Hello IT'ers – WebDev is dead.

Greatest Hits album cover
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been trying to evangelize this for a while, but from an IT perspective…the traditional Web Development department is dead.  Game over, good-night, turn off the lights the party is over.

Who is responsible?  Who killed the WebDev star?  Blog/CMS Platforms.  Apps like Drupal, WordPress, MindTouch‘s DekiWiki and even SharePoint.

If you are not using one of these platforms in your day-to-day, you’re way behind.  Platforms give the power to the people and that means instead of the marketing department making changes to the web copy in Word, then emailing to a WebDev, waiting 2 days – they can log on and change it themselves.

Flashback:

Remember the 80’s?  You know hair bands, Flashdance and mainframes.  Computers were located deep int he bowls of many companies – there were a few very nerdy, pocket-protected, dudes running around entering data into the big iron.  They were commonly called “computer operators” and they were the chief cook and bottle washer in the sense they did everything to the computer.

Shrinking demand and tough competition caused a shakeout in the market in the early 1980s

Wikipedia: Mainframe computer

The old mainframe
Image by Carrick via Flickr

Then came the 90’s – MC Hammer, Zip disks and the PC on every desktop.  Oh yea baby, life was good.  Mainframes were dead, it was all about desktop computers and fax machines.  Computer operators had to make a choice – new opportunities were afoot in the IT department and they needed to choose between  software development or networking.  We saw the first job split in the computer job industry.

Back to Today:
The web is the new desktop.  WebDev’s are the new computer operators who must make a choice to head to the marketing/creative department and become theme and template builders for these CMS/blog platforms – or head towards IT and become widget and API developers.

A comparison

Then: A Web department staffer would copy and paste all the stories from InCopy to into our CMS each night. It was pure shovelware: No outbound links, no related stories listed at the end of the story, no Web-first mindset.

Now: Copy editors who edit the stories also upload them to the Web, allowing us to make time for adding hyperlinks and related story boxes. Plus, stories get posted hours earlier than before.

from Emily Ingram: “Copy editors take on web duties: Lessons from Day 1

Alot of this is very relevant in the industry I work – media.  We have to take out the bottleneck (current WebDev system) and replace it with a new methodology. This is the crossroads we stand at.  Hopefully your IT deaprtment is ready to embrace the change and give a small, simple service to the old WebDev and a new hello and welcome party to a new generation of web.

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