A website is a software package. By definition, a package is a ready-made program that is available to users for use to perform some tasks. These users include non-IT professionals. Thus, a website qualifies to be a package like Microsoft Office, Peachtree Accounting packages.
Before the Web (WWW) revolution, the development of software packages was the exclusive preserve of skillful programmers. Programmers or software developers develop the logic of programs that a package will eventually use to function. This logic building aspect of software development requires a high level of intellect. This, together with the intricacies of mastering programming languages, made the development of packages uninteresting and unattractive to a large spectrum of people.
Following the Web’s revolution, it became possible for non-programmers to develop packages right from the inception. These are web-based packages and, of course, websites, requiring no programming skills. The result was the creation of a new type of profession called Web Design. A web designer is someone who organizes a web page by arranging texts, pictures, animations, forms, etc., on a page and formats them to produce a good presentation. All he needs to do is use any of the appropriate web development tools like Macromedia Visual Studio and Microsoft FrontPage. Through the Design section of Macromedia Dreamweaver, for example, you can design a whole web page without using HTML codes. What you have is a website. A website is one or more web pages. These web development tools are equivalent to the popular package Adobe PageMaker does, which is to organize and format pages of books, magazines, newspapers, etc. No programming is required.
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- Data validation.
- Form submission.
- Sign Up.
- Database search.
Thus, it became possible to develop dynamic and interactive websites capable of doing what conventional software could do on stand-alone computers and networks using non-internet technologies. Online banking, stock broking are examples. These functions can now be carried out entirely on the internet. To develop functional scripts for such automated tasks, logic building and mastery of the programming language to use syntax are required. Most of the programs are written from scratch.
Can you be a web designer and a web programmer? Yes, you can. Some people double as a web designer and web programmer, but specialists are noted for doing better in their respective fields of specialization than non-specialists. Some sites do not require more than web designing. Many sites nowadays require web designing and web programmings like the multi-tier applications with a presentation layer, the logic layer that interfaces the presentation layer with the database, and the data layer that contains the database. There are even database specialists who design database and write what is called stored procedures and triggers right inside the database. The use of stored procedures increases site execution’s overall efficiency as it minimizes the number of times SQL statements are parsed, compiled, and optimized during execution. You can see that site development is quite deep.
The roles of web designers and web programmers are complementary in the development of websites. You need to identify where your ability lies and allow that to inform your choice of area of specialization. If you know you can write programs, you can go beyond web designing and become a web programmer, but if it is otherwise, stick to web designing and continue to grow and sharpen your skills. The truth of the matter is that programming is not for everybody.
If you are a conventional graphic artist, you will find it easy to crossover to web designing. If you are a conventional programmer, you can readily crossover to web programming. I mean by conventional graphic artists who have the expertise in using tools like CorelDraw, Photoshop, and PageMaker to perform Desktop Publishing tasks. I mean the experts in programming languages like C++, FoxPro, COBOL, and Dbase by conventional programmers.
As long as you can determine where your ability lies, you will surely overcome frustrations in your developing websites’ tasks, and you will continue to enjoy what you are doing. If you are a web designer and have a job that involves programming you cannot handle, look for assistance from a web programmer. If you are a web programmer and are having issues with web designing in your task, seek a web designer’s assistance if you can handle both areas to a vast extent, well and good.