Web Development is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Nearly every day some new product or development turns the whole scene on it’s head. Just a dozen years ago, the thought of being a web developer was less than promising for most folks. Today, that’s quite different.
There’s a huge catch in all of this though. Web developers are quite possibly the dumbest professionals on the earth. No other industry sees it’s standard salaries and income vary as much as the web development industry. Imagine trying to pick between one lawyer who charges $300 / hr, or one that charges $10 / hr. The cheaper one sounds enticing, but we all know you usually get what you pay for.
That’s the trouble with the web. Because so many developers are willing to provide services for next to nothing (for a variety of reasons), the entire industry suffers. There’s just not much consistency in what people expect to pay for professional web dev services.
And now, professional companies are starting to get into this mindset as well. As I’ve been trolling for steady jobs, I’ve seen tons of positions open for senior web developers that pay $15 to $20 / hr.
That’s an insultingly low rate to pay a senior web developer. The skill-set and intelligence required to perform solid web development duties is typically on par with my own background in structural and civil engineering. This stuff is complicated, and $15 / hr isn’t reflective of the skill required to successfully create and implement a good web app.
So, what will likely happen, is good paying jobs will be more geocentric to tech hubs throughout the country (New York, San Francisco, etc..), and the remaining web development work will be limited to implementations of the products that come out of those areas.
The variety that’s made the web so intriguing for years, will likely fade to a much more bland version of the web, filled with millions of cookie-cutter websites about uninteresting products and services.
It’s frustrating, because even some of my closest friends feel the need to undercut their services to get work. My own colleagues and buddies are helping to enforce the unsustainability of our own careers.