Okay, it’s an established fact and one that my fellow I.T. nerds (or geeks if that’s your preference) are more than aware of. Computing, being a software developer, hardware techie or anything remotely related to the world of I.T. is dull as dishwater as far the rest of society is concerned.

Every I.T. professional will tell you that when at a party or gathering of any kind with friends, family or strangers, they’ve learned from bitter experience not to talk about what they do, let alone try to explain it to anyone.

The truth is nobody cares or is the faintest bit interested. You can see their eyes glaze over and their anxious glances over to the other side of the room where another group is having a much more interesting conversation. Probably about football or shopping as the classic line from Trainspotting goes.

So why is being a Web Developer interesting?

Well I suppose I ought to be truthful and say that for some people it won’t be. There is a section of society that doesn’t really have any thirst for knowledge of anything beyond the most recent infantile incumbents of Big Brother, the laughable wannabees on X Factor or the latest tragedy to beset Albert Square.

So what is this knowledge that is so interesting? Well, as established above, it isn’t website development itself, but rather anything and everything else.

When creating a website for a customer, the conscientious web developer (aka me) will take the time to get to know and understand something of the customer’s business to ensure that the site delivers as expected, is found on Google for the appropriate terms and makes sense to visitors.

In this way, being a web developer is interesting, because for every job you do, you learn a little bit more about how the world works.

So what have I learnt?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve produced websites for a plumber, a portrait photographer, a house removals company, a qualified Sky installer and someone who makes wedding cakes, but with the exception of moving house (which I’ve done once for myself, twice for my mother and several times for friends), I wouldn’t now class myself as being skilled in any of said fields.

I’ve overtightened valves when removing a radiator, would be terrified of being responsible for someone’s precious memories, I don’t enjoy walking on sloped roofs and my culinary skills stretch as far as putting a pizza on the top shelf for 10 minutes.

It’s the snippets of information or new facts that you pick up that make it fun. For example, before doing a website for a company that does shot blasting I had no idea what it was. In fact, even after the customer had explained it I wasn’t sure. Good old Google to the rescue once again…

Curious? Take a look at the following Google results:

One of the most interesting pieces of work I’ve done to date was a Search Engine Optimisation (aka SEO or getting a website to appear on the front page of Google in lay terms) job for an on-line shop that sells thermometers.

For a start, who’d have thought there were so many types of thermometer? I learnt the correct temperature for cooked chicken and where to stick the thermometer in to measure it, what a reference thermometer is, how an infrared thermometer works, the required temperature for making jam, the legal required temperature for a workplace, how a thermometer is useful when trying for a baby and much more.

Why haven’t I included details of all that I’ve learned here? But then what would I talk to you about if I met you at a party?

In conclusion…

I’m not sure how useful all of this is, but if like me you enjoy learning new things, web development is officially interesting. And who knows, some of it might just pop up in a pub quiz some time in the future…

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