Diversity with Web Design and Web Development

Diverse Designs

Being diverse in your designs can really help to grow your comfort level and accommodate more clients.  If you are used to building simple small fixed width web sites you could really be limiting yourself.  Experiment with fluid layouts some or maybe even mobile design and you could find yourself with many more opportunities.  Improve your Photoshop abilities and you could provide that next great look that someone is looking for instead of the plain old boring graphics every website has.

More often than not clients today want more than just the simple website that so many have been asking for and getting over the years.  They expect more out of their web professional and you should be looking to improve yourself in multiple areas.  Once you stop pushing yourself to learn new things, you will soon find yourself left in the dust by developing technologies and techniques.

Diverse Coding

To be diverse in web development you have to constantly be learning new coding techniques.  You can choose to specialize in a certain language or be very good at developing in a certain CMS but you will always run into an opportunity where a client may need something different from your specialty.  You may be good at WordPress, but you have a client already using Drupal that needs some work done.  Perhaps you are switching them from Drupal to WordPress. It would be helpful to know the basics of Drupal to recover the most that you can from their current website.

Another example would be the different Javascript Libraries out there.  You may be comfortable with jQuery, but someone else is using MooTools.  Or perhaps you like to code in PHP but the project you are working on would be a better fit for Ruby or Python.  There is no right choice in choosing what to learn when you are a web developer.  Obviously it helps to focus on a specific area, but you can certainly shut yourself out of some opportunities by not learning some of the other technologies out there.

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CORS – Cross Origin Resource Sharing

Here is a little something interesting for those in my program at Francis Tuttle and anyone else who cares to read this blog.  I just finished a book and a whole bunch of assignments on AJAX.  The biggest issue I found with these exercises were that many of them required a PHP script to act as a proxy for requesting information from another domain.  I followed the exercises as noted but still don’t know very much about PHP as this was an AJAX book.

Scouring the internet for new info on AJAX I found out about CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing).  Apparently, Internet Explorer 8+, Firefox 3.5+, Safari 4+, and Chrome all presently support cross-domain Ajax via a protocol called Cross-Origin Resource Sharing.  In short this allows your AJAX code to make the request for information from another domain rather than using a PHP script to do so.  If you actually want the specifics on exactly how this works I would suggest reading an article by Nicholas C. Zakas called Cross-domain Ajax with Cross-Origin Resource Sharing.

The article is very informative and has all the specifics as well as links to other examples. We can only hope that by pushing our family and friends to the latest and greatest browsers out there that we can extinguish the old and outdated ones quicker and thus use this wonderful new tool.

Plastic Forks!

Just a little complaint here.

Why would Sonic give you such a crappy plastic fork to eat your footlong chili dog with?  Don’t they know that those things are dangerous?  I have broken off the prongs of my fork while eating a chili dog for the last time.  I am now going to have to invoice sonic for the cost of a metal fork that I will carry around in my pocket.

I will not be threatened by the plastic forks of this world anymore, my health and sanity is just too important to me.

Thank you that is all.