A List Apart web design survey results

17 Oct 2007 - 7:51pm
6 years ago
24 replies
977 reads
Daniel Yang
2007

Not sure if people have noticed this survey from A List Apart that
was published yesterday. It's an annual survey on skills, titles,
geography, salary, hours, etc. in web design.

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/2007surveyresults

I'm curious as to people's thoughts of the results.

- Dan

Comments

17 Oct 2007 - 9:16pm
ELISABETH HUBERT
2007

I did see the results. Although I didn't get to go through them in more
details, I did notice that most of the people who participated were younger
and a lot of them were just starting out. I really noticed how many male
participants there were as compared to female. I knew that there would be
more, but I didn't think it would be almost 3 - 4 times. I'm not sure what
the survey is supposed to convey to be honest.

On 10/17/07, Daniel Yang <dan at danielyang.com> wrote:
>
> Not sure if people have noticed this survey from A List Apart that
> was published yesterday. It's an annual survey on skills, titles,
> geography, salary, hours, etc. in web design.
>
> http://www.alistapart.com/articles/2007surveyresults
>
> I'm curious as to people's thoughts of the results.
>
> - Dan
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help
>

18 Oct 2007 - 7:54am
Shareta Barnes
2006

I took a look at the results and thought they weren't probably a very
good sampling since I think the mass of them were A List Apart readers
which would greatly influence the results.

I for one am female, black, between the age range of 25-32, work in a
corporation as an Internet Marketing Specialist (what?), and have 7
years of web work experience... I am pretty much no where in their
results.

By the way, Internet Marketing Specialist apparently means Web
Designer to the corporation I work for. Who knew.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=21616

18 Oct 2007 - 9:04am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

I agree that the sample set is skewed towards ALA readers.. but they
got over 32,000 responses. That's a pretty good number. And really,
most people working on the web read ALA. I, and most people in my
office, fill out the survey every year.

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 05:54:03, Shareta Barnes <shareta at gmail.com> wrote:
> I took a look at the results and thought they weren't probably a very
> good sampling since I think the mass of them were A List Apart readers
> which would greatly influence the results.
>
> I for one am female, black, between the age range of 25-32, work in a
> corporation as an Internet Marketing Specialist (what?), and have 7
> years of web work experience... I am pretty much no where in their
> results.

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

18 Oct 2007 - 10:30am
Caroline Jarrett
2007

From: "Matthew Nish-Lapidus" <mattnl at gmail.com>

:I agree that the sample set is skewed towards ALA readers.. but they
: got over 32,000 responses. That's a pretty good number. And
really,
: most people working on the web read ALA. I, and most people in my
: office, fill out the survey every year.

Hmm. ALA says "close to 33,000 responses", but there's no hint about
how the survey was conducted or what the sampling method was. I'm
assuming that ALA posted a link and anyone who chose could fill it in.

So, we don't know what proportion of ALA readers chose to respond.
Therefore, it's quite likely that there is some non-response bias:
that is, people who chose to respond are different to people who chose
not to respond.

It's probably fair enough to treat ALA readers as a proxy for web
designers in general. Or is it? What do people on this list think? And
would we draw a distinction between people who occasionally read an
ALA article (and therefore are fairly unlikely to have seen this
survey) and regular readers who had enough time to respond to the
survey?

I'm guessing that regular ALA readers with enough time to respond are
likely to be people with a bit more time on their hands in general.
That might well affect some of the reported results e.g. hours worked
and having a personal web site/blog.

If we don't know how many people there are in the population and we
don't know whether those who responded are different to those who
didn't and we don't know whether the people in the population who had
a chance to respond are an accurate reflection of the overall
population (sorry if I seem to be drowning a bit here)... then it
doesn't really matter how many responses. The stats are shot anyway.

Having said all that, there's some 'face validity' in anything that
gathers together a lot of data. Meaning, it seems good if you don't
look too closely. If you're planning to use this data in a salary
discussion with a boss, then I'd suggest you also consider the
statistical knowledge (or lack of it) of the boss.

