke (AKA Accessibility, the gloves come off)

It’s so true. In fact, I think that it’s been true for a long time. Other professions – my mum is a hairdresser, for example – consider ongoing professional development a necessary and vital part of what they do. Doctors and pharmacists need to be up to date with the latest drugs and treatments. Builders need to know about the latest materials – not doing so could cost them money. Mechanics know how to service the latest cars, or they would be left behind very rapidly. Web development should be no different. You would actually think that web development, an industry that changes so rapidly and which has so much information so readily available for next to no cost, would consider continual updating of skills and knowledge essential.

So, the question is, why isn’t ongoing education part of web development culture?


  1. “So, the question is, why isn’t ongoing education part of web development culture?”

    I think it is. At least in the circle of professionals I work with. We attend conferences, workshops and monthly user groups, we buy books and magazines, we scour blogs and Google, all the quest for the latest information on how to be better at what we do.

    Personally I feel like most web professionals are more active at upgrading their skills than many other professions. I can’t think of a single person I know in this industry that isn’t striving to gain new knowledge on a very regular basis.

  2. Hi Rick, maybe things are different where you are, but if I do a Google search for the web design companies in my area – hell, in my country – and look at a) the code on their own sites; and b) the client sites in their portfolio; most of them are not built using best practises. John Allsopp did an amazing investigation of major Australian sites for his WE05 presentation – and the results are scary.

  3. I have to agree with Kay on this one, sorry Rick. Perhaps you work in the Silicon Valley or something? But on this side of the planet, it’s simply apalling to see the skillsets of many people who call themselves web designers, developers etc … either there is no incentive for them to learn, or perhaps they can’t be bothered, or they feel that they know everything they need to know. I don’t know.