Job Titles: A Clarification for Web Creatives

Yes, titles are made of simple characters. Yet, it's hard to define the roles and levels of creators building for the web.

Let me bite to clarify these titles even though I'm not a vampire. Béèni, I've got short canines.

I must say: the following definitions are for the web and its client/server model. Rather than that of a country's industry or the academia's dictionary.

That said, let's start with the base titles for creator roles.

Architect vs Designer vs Developer

An architect plans for both the client and server models of the web. They plan with users, stakeholders, and fellow creators in mind. Deliverables include usability documents, diagrams, and prototypes.

A designer builds for the client model of the web – based on the architect's plan. Deliverables include Design systems, Mockups, and Prototypes.

And, like the designer:

A developer builds for the server model of the web – based on the architect's plan. Deliverables include source files, quality assurances, and deployment.

That's it. No long talk.

The Venn diagram below shows the relationship between all 3.

A Venn diagram showing the following 3 job titles in one set respectively: architect, designer, an engineer

Over the next sections, we'll build up on this Venn diagram with more titles.

Let's move on to compound role titles. They do one or more of architecture, design, and development.

Engineer vs Coder vs Programmer vs Design Engineer

An Engineer does all 3 - architects, designs, and develops.

A Coder develops and does a part of the design that involves code.

A Programmer architects the server model of the web, as well as build it.

And, like a programmer:

A Design Engineer architects the client model of the web, as well as build it.

Below is an updated Venn diagram.

A Venn diagram showing the following 3 job titles in 2 sets respectively: coder, programmer, and design engineer. And the engineer title in the reuleaux triangle.

Either of these titles – and more to come – may be prefixed with the keyword Web. When Software is used as a generic prefix, Web is used as a specific suffix.

Title Synonym
Web Architect Software Architect, Web.
Web Designer Software Designer, Web.
Web Developer Software Developer, Web.
Web Programmer Software Programmer, Web.
Web Engineer Software Engineer, Web.
Design Engineer, Web
Web Coder Software Coder, Web.
The above titles may as well work for web related fields such as Mobile and Desktop. For example, Mobile Developers, Desktop Developers, etc.

We've barely scratched the surface. And, there are many more titles to bite. They'll be treated in sections to come. Watch out!

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