WWD reader LivNLet asked us this by email:
I’m a “web designer” but what does that mean these days? Am I also a “web developer”? I am confused.
My projects require me to not only complete the entire design/approval phase, using Mac/CS2, etc. but also use Windows to develop and hand over standards-compliant coded templates (hand coded using CSS 2.1/XHTML w/tableless layouts) to my clients. While I feel most comfortable goofing off with other creative & marketing types, I have no trouble keeping up in a backend techy meeting.
So what the heck am I? When I describe myself as a “web designer” perhaps some people see one image in their minds while others may see a different image? But if I describe myself as a “web developer” I get all kinds of goofy job offers for coding backend stuff, which I don’t know how to do nor want to do.
LivNLet, you are not the only one wondering about what to call yourself in the world of web work. Some people see web designers and web developers almost as two different species, even though, as you note, the best web designers these days bring technical savvy to their work.
What about calling yourself a web technologist? That captures your technical savvy without implying anything about whether you write backend code. By using a more generic title, you can address your fitness for particular job opportunities as they arise, instead of hooking into people’s existing stereotypes of web designers and web developers.