Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Web Designer Role

Link to online job advert

The job I have seen advertised is for a front end web designer/developer based in Leeds. Though it is listed as an advert for a ‘Web Designer’, the description includes everything from design and development to maintaining and updating existing websites, as well as communicating with clients in order to understand their web requirements and to explain technical issues in a way that they can understand.

In terms of specific technical skills, the job requires knowledge of and experience with the following: CSS, (X)HTML, JavaScript, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. I have made a good start on mastering these skills, but am aware that I need a lot more hands on practice to gain confidence and professional working knowledge of these elements. I plan to develop my ability in these technical skills and to show how I can use them effectively in this current assignment and future projects.

I’ve noticed that this advert specifically states that all websites from this organisation are required to abide by W3C standards. This makes me appreciate the process of showing validation on the website work we are doing on this course as this is a web design standard expected in industry.

There are a few skills listed in this job advert that I do not yet have. One core skill requirement is Flash. I hope to have a chance to learn Flash, if not on this course then on my own or on an evening course. Not only does there seem to be a demand for it, but it also looks interesting to me.

The job also requires an understanding of online marketing tools such as SEO and PPC. While I have not yet had experience with these, I hope there will be a chance to learn about these types of tools. Additionally, although it’s not mentioned in this particular job advert, I’ve seen ads requiring Content Managing Systems (CMS) such WordPress and so look forward to learning this as well.

Finally, this job mentions Fireworks and Quark as desirable, though not strictly necessary. Obviously, the more technical knowledge I have, the better equipped I will be to find employment.

One current concern of mine is whether I should purchase a Mac. This job specifies both Mac and PC familiarity. To date I have always used PCs. I have noticed that many job adverts seem to require both. If not having a Mac means that I won’t be able to get a job, then I might need to consider it as an investment and overcome the cost issue.

The job also specifies other less technical skills that may not be as easy to demonstrate. According to the advert, this position would involve interaction with clients which would require both listening to understand their website requirements and the ability to explain technical issues, both verbally and in writing. While I have had to rely on my communication skills working with others on this course, I am also hoping to draw on my experience in other jobs to date for these less technical skills.

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