Aside: slightly longer article by me on the topic of response rates:
http://www.usabilitynews.com/news/article4209.asp

Best

Caroline Jarrett
caroline.jarrett at effortmark.co.uk
01525 370379

Effortmark Ltd
Usability - Forms - Content

18 Oct 2007 - 12:33pm
Katie Albers
2005

32,000 responses means that the number of people entering the field
is increasing. Look at the data on how much experience those
respondents had!

At the least, this means that whereas the salary numbers provide a
good guide for people with relatively few years experience, their
validity goes out the window as you get more years.

It doesn't really take adequate notice of the variety of titles for
positions in the field (*my* first title was "Interactive Media
Design Engineer" -- I think, and the reason for that was so they'd be
able to pay me on the significantly higher Engineering salary scale).
That was ~15 years ago.

As far as reading ALA, well, I check it out when I have a particular
issue I want to investigate, but I don't have anything like enough
time to stay current on all the blogs and lists that touch on my
field.

Anyway...I think this is an extremely valuable resource --
particularly at the lower end of the experience scale...but I'd be
careful about relying on it too heavily once you get a few years
experience under your belt.

Katie
At 10:04 AM -0400 10/18/07, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:
>I agree that the sample set is skewed towards ALA readers.. but they
>got over 32,000 responses. That's a pretty good number. And really,
>most people working on the web read ALA. I, and most people in my
>office, fill out the survey every year.
>
>
>On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 05:54:03, Shareta Barnes <shareta at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I took a look at the results and thought they weren't probably a very
>> good sampling since I think the mass of them were A List Apart readers
>> which would greatly influence the results.
>>
>> I for one am female, black, between the age range of 25-32, work in a
>> corporation as an Internet Marketing Specialist (what?), and have 7
>> years of web work experience... I am pretty much no where in their
> > results.

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

18 Oct 2007 - 10:38am
Scott McDaniel
2007

On Thu, 18 Oct 2007 05:54:03, Shareta Barnes <shareta at gmail.com> wrote:
> By the way, Internet Marketing Specialist apparently means Web
> Designer to the corporation I work for. Who knew.

No necessary reflection on your company or position, but the title
makes it sound like how many companies have viewed the web - it's like
an advertising flyer for your computer!
;)
Scott
--
"Don't just survive while waiting for someone's revolution to clear your head -
act as if you were already free - but take the risk, dance before you
calcify." - Hakim Bey

19 Oct 2007 - 11:48am
Christopher Fahey
2005

> It's probably fair enough to treat ALA readers as a proxy for web
> designers in general. Or is it? What do people on this list think?

I don't agree with the premise exactly. There are two kinds of web
design professionals in the world: People who read ALA at least
occasionally, and people who I would never want to work with. I would
guess that the vast majority of web designers fall in that latter
category, in fact, so ALA is a bad proxy for web designers in
general, but a better proxy for web designers who Chris Fahey thinks
are worthy. Wow, do I sound like a snob or what?

Anyway, I also question how many people fill out surveys like this,
even among ALA readers. I actually did this survey, but only to see
what the questions were like so I could properly interpret the
results when they came out.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

19 Oct 2007 - 12:54pm
Mark Schraad
2006

On Friday, October 19, 2007, at 12:50PM, "Christopher Fahey" <chris.fahey at behaviordesign.com> wrote:

There are two kinds of web
>design professionals in the world: People who read ALA at least
>occasionally, and people who I would never want to work with. I would
>guess that the vast majority of web designers fall in that latter
>category, in fact, so ALA is a bad proxy for web designers in
>general, but a better proxy for web designers who Chris Fahey thinks
>are worthy. Wow, do I sound like a snob or what?

You have to draw the line somewhere. ;-)

20 Oct 2007 - 7:44am
Steve Baty
2009

I haven't gone through the survey results in any detail yet, but in response
to the question: do ALA readers provide a representative sample of the
world's Web designers the short answer is: almost certainly not. They did
get 33,000 responses (which is a decent number), but doesn't change the fact
that you already have one bias in place at the outset.

So, the question to ask is: with respect to the questions being asked, is
there any reason to believe ALA readers would answer differently to non ALA
readers.

