[thelist] Financial Situation

Erika ekm at seastorm.com
Thu Dec 11 21:43:14 CST 2008

This is all about walking six miles to school in the snow so be warned.

Anyone who's been in this industry very long, and lives in the US, has 
already been through one big crash.  The web industry started to 
nosedive in 2000, and 9/11/2001 just sealed our fate.  Every single 
person I knew working at web agencies large or small lost his or her job 
between 2000 and 2002.  I rode it out in academia.

But even before the crash things weren't *that* rosy for a front-end 
developer.  For one thing, there was no such thing, as a front-end 
developer.  There were "web designers" and HTML monkeys.  If your 
graphic design skills were not mind blowing, and you weren't a 
programmer, you could be an HTML monkey.

No one cared about web standards.  No one cared if your code validated. 
Frequently, they didn't care, or even want you, to hand-code. I was a 
single mother trying to support a family on skills people didn't much 
value. Well guess what?  It's different now.  You don't know how 
thrilled I am to walk into a job interview and have my interviewer 
really *really* care whether my code validates. Honestly, I never 
thought I'd see the day.

As for the markets, in some ways, I feel like our system is simply 
correcting itself (like it did after the dot com boom).  How bad is it 
going to get?  I don't know, but I know that the worse it gets, the more 
resourceful we will get. Painful? yep.  Especially if you have kids to 
feed, or if you're carrying debt.

But me, I just had another awesome job interview and then I filled my 
gas tank for $20.


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