Once again we have found ourselves working to save some web sites abandoned by their developer. What’s going on out there? Bad code, bad business practices, bad choices, really bad communication. Is it time to turn web development in to a real profession with standards and certification like doctors and lawyers and contractors? I don’t know. I certainly don’t know what the mechanisms are for creating such a system. And I certainly don’t mind helping people clean up after the mess they made (clients are always somewhat at fault in these fiascos one way or another).
But maybe there’s a market out there for salvaging sinking web projects after all. I half facetiously mentioned this in an earlier post. One commenter suggested that there is no guarantee the fixer would do nothing more than make matters worse. Of course, that’s true of any profession.
Sometimes these salvage projects have more to do with hosting services than development so that stretches into another service that may need some regulation or certification. How do you know if a company is trustworthy until things start to go really wrong? And most site owners do not have enough technical understanding toÂ discern a quality service at a good value from one that is not.
On a whim I registered webemts.com (for web emergency medical technicians) and stuck Drupal on there. No content yet. But it’s a whim. I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks of this idea.
“…there are a ton of old websites that could benefit from such a service.”
By “a ton,” Steven probably means “millions.”
Me bad. I’m guilty.
more to come….
I still peek in on the blog every now and again – great stuff.
I definitely think there are a ton of old websites that could benefit from such a service. I know I’ve gone through and re-written a few things of mine over the years as my skills mature. I’ve even done a little work taking normal sites (no programming behind them) and recasting them into a CMS like ModX or Drupal, giving the site owners a new ability to maintain their own sites.
The new programming environments (I’m learning Ruby on Rails, but I still prefer CakePHP) enforce better code decisions, too. While I won’t say it’s the “fault” of the programming language, newer development environments force good team design and maintainability decisions, like separating logic from layout, proper object and data models, etc.
It’s also a field where paradigms change so quickly that it takes real effort to keep up. Web development is becoming more and more demanding overall, but the amount of power that web applications can harness is just amazing.
Great idea. An informational place for site owners who would like to limp to an ambulance.
Perhaps a “triage” page would be in order, in which website experts could look at submitted sites and chime in with suggestions.