Steve
----------------------------------------------
Steve 'Doc' Baty B.Sc (Maths), M.EC, MBA
Director, User Experience Strategy
Red Square
P: +612 8289 4930
M: +61 417 061 292

Member, UPA - www.upassoc.org
Member, IxDA - www.ixda.org
Member, Web Standards Group - www.webstandardsgroup.org

20 Oct 2007 - 12:58pm
Todd Warfel
2003

I'm curious why you would:

a) Think ALA readers don't represent a representative sample of the
world's Web designers
b) Assume that all 33,000 of the respondents were only ALA readers–do
we know how many respondants are regular, occasional, or non-readers
of ALA?
c) Think there is already a bias at the outset–I'm curious which bias
you're speaking of? That they're responding to a survey constructed
by ALA, or another bias?

True random sampling for research is realistically non-existent. A
goal of good research should be to try and reduce that bias as much
as possible, or at least reduce it to an acceptable level.

On Oct 20, 2007, at 8:44 AM, Steve Baty wrote:

> [...] do ALA readers provide a representative sample of the world's
> Web designers the short answer is: almost certainly not. They did
> get 33,000 responses (which is a decent number), but doesn't change
> the fact that you already have one bias in place at the outset.
>
> So, the question to ask is: with respect to the questions being
> asked, is there any reason to believe ALA readers would answer
> differently to non ALA readers.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

20 Oct 2007 - 4:43pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

> I'm curious why you would:
> a) Think ALA readers don't represent a representative sample of the
> world's Web designers

As I said before, based on my personal experience interviewing
hundreds of web designers, IAs, managers, and developers, and working
with clients with deeply-entrenched and insulated design and
development teams, I believe that there's an enormous majority of web
workers whose familiarity with online professional publications of
any kind, much less forward-looking forums like ALA, is practically
*zero*. I always ask job interviewees what sites they read to stay up
to date, and more than half can't even answer the question at all.

ALA is still a niche product. Most in-house development teams have
only in the last year or so learned what standards-based coding even
means (table-based sites are still the norm for most enterprise
sites). SEO companies still make millions recommending seemingly-
clever things that ALA readers have known and practiced for half a
decade.

In my experience, easily a majority of people who are designing pages
and writing code never read any web sites about web design and
development, never attend conferences, never read blogs. Most people
learn everything they know at their jobs.

Call me cynical (and I have no basis for this beyond my personal
experiences), but you and I and everyone on this list are already
part of profoundly exclusive group. For every IA on this mailing
list, there are dozens more who make wireframes and flowcharts based
only on what their colleagues and predecessors in their office did,
and who read web sites and blogs only when their bosses and cleverer
colleagues email them links, and who learn new skills only when they
are formally trained at their company's expense.

So yes, I think it's very safe to assume that the ALA's respondents
are not representative of the world's web designers.

That said, I think it's safe to assume that the 33,000 respondents
are pretty representative of the worlds *good* web designers and
developers. Which are the only ones I care about, usually.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

20 Oct 2007 - 6:04pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> I always ask job interviewees what sites they read to stay up
> to date, and more than half can't even answer the question at all.

I've seen this too. Ridiculously sad.

ALA is a resource that obviously a huge number of people know about,
but *if* the survey was taken primarily by people who are familiar
with it, then the results are definitely less than representative of
most people in this profession.

That said, it's hard to imagine 32,000 people all learned about the
survey directly from ALA. Odds are, at least a good chunk of them
learned about it from other bloggers talking about it, or some other
way.

-r-

20 Oct 2007 - 6:28pm
Joseph Selbie
2007

>> I always ask job interviewees what sites they read to stay up
>> to date, and more than half can't even answer the question at all.

>I've seen this too. Ridiculously sad.

I'd be curious to know whether this isn't just human nature. I'd guess that
in every profession most of the professionals are in fact very insulated by
the companies they work for and don't actively follow trends in their
profession online or off. I suspect that the usual pyramid distribution
applies to every profession. Those motivated and interested in continuing to
improve and learn, form the small population at the tip of the pyramid, and
the majority, less motivated (or perhaps they have other compelling life
pursuits) and less interested, form the majority of the middle and base of
the pyramid.

