I think a lot about how much my job, my career, is based on technology that has been around shorter than I have been alive. I watch things like Halt & Catch Fire (good show!) and see the progression of “The Internet” and when I think about it, its so new, yet has evolved SO MUCH decade after decade.
I became a web developer because I loved being able to code something and see it show up on the screen. It all started when my brother and I had our original 486 Pentium with MS-DOS, my brother programmed a way so that when I typed in “games” a table came up with games loaded on the computer and commands I’d need to play them.
I’d turn on the computer type in “games” and then “keen” and Commander Keen would load up. Coding became my passion, and my career.
Sometime in the past few years the revolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) came about and things started to take a change. Suddenly normal every day things were connected to your Internet. Your phone is now controlling your lights, your locks, your garage, and so many aspects of your life all through the Internet.
This isn’t the only thing that has changed. New products are being released that help you with your daily chores while connected to the Internet. Take for example the Amazon Dash Buttons. They are just little devices that serve one purpose: Connect to your Internet and on a push of a button something gets ordered and shipped to your door.
Browsers used to be the only thing that connected an individual to the Internet. But now as more apps come out and more things don’t even have browsers, more people are interacting with the Internet without a browser. While apps require code and so do all these other things, we see a new generation of devices and tech.
Arduinos, Rasberry Pi’s, and other Internet connected hardware are making its way into our lives. People are creating new devices and using physical interactions while connecting that to the Internet to do something.
These devices do not have browsers. They aren’t gateways to the Internet but rather a more direct, single purpose, interaction with it.
Small businesses will always need websites. As functionality for other devices and hardware increases, they may use websites for less and less. As the scope of work for websites decreases, so will the potential budgets. And as I’ve said before there is a race to the bottom, especially in WordPress.
Yes, there were will be businesses that revolve everything they do around a website. But new tech, I think, will move towards more IoT devices.
As the race for website development gets more and more flooded, I find it harder to keep myself unique and ahead of the curve. In fact, for the first time in my web development career (of nearly 20 years) I feel like I am behind… by a lot.
Imposter Syndrome much? No. As someone who has spoken at WordCamps for a few years now, I notice my bread and butter type topics are no longer unique and “hot” and I face more and more competition.
What is next?
I don’t want to sound like one of those people that assume armageddon is coming because I know it is not. However I do want to make sure I stay ahead of the curve vs. trailing behind.
So what do you think? Are you a web developer who has dived into other things? What are the easiest things to pick up on with the knowledge have from web development? Do you think the market will shift in that direction, or did you learn for fun? Asking for a friend …