Top Ten Frustrations For the Web Developer

In recent weeks I have met web developers who have just finished the most difficult project of their life. I have met others who have an enthusiastic spring in their step. They have just begun a new project! The former group just finished “surviving” some very large frustration. The latter group may be a little naive (or have forgotten) about the challenges ahead of them.

Here are the Top Ten Frustrations for Web Developers

  1. Lack of Requirements – We have all been there. A client wants you to build the most glamorous website in the world, but can’t put down on paper the specifics. They use generic words like marvelous and stupendous but cannot define for you how they want the drop down menus to look.
  2. Changing Requirements – Everyone changes their mind. But how much is too much? Does your current requirements document resemble anything close to the original? Chasing the wind is the most brutal exercise you can put yourself through.
  3. Designers who do not know what goes into coding – Most people do not realize that designers and developers are different. Designers do an excellent job with color and placement. They offer creativity and spontaneity. But do they realize what they are actually saying when they hand over the design and say those ominous words: “Build This!”. Anything can look great in a PSD. It is quite another to make it functional.
  4. Somersaults trying to make the CSS work – CSS is a wonderful tool for styling websites. Has anyone wanted to put their fist through the monitor over wacky behavior in their CSS file? How bout when that CSS file was written by someone else? Yeah.
  5. Pride in work Overwritten by customer complaint – Just like a little child with a new toy, you come to the user meeting with all enthusiastic thrill over the work you have toiled over the last three weeks. The meeting ends when your clients have spent the last sixty minutes criticizing your beautiful creation.
  6. Unrealistic Timelines – Similar to number three. But add, “Build This, in two weeks.” Yeah. Right. Timelines are legitimate. They help people focus. They help us make decisions. Unrealistic timelines put unfair stress and burden on individuals. Plus the end product will usually look horrible.
  7. Overforgiving Bosses – Ever have a boss so lax that he wouldn’t even hold you to a deadline? Or even hold users accountable for creating all that wonderful content for the snazzy new website? Is that person really a boss?
  8. Overbearing Bosses – On the other hand, having your boss in your cube either wrenching his hands over the status of your work or worse, micromanaging it, just might make you want to quit.
  9. Competing visions – Two super users. One design document. Two competing visions. Not fun. It is funny how two people seem to agree to something on paper but in reality have two incompatible visions of the final product. (hint: mockups help here!)
  10. The wrong tools – Ever spin your wheels trying to resize images or find that one line of code in pages of HTML? Sometimes the problem is not you. It is the tools you are using. Take time to find the right tools to help you accomplish your tasks effectively and efficiently.