May 17, 2010 Off

Website Programmers – The Hidden Artists

By in Web Design

When you visit a cool website, you’re usually dazzled by a neat looking design, a catchy headline or an inviting flash intro. Copywriters and art directors play a big role in putting together the creative aspect of a website. But in many ways they are just the artists that stand in the forefront while the true genius stands in the shadows, forgotten and overlooked by most users. That genius is the IT guy (Information Technology) – often seen in the advertising industry as the nerds with no social skills that are way too smart for the rest of us artsy dreamers. Regardless, programming is the reason that websites are able to exist, function and cater to its users.

Programming (also known as coding) is the writing, testing and troubleshooting of a programming language. Programmers have to write the language or source code, which often calls for a level of expertise in algorithms and formal logic. Many think of writing programming language as an art in itself. I sometimes try to compare my writing headlines with how a programmer writes source code; I guess to them, that is their craft. This line of programming as art is blurred even more, as many graphic designers and art directors learn a basic level of programming, and many programmers have basic designing skills.

Just as good art direction and copywriting have fundamentals that they must abide by to succeed (that’s my belief anyway), good programming comes with its own basic guidelines as well. A programmer must ensure that a program or website performs as it should, and operates efficiently without too many bugs or problems. The used algorithms must be correct to ensure that the program or website is reliably and consistently efficient.

It must also be easily adaptable, so that if any problems do arise, they can be dealt with. Especially today, flexible and adaptable programming is crucial. It is how improvements are made and bugs are fixed with ease. Usability is another key element. Since programs and website are created for the user, the user’s experience must always be taken into account. Good usability is the main goal; if it does not achieve this, it pretty much fails to do its job. This means having a clear and cohesive interface, so that the user encounters very few problems in their navigation.

Just to be clear, I am really, really simplifying things here. Programming is no neat and tidy job. It is hard work that usually requires expertise on many levels. Many things have to be taken into account by a programmer: the user interface, human computer interaction, information design, scripting, code library development, database queries and database design. As if being an expert in all these things isn’t fun enough, programmers regularly encounter bugs and problems in all of these areas.

So programming isn’t just about writing code and creating a user-friendly site. It’s knowing the kind of information that would usually make a person’s head explode. It’s knowing what code library development means, and knowing what to do when you inevitably bump into a problem. You have to create code, and fix the problem that the code you’ve created creates. All in all, I just have to say that I have the deepest respect for IT professionals. And that all this programming talk makes me increasingly grateful that I spend my days making words sound pretty.

About: Ian:
Hi, I'm Ian T. I'm a York grad and a copywriter for Eden Advertising. I'm the master of procrastinating. I like to use parentheses (sometimes). I love the LCBO because wine makes me happy. I don't blog, I capture moments in time.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.