Employers asking for PHP and design skills?

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Comments (10)

dhinged in Salt Lake City, Utah

45 months ago

I've seen a disturbing increase in the number of job postings asking for advanced PHP skillsets (object-oriented and framework programming), MySQL database administration, and advanced CSS and Photoshop skills in the same job. I just recently got hired at a place that not only wants me to code in a PHP framework, handle database administration, and cut up PSD's from Photoshop and create the HTML and CSS layout (and they use advanced CSS, which I'm not very familiar with).

The problem is that it takes me longer to cut up PSD's and create CSS layout than it would say someone who actually went to school and got a degree in design, or somebody who has focused on those aspects for most of their career. I have focused on the aforementioned PHP and database aspects, and I would never expect a designer to do framework manipulation or create tables.

Is this really a good idea? It seems like a huge waste of time trying to get a back-end guy to do the front-end and vice-versa when there is already someone there dedicated to it and more educated on it.

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remysparks in Montgomery, Alabama

44 months ago

dhinged in Salt Lake City, Utah said: I've seen a disturbing increase in the number of job postings asking for advanced PHP skillsets (object-oriented and framework programming), MySQL database administration, and advanced CSS and Photoshop skills in the same job. I just recently got hired at a place that not only wants me to code in a PHP framework, handle database administration, and cut up PSD's from Photoshop and create the HTML and CSS layout (and they use advanced CSS, which I'm not very familiar with).

The problem is that it takes me longer to cut up PSD's and create CSS layout than it would say someone who actually went to school and got a degree in design, or somebody who has focused on those aspects for most of their career. I have focused on the aforementioned PHP and database aspects, and I would never expect a designer to do framework manipulation or create tables.

Is this really a good idea? It seems like a huge waste of time trying to get a back-end guy to do the front-end and vice-versa when there is already someone there dedicated to it and more educated on it.

It's funny I was noticing the same thing about a week ago. I worked for a company for 5 years and when I started it was clear that if you where a back-end developer you worked on back-end stuff (PHP, Mysql, etc), and if you where a front-end developer you worked on front-end stuff(HTML, CSS, JavaScript). Now it looks like you're expected to do everything from front-end to back-end. And like you, I'm pretty fluent in back-end development but a bit slower with the front end stuff. And for the longest I kept thinking who are these developers that can do it all are. It's kind of crazy what companies expect now a days

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AppsDev in West Warwick, Rhode Island

43 months ago

As an Apps Developer with more than 15 years in the business I have witnessed how Designers (originating in print) adopted the web, took on front-end coding (to get better pay), and not are retracting from any *coding* as they have established themselves as *web designers*. Why code if you don't have too is the attitude these days, "I'm a creative person". In opposite, App Developers are being redefined as the guys who make it work (all of it) from front to back. If you have this wide body of knowledge you will have greater ability to secure employment (and keep it) these days. My daily tasks involve - writing OO PHP, MySQL (and other) DB schema, JQuery, CSS3/5, XHTML, XML, XSLT, cURL, ... and working in Photoshop, Fireworks, Illustrator, InDesign. As such, I can be relied on to build the entire app independent from outside influence. While there are plenty of Agile and Scrum shops out there, I'm seeing a movement where an Apps Developer is being asked to *own* the entire application. Design it, build it, sell it, market it. That said, the rewards are much bigger. Above top pay for the industry, and profit bonuses. This has been my experience for the last 5-6 years.

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John in Chicago, Illinois

42 months ago

This is why American internet business will soon stall and collapse just like the rest of American business models have.

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charlie in Flower Mound, Texas

41 months ago

i think this is happening because most of the freelancing community has been doing this for a while. they code and also do front-end.

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dhinged in Salt Lake City, Utah

41 months ago

I perfectly understand learning new tools to broaden my skillset, but the problem is that more and more job listings are for master-of-all-trade guys... it diminishes the quality you get out of both front-end and back-end at the least, and something like marketing is a totally different mindset than engineering. I guess I'll be expecting to build a website from the server to the database to the PHP to the design to the marketing to the sales to the customer service... might as well give me a mop and a high-rise office, because I'll be running the company from the janitor's closet!

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Rick R. in Boca Raton, Florida

40 months ago

Yes, it seems that this recession is truly getting employers to get more out of their employees. Before either you were a developer or a designer. Now employers expect you to be both, which it is true, without the proper training or experience you tend to take longer doing those things that you were not originally trained for and you might not do it right.

I hope things do get better because there is a growing trend for designers and developers to have to do tricks in order to get a job.

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Dainius in Klaipeda, Lithuania

31 months ago

charlie in Flower Mound, Texas said: i think this is happening because most of the freelancing community has been doing this for a while. they code and also do front-end.

Usually, they re-outsource :)
I in freelancer business for several years, and know lots of "dark sides" of freelancing.
Most of those freelancers either use simple slice export in Photoshop, or hires some guy, "doing" slicing for $10. As a rule, their code is absolutely ugly, and not compatible with W3C.
Usually they even don't know what is "pixel-perfect" slicing.

And a customer simply does not know anything about that.

I agree, that companies may do programming+design.
That's just one side of my opinion.
Here is another....

I've been programming over 6 years.
Comparing those years I just can tell, that nowadays there are much more new technologies.
So you, programmers, learn jquery,html5 etc. but cannot learn slicing?
It sound a little bit strange. How then you will create a correct output in templates, for example?

But I agree, that a good programmer hardly is a good designer.
A good programmer MAY do a good slicing, but not a design, I think.
Personally I slice over 4 years, and do not see problems doing slicing + programming.
But... not for $20...

Thats only my opinion.

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dhinged in Salt Lake City, Utah

31 months ago

Dainius in Klaipeda, Lithuania said:
So you, programmers, learn jquery,html5 etc. but cannot learn slicing?
It sound a little bit strange. How then you will create a correct output in templates, for example?

It's not about whether I can or can't do slicing or anything else a designer can do, it's the fact that we're expected to do more and more in other fields that were dedicated to more specialized people. The problem with this is I can't do as well a job as somebody who went to school and specialized in design and theory and the tools and the proper way to do things; it's not only a piece of my time but also a change in mindset. Programmers tend to think in the "make it work" mindset whereas designers tend to think in the "make it look good" mindset. Database engineers think architecturally while systems administrators think in a security and maintenance mindset. It's like having the cake guy do the butchering and the cashier do marketing. Sure you need them all to make a cohesive whole, but just because they're related doesn't mean one person should learn everything. It just seems like skill creep because companies are too lazy to forge a quality product and job-seekers are too desperate to take whatever comes down the pike.

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remysparks in Alpharetta, Georgia

31 months ago

@dhinged That was a awesome reply. Specially about "the cake guy do the butchering and the cashier do marketing".

Thank you

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