Re: College Corriculum (Was "Start with HTML or XHTML?")

by "Paul Wilson" <webguroo(at)>

 Date:  Mon, 18 Mar 2002 13:59:25 -0800
 To:  <jami(at)>,
 References:  dnsdomain
  todo: View Thread, Original
> They always say, when you ask a question and don't get an answer, maybe
> you aren't asking the right question. So let me try this approach:
> What skills do you all think a web designer needs to make it in today's
> business?

 Sorry this is late, too many lists, not enough time.

Do you just want to do business, or do you want to succeed?  I think there
are several hidden talents that really help a web developer/designer that
nobody talks about.

Salesmanship - The ability to sell yourself to a customer.  There are a lot
of folks that can do great work that are still selling burgers or parking
cars.  Working in a retail setting (store) and working on your selling
techniques helps you have confidence to sell yourself to stangers and gives
you an idea of some of the hassles of doing business.

English - Most websites suffer in this department.  Not enough content and
much of it poorly written.  Editing your own work is very difficult so it
really helps if you know how to write.  Build websites like you would write
a college paper.  lay it out starting with a one paragraph statement with
the purpose of the site, follow this with an outline, think about the
navigation and flow of the site and make a storyboard of the basic look.

Experience - It helps to have several sites under your belt to show what you
can do.... but nobody wants to hire you unless you have experience.  How do
you get experience without being hired?   The answer is to do some sites for
free.  Find a church looking for someone to build their website, check with
local clubs and organizations.  Then offer to build a site or two for small
businesses.  Once you have a portfolio, you are more marketable and feel
better about your ability.

Business sense - some things just don't work on the net.  You can't sell
furniture to someone in New York if the product is in San Diego.  The
shipping would be more than the purchase price.  You also won't find many
dollar stores on the net.  Too little profit for the shipping hassle.

 - Items that are difficult to support are not good either.  You want to
sell items that require no support and have no returns.  Thats a tall order.

 - Competition can kill you too.  I ALWAYS scope out similar sites to see
how hard it will be to excell in the Search Engine game.

Thats a start.

Paul Wilson

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