Are you a “Professional” Web Designer? Let’s figure it out together.

The Definition of A Professional Web Designer

Web design is a complicated term.  If we view the definition in Wikipedia we’ll see how convoluted and confusing it can be. So how do we figure out if we’re qualified to call ourselves true professionals?  Well, the definition of a professional according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “one that is professional; especially : one that engages in a pursuit or activity professionally”.  Hmm.  That didn’t clear up much.  Let’s try again on dictionary.com, they say: “following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain”.  Well this helps but still not the pinpoint definition I was hoping for.  From these 2 definitions we can say: “a professional web designer is someone that engages in web design professionally and for a livelihood”.  I left out gain from our definition because it’s too vague.  If you design a website for your Grandmother’s cats and in return she bakes you a plate of brownies, you’ve experienced gain.  I wouldn’t neccessarily think a person could make a living just working for brownies.

Let’s Pull Together As A Team

So let’s say that most of us can identify with the definition above and can call ourselves true Professional Web Designers, that’s great.  So why can’t Web Designer seem to get organized?  Web designers that work together for a certain company can seem to get on the same page and form a team.  Why is this so hard outside of a closely contained setting?  I realize that there are discussion forums for web designers to interact, but it seems many times there is a lot of flamming each other that goes on as well.  I also see “certifications” that are offered online, maybe this would work.  Unfortunately, most of these so called certifications hold no water as they are greatly unrecognized by people in the business and sometimes are just set-up to take our money.  So right now I say it’s time to stand up and work together.  Let’s truly help each other and get organized.  If you’re not great at CSS, big deal we can all help.  If you’re not great at JavaScript, like me, no big deal we can all pitch in.  Let’s all stand up and wipe the poor sickly websites off the web together.  Not by calling each other hacks but by making a concerted effort to help each other improve.

Let’s Work For A Common C.A.U.S.E. or whatever

As some of you who have been here before may have read I came up with C.A.U.S.E., if you haven’t read it here it is in a nutshell.  This idea is nothing revolutionary.  We’ve all focused on the parts of C.A.U.S.E individually.  I was in need of a simple acronym to share with clients so that they could get these totally foreign ideas organized in their heads.  I’m offering C.A.U.S.E. up to the common good without license for all of us to share, expand on, change, or completely scrap. But let’s start with an idea we can all pull for.  It would be great if a client called me and said, “Mike I need this killer e-commerce site that does this and that”, and I could say “you know I could build something like that for you, but I really don’t specialize in that.  I do have a person or company that I can highly recommend because we have similar beliefs in what’s right”.  I could introduce my client to this person or company knowing that he will be well taken care of.  I hear the wheels turning, “that’s crazy, why would I risk losing my client to this other company?”  If you’ve treated your client right and honored the relationship you’ve built, what’s the worry.  The other company or person may throw you a bone for the referral.

How Do We Spread The Word?

We tell other people we know in the business, we talked to our co-workers, we tweet and facebook it.  We just let it spread and see what happens.  You may have read every word of this and come to the conclusion that I’m crazy or that this idea is crazy or that it’ll never work.  You know what? You’re may be right. It may never work, but it won’t be because of me. If you would like to try let’s build it together as a community of Professional Web Designers working for the good of all of us. Not as individuals scattered about.  So…What do you think?

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