Joseph Selbie
Founder, CEO Tristream
Web Application Design
http://www.tristream.com

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://gamma.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://gamma.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://gamma.ixda.org/help

21 Oct 2007 - 9:49am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 20, 2007, at 5:43 PM, Christopher Fahey wrote:

> [...] In my experience, easily a majority of people who are
> designing pages and writing code never read any web sites about web
> design and development, never attend conferences, never read blogs.
> Most people
> learn everything they know at their jobs.

Similar experience here, except that I would clarify that while they
learn them on their job, any engineer worth their weight in salt I've
ever come across does so by googling and when they google, they're
coming across some of the more well known blogs and on-line resources
like ALA. So, while they might not "follow" one of these, they are at
least engaging with them.

> [...]That said, I think it's safe to assume that the 33,000
> respondents are pretty representative of the worlds *good* web
> designers and developers. Which are the only ones I care about,
> usually.

Agreed.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

21 Oct 2007 - 9:50am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 20, 2007, at 7:04 PM, Robert Hoekman, Jr. wrote:

> That said, it's hard to imagine 32,000 people all learned about the
> survey directly from ALA. Odds are, at least a good chunk of them
> learned about it from other bloggers talking about it, or some
> other way.

This is exactly what I would expect.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

21 Oct 2007 - 9:52am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Oct 20, 2007, at 7:28 PM, Joseph Selbie wrote:

> I'd guess that in every profession most of the professionals are in
> fact very insulated by the companies they work for and don't
> actively follow trends in their profession online or off.

Perhaps this is a difference between innies and outies? Or do those
of you who work for consulting firms also find the same thing in your
colleagues?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

21 Oct 2007 - 10:36am
Joseph Selbie
2007

>>I'd guess that in every profession most of the professionals are in fact
very insulated by the companies they work for and don't actively follow
trends in their profession online or off.

>Perhaps this is a difference between innies and outies? Or do those of you
who work for consulting firms also find the same thing in your colleagues?

My company is quite small and the people I have chosen to work with very
much keep up with trends - if anything, they push me to keep up with them,
rather than the other way around J. I can't say that I know if this is
unusual or normal among consulting firms. I'd guess it to be more normal
since we are always competing for our next project, and any edge in
knowledge we can show can make the difference in whether we win the next bid
or not.

One thing I do know is that our team is always more knowledgeable and
skilled than the in-house teams we come in to support. Initially, I thought
this was because upper management understood their in house team's short
comings and were making a rational decision to augment their teams skills.
But the more I've done this work the more I realize that neither management
nor the in house teams have any idea where they stand skill-wise and
knowledge-wise in relation to industry standards.

Joseph Selbie

Founder, CEO Tristream

Web Application Design

http://www.tristream.com

21 Oct 2007 - 12:19pm
Mark Schraad
2006

From the inside perspective, and a bit tangental, it seems much more
difficult to attract and retain talent. Vertical product divisions
tend to want 'control', meaning that they want dedicated long term
professional working on their product and only their product. For
most designer, this is not an optimal situation. In my situation we
must constantly justify our independence as a shared services group.
Our frequent challenges to the business' decisions frustrate them.
There lives would be simpler if we were directly under and reported
to them. But their product quality would most certainly be degraded.

In addition to the difficulty attracting and retaining talent, the
resources for staying on top of the profession (time, money, travel)
seem to me more scarce. That may to some extent be because employee
visibility is perceived as less important. But most managers see
conferences as a place for employees to network themselves and be
visible. This is a terrible perspective.

One last point - many designers are not motivated to participate in
their profession's dialog. They were done learning when they got
their first job out of school and are busy doing (an old school craft
approach). This obviously extends well beyond design. With all
sensitivity to those displaced, I've recently heard many in the tech
industry complain as they are laid off from dead or dying product
divisions. Obviously we can't read the minds of upper level execs,
but staying apprised of industry, market and professional trends is
not only part of our job, it is common sense.

