Does web design have a future in 'high wage' countries? (was Question])

Johnson, Christopher (MTO) Christopher.Johnson at
Fri Jul 23 15:34:48 CDT 2004

How can a generalist compete with a specialist? A PHP expert can always
do the job faster, cheaper, and probably better than I. Someone who
works with shopping carts every day can certainly outperform someone who
only does it occasionally.

One question, or comment, from this thought that I have is if you put
together a group of specialists, would it not be the generalist who is able
to be to glue that holds the specialists together? I would think that
somewhere in the middle is room for someone who is able to do and understand
a broad range of fields and who can communicate between the different groups
of specialists.

I really love web and database work, but in the last year, I've realized
I don't have the time to develop *great* design skills, and I don't want
to spend the rest of my life struggling with mediocrity. As is common in
economic circles, web dev will polarize into inexpensive, badly designed
sites, and expensive, well-designed sites.

For this, I tend to look at the field of photography as it very closely
parallels web design. Photography is also a field in which everyone knows
someones brother who can take pictures, everyone knows some two-bit
"professional" who will charge you rock bottom prices for bad photos, and
everyone knows who the best photographers are in town who charge a premium
for excellent photos. However, within this field there exists a middle
ground; those photographers who take excellent photos, who have taken the
time to master their craft, and who are able to charge reasonable fee for
excellent work.

While ignoring the problem of outsourcing for the moment, there must be a
way to create this middle ground. Whether this is through the use of
templates, education, and/or hard work I'm not sure, but this middle ground
must exist somewhere.

Just my ramblings on the topic.


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