The Old Webmaster is New Again


Rusted Train wheels

The other day I was browsing through various online job boards looking for contracts or longer-term work, as you do.

It was becoming apparent that the wheel is starting to turn full circle. The days of the specialist maybe waning, as the generalist takes hold again.

Back Yesterday

Remember back at the start of the web (1994-95) when you had one person doing the development, design, analysis and devops for a website.  Oh the “good old days”

Apt the websites weren’t that complex, back then, but to counter that the tools we have now where just non-existent.

And we used to call them Webmasters – god I hated that term. There was always something wrong, dirty or just plain stupid about it.

Anyway you had to be across all areas especially the back end, front end development and design components. This did have it’s advantages, but on the downside it did cause bottlenecks in processing.

It was a time of some very weird designs and concepts until the HTML-Table slicing mob with their Killer websites arrived. A little like mobile now.

And Today

Today we have positions appearing demanding skill lists that are basically the same, give or take a little.

Development, mobile, web, front-end, visual design, understanding of UX, requirements gathering, devops experience are being rolled up into one position.

This type of legendary person clearly isn’t going to be a champion at all these areas. However taking with some recruiters, it doesn’t matter, there is a demand.

Usually they are called UX developer / devops. As if the UX is now just shorthand for UX and UI and design.


What’s next “UX plumbers” or “UX Hairdressers”. Clearly the UX (User Experience) brand and even just the “Experience” brand is well and truly overused and dead.

Still it’s interesting how in an effort to save costs, companies are looking again for generalists.  Wheels are a turning.

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  1. This sounds great to me. I have recently been moved to UX from a “webmaster” type role on the grounds that a webmaster is all very 1990’s, and much as I like design, I miss the coding! I don’t like handing over my work to a “developer” and asking them to do it, or having to log a request for every little change (typo in the HTML title anyone? 30 second job for me vs log a request, get it prioritised, get it on a schedule of work).

    I, too, have started to notice “bit of everything” jobs appearing again – and I am looking forward to getting back to one.

  2. Hi Laura

    Maybe you should look at the UX of the change request system, as that is clearly not built for continuous delivery.

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