ALA's 2007 Web Design Survey Results - your story!

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by jng, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007

    A thread about getting a job as a web developer reminded me that I intended to start a thread discussing ALA's survey results a while back but forgot.

    Just briefly the survey is from A List Apart and asks web designers, developers and whatnot from all over the world for their background - education, location income, etc, and their opinions about things like relevance of education, perceived bias in the field, titles, blogging, etc.

    Anyway, I thought it'd be interesting if people read through the survey and posted their thoughts about it.

    And also it'd be interesting to hear how people came into the field.

    my thoughts
    The first thing that struck me was the honesty of the survey. Many people I know just assume that it's a technology field and there's a lot of money to be had. I guess that you definitely have high chances of earning more than the average salary in the U.S. but the numbers from places like rather inflate people's expectations.

    So me:
    AGE: 23

    GENDER: female - surprise!

    TITLE: I use "web content manager" and designer, so I guess I fall into the "other" category.

    I have a bachelor's but it's in International Relations and Economics.

    BLOG: nope. Have a site but hasn't been updated in ages.

    I made websites - mostly fansites - as a hobby as a kid but participated in an educational website competition and didn't win but got recruited to do some work for the school. I've been freelancing for them ever since. I started as just another hand, but learned design, some programming and eventually moved much of the web stuff to software management. I spent a lot of time redesigning the site and implemented Movable Type with several plug ins to let the teacher basically run the site with as little reliance on me or anyone else as possible.

    Back in June I turned down a job as a content manager (teaching English abroad right now) with a subsidiary of large bank in downtown Boston. I would have worked designing an internal information system, worked with programmers and writers and reported to the president of marketing. For me, this is more along the lines of what I want. I want to use technology to get into the door but ultimately I want to work in management, specifically design or content management.

    Ok, let's hear your story!
  2. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Interesting idea. I guess I'll follow your template for consistency's sake.

    Age: 36
    Gender: Male (no surprise there)
    Education: Bachelor's degree in Music
    Blog: I have one that I built myself, but it's a just a personal one and I don't think anyone reads it but me.
    Web design/development started out as a secondary career to help me supplement my income as a musician. When I moved to Chicago right after school I played in an orchestra in the evenings and did freelance graphic/web design/production work. I now have my own business and I find I am doing and enjoy doing more programming (PHP, MySQL, etc) than designing. The programming site seems more of a natural progression from the mathematical structure of music.
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I was wondering if anyone here would mention that survey. I participated in ALA's survey and have read the results. Some of it was surprising, but most of it made sense. I didn't fit into the common background. I'm eclectic.

    I'm mid 20's male.
    Bachelor's in Psychology, minor in Computer Science, and a Masters in Human Factors Engineering.

    I've never had any "formal" web training. I taught myself web design while I was working at my university's computer help desk because there were a lot of people in web classes with problems and asked us for help (though it wasn't our responsibility). I hated turning people away because I'm a nice guy so steadily learned the trade. I'm also an artist so I was pulled in for the creativity aspects and doing graphical stuff in my programming classes was non-existent so it was a nice skill for me.

    I've done web design for myself mostly, but have also posted offers to help people and did some work that way, and I do a little from time to time for work. Though, my actual job is as a human factors engineer so the need doesn't arise too often. I do have the advantage of not being forced to do web work though so I can still enjoy it rather than it being work. People who've seen my work think it's nice and I seem to be able to help people on this forum so I guess I'm alright at web design.
  4. jng thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    I agree. I was hoping we could discuss the survey because I find this forum to be rather dead. Well it's kicking, but that's just me trying to ignore a bunch of newbie questions...

    I think we need like a DISCUSSION here and not just about how to get a job or find a designer. I hope others have some ideas? Seems like mine's sunk...only 2 responses so far not including my own....

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