A Genesis Developer asked this question to Genesis Group on Facebook. It’s an interesting question because, when it comes to web development, different folks have different skill sets. There are many developers who have been learning for years and there are those who have just begun. So how do you know when you can call yourself a web developer or Genesis developer (using Genesis Framework)?
So when did you consider yourself a “Genesis Developer” or “Web Developer”? What level of skill do you feel one would need to have to use this label?
The question prompted many to offer their take on web development, however, the gem of an answer came from the very talented Tonya Mork.
Her answer was so insightful, I couldn’t help but turn it into a blog post so everybody could read it.
Tonya Mork writes…
Excellent question and one that brings a lot of different elements and emotion to the subject.
There are implementers, solution providers, programmers, developers, engineers, architects, and so on. Each has a different role. Let’s talk about it.
Genesis is a framework, a tool to help you get more done…faster. In order to build software solutions with Genesis, first, you need to be a web developer. Therefore, you are a Web Developer who specializes in WordPress and Genesis.
What is a web developer? What qualifies you to carry that title?
A Web Developer is someone who solves problems through code and web technologies. We are software and technology problem solvers. The solutions we build and provide to the market and our clients power websites and the internet.
Look at that definition. What do you see?
1. You are capable of building code that solves a problem.
2. You are capable of using technologies as part of the solution.
3. You are a problem solver.
A Web Developer has to be capable of writing, testing, and deploying software (code).
That doesn’t mean we have to write every single line from scratch. That’s silly and highly non-productive. Rather, we are capable of doing it at various degrees of skill level.
When a client needs a custom solution, as a web developer, it’s your job to architect the solution, build the custom bits (the stuff that doesn’t exist yet), fully test it, and then deploy a robust solution.
Like any profession, there are varying degrees of expertise. There are Junior level web developers to intermediate to senior and beyond.
Therefore, don’t let anyone make you feel less than because you don’t have x amount of years under your belt.
I’ve been around for over 3 decades in high-tech, enterprise engineering. I’ve seen even the most senior developers and engineers who just suck at building code.
Plus, every single one of us is constantly learning as technology changes so quickly.
The fundamentals. If you are going to build code, then you have to focus and master the fundamentals of software and programming. Period.
Listen to me. To gain the “capability” of building those custom bits of code comes first from knowing the fundamentals of programming.
I’m talking about knowing PHP, CSS, and HTML first and foremost. You should know how scoping works, how data moves around, how variables and functions are declared, how the browser works, how HTTP works, and so on.
Once you do, then you begin moving from searching Google for snippets of code to solve your problem… to …. sitting down and building it yourself.
You might say, “Hmm Tonya, that will take time.” Well, duh, of course, it will. Being proficiencies takes being active, incremental, systematic, and time.
But here’s a secret for you. Ready? It’s exponential and not linear. As you learn, it builds upon what you already know and grows. That means you can tap into it continuously and build sites, plugins, themes, and solutions throughout your career.
What gives you a competitive advantage?
1. When you are capable of building anything.
That comes when you master the fundamentals of programming. Why? The fundamentals are the same for all languages.
2. You build robust, efficient, and effective solutions.
I hope this helps you. 🙂