Mark

On Oct 21, 2007, at 10:52 AM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

>
> On Oct 20, 2007, at 7:28 PM, Joseph Selbie wrote:
>
>> I'd guess that in every profession most of the professionals are in
>> fact very insulated by the companies they work for and don't
>> actively follow trends in their profession online or off.
>
> Perhaps this is a difference between innies and outies? Or do those
> of you who work for consulting firms also find the same thing in your
> colleagues?
>

21 Oct 2007 - 5:13pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

I've encountered a disturbingly high number of web professionals, be
they designers or developers, in the agency world who don't know
anything about the industry at large.

A lot of people see this as a job, like all other jobs. .. however, if
they're any good at all, or have any passion for their work, they
quickly learn about resources like ALA. The ones that don't have a
hard time keeping up and in the end work on low end projects, or have
a hard time finding work at all.

Like a few people have mentioned, I always ask interviewees what
websites they read, and a good answer goes a long way to getting the
job. Conversely, a bad answer really makes me wonder why this person
wants the job in the first place.

Passionate workers == good work. And passionate web workers read
websites/blogs about our profession.

On 10/21/07, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>
> On Oct 20, 2007, at 7:28 PM, Joseph Selbie wrote:
>
> > I'd guess that in every profession most of the professionals are in
> > fact very insulated by the companies they work for and don't
> > actively follow trends in their profession online or off.
>
> Perhaps this is a difference between innies and outies? Or do those
> of you who work for consulting firms also find the same thing in your
> colleagues?

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

21 Oct 2007 - 6:47pm
sgururaj
2007

I agree with you that its important for anyone not to box themselves and be active in learning about trends in their field.
However another aspect about keeping up with the trends is that on occasion I have noticed that once you have learnt something new or exciting there is a strong inclination to try and use it in your next project or influence your peers to try it out. It's a fantastic thing and the whole point of doing it.
....... Till you take it to management :-) ... Take the case of AJAX for example its a wonderful thing and I am sure we all appreciate what it can do. Now the reality in order to change our existing stuff to AJAX is a political nightmare. So yeah I know AJAX and lots of cool things. While I get personal satisfaction and will continue learning new stuff the sad part I cant use it much. Same with Web 2.0 I guess.
Probably the professionals you mention are at the point where they are like "why bother...this too shall pass"
-Seema

21 Oct 2007 - 7:20pm
Katie Albers
2005

Since I get a few hundred email every day which require actual
responses, and there are also people who expect to do -- you know --
work, the time I have to spend on resources like ALA is tightly
limited. It's one of a few places where I check in periodically so
things don't get away from me and I use it and other sites as
resources if I run into problems or terms I don't understand... but
this is starting to sound like some of you expect the people you work
with to stay 100% current with whatever it says, all the time and to
me that brings up the problem of making assessments of how to spend
one's time most usefully.

I'm not clear when staying up-to-date on A List Apart became a proxy
for staying up-to-date with our field, but it sounds like a false
comparison to me. Of course the last list I read in its entirety
every day was the NCSA's list of "today's new web sites" and that's
loooooong gone.

In any case, frankly the entire thread is taking on a thoroughly
unpleasant note of superiority and absolutism. Can we experiment with
the idea that serious, professional people prefer different resources
for almost every purpose.

Furthermore, if there are a "disturbingly high number of web
professionals" who don't follow ALA, I'd say that's a pretty good
argument for the data being skewed by the venue.

Katie

At 6:13 PM -0400 10/21/07, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:
>I've encountered a disturbingly high number of web professionals, be
>they designers or developers, in the agency world who don't know
>anything about the industry at large.
>
>A lot of people see this as a job, like all other jobs. .. however, if
>they're any good at all, or have any passion for their work, they
>quickly learn about resources like ALA. The ones that don't have a
>hard time keeping up and in the end work on low end projects, or have
>a hard time finding work at all.
>
>Like a few people have mentioned, I always ask interviewees what
>websites they read, and a good answer goes a long way to getting the
>job. Conversely, a bad answer really makes me wonder why this person
>wants the job in the first place.
>
>Passionate workers == good work. And passionate web workers read
>websites/blogs about our profession.
>
>
>On 10/21/07, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Oct 20, 2007, at 7:28 PM, Joseph Selbie wrote:
>>
>> > I'd guess that in every profession most of the professionals are in
>> > fact very insulated by the companies they work for and don't
>> > actively follow trends in their profession online or off.
>>
>> Perhaps this is a difference between innies and outies? Or do those
>> of you who work for consulting firms also find the same thing in your
>> colleagues?
>
>--
>Matt Nish-Lapidus
>email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
>++
>LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
>Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

