Dec 2, 2008

Death of web developer

Traditionally web application development has required web developer(s) and database developer(s).

Those web developers are dying or already dead now.

They're being replaced by a new breed of "web application developers" who can do much more than their predecessors. This new specie can develop a web application from A to Z... from top to bottom. They possess not only the typical web development skills but also enough database skills to crank out a web application of simple to medium complexity all by themselves.

This trend is here to stay... When I look back, till about 2 - 3 years ago all development teams needed a database developer; now some teams build an application without a database specialist.

There are many reasons for this shift including maturity in technologists (polyskilled) and technology (abstraction of database in frameworks like Ruby on Rails) etc.


  1. Well said Prasoon. As the technologies mature, we are seeing a new breed of developers who are 'Jack of all trades and master of ONE'. For instance, the new breed of web developers a expert in web technologies and possess just enough skill on database design, automated testing and automated deployment etc.

    However, this point of staffing generalist vs specialists depends on the context. Say of instance, you are developing an online credit payment system, where the Data Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability (I call it CIA) is paramount, would you not staff a database expert?


  2. Absolutely LD. This isn't a general rule that we can apply universally.

    When we build applications with complex database structures etc. we will need to staff our database engineers.

    Can we apply the 80-20 rule here? Aren't most applications we develop simple enough to deploy "web application developers" without the database specialists?