--

----------------
Katie Albers
katie at firstthought.com

21 Oct 2007 - 7:51pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

Hi,

On 10/21/07, Katie Albers <katie at firstthought.com> wrote:
[snip]
> this is starting to sound like some of you expect the people you work
> with to stay 100% current with whatever it says, all the time and to
> me that brings up the problem of making assessments of how to spend
> one's time most usefully.

ALA only posts new content every few week, and then it's only one or
two articles... so reading just ALA is not a huge time investment.

That being said, I have an RSS feed of 10-15 blogs/sites related to my
job that I read daily, as time permits. This is where I learn 99% of
new techniques and advancements going on in the industry. Using the
information from these site is what enables me to build great sites
for our clients. The web moves fast and staying current is a big part
of my job.

If I'm working with a developer and they tell me something can't be
done, generally (and i mean *generally*) it's because they aren't
doing their research.

> I'm not clear when staying up-to-date on A List Apart became a proxy
> for staying up-to-date with our field, but it sounds like a false
> comparison to me. [snip]

In the context of this thread, it did become a proxy.. and I agree, it
is a false comparison. I think the conversation just moved in that
direction.

> In any case, frankly the entire thread is taking on a thoroughly
> unpleasant note of superiority and absolutism. Can we experiment with
> the idea that serious, professional people prefer different resources
> for almost every purpose.

I don't think anybody is implying that you have to read specifically
ALA to be a good web designer/developer. My comments are more
general, and refer to many different resources, sites, and books.
Again, the thread has turned into a discussion about staying current
rather than about ALA's readership. At least that's how I've read it,
and my replies are in that vein. I would in no want say that
everybody has to read ALA daily.

> Furthermore, if there are a "disturbingly high number of web
> professionals" who don't follow ALA, I'd say that's a pretty good
> argument for the data being skewed by the venue.

You're absolutely right. The ALA survey is not 100% accurate, nor is
any other survey. The research results are still interesting and
still represent a good number of people though, and shouldn't be
dismissed outright.

This isn't about elitism... it's about passion and involvement in our
industry and community. To a certain extent, in order to move forward
in your career you have to keep up with the latest innovations,
whether that means reading websites and books or going to
conferences...

I still maintain that passionate web professionals will read a lot of
daily online content about what we do... which in the end is all I was
trying to say.

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
email/gtalk: mattnl at gmail.com
++
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mattnl
Home: http://www.nishlapidus.com

21 Oct 2007 - 10:55pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

> I'm not clear when staying up-to-date on A List Apart became a proxy
> for staying up-to-date with our field, but it sounds like a false
> comparison to me.

Katie, I don't think anyone said people have to read ALA
specifically, much less "follow" it, to be up-to-date. Although I can
see what you mean by the tone of the discussion, and I know what it
means to be so busy that reading all the stuff we want to read is
impossible.

We are (or at least I am) just saying that professionals should
proactively and frequently seek out design and technology news and
inspiration from somewhere, as often as they can. Reading design
blogs, news sites, and web magazines for 30 minutes a day should be
something every boss requires their team to do. ALA happens to be one
of the places that I would expect a good web pro to end up fairly
often, whether by following it regularly, finding it through Google,
linking to it from other sources, etc. My complaint is that a great
number of professionals don't read anything whatsoever.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

22 Oct 2007 - 6:52am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 21 Oct 2007, at 00:04, Robert Hoekman, Jr. wrote:

>> I always ask job interviewees what sites they read to stay up
>> to date, and more than half can't even answer the question at all.
>
> I've seen this too. Ridiculously sad.

I've started including a pointer to my OPML feed on my CV :-)

Adrian

Syndicate content Get the feed