From techno to technology: The trials and tribulations of a Technista!

Posted by Pixafy Team

Coming into the technology industry without a technology background can be a bit frustrating and difficult at first.  Prior to being hired at Pixafy I thought that Magento was a color, that MYSQL was the name of someone’s second movie, and Javascript was a hipster brand of coffee.  To my dismay I found out that wasn’t quite the case.

Let’s face it – the world of technology is vast, and the world of websites and iOS development seems even vaster.  Not only are there many ways to build a website or app,  there are also many different components to a website or app.  And to top it all off we need to make it look pretty AND functional for both the client and the customer.  But how is this all actually done?  Before starting at Pixafy I genuinely had no clue!

That being said, from one (former) novice in the web development industry to another (or at least some of you reading this) I present to you:

The 5 Tips That Will Transform You From a Tech Newbie to a Technista!

1. Websites aren’t built overnight.  They take time – sometimes lots and lots of it.  Depending on the complexity of the site, some websites can take over a year to complete, especially if you continue to add new functionality or design elements to the website during construction.

2. Web development isn’t web design – they are two completely different things.  For example, the images, designs, logos, and fonts that you see on a website are provided by the client to the web design firm.  The design firm then hires Pixafy (we’re a web development firm) to implement the designs they’ve made for the client on the website, which requires us to create the code for the website.  Therefore Pixafy is doing all of the coding and none of the drawing or design work for the websites we develop.

3. Websites have both front-end and back-end engineers.  Both do coding, but one implements the designs (front-end) and the other one implements the functionality (back-end).  That being said, sometimes when you implement new code on the back end, code on the front end will also need to be revised.  So both the front-end and back-end engineers work together closely to ensure the site is appearing and functioning exactly the way it is supposed to.

4. Websites aren’t all built on the same platform(s).  For e-commerce sites (where there are shopping carts and purchases involved) we use Magento.   A good example is the site we developed for our client Alton Lane.  For a custom blog, like the one we developed for our client The Motherhood, we use WordPress.  For sites with stats and tables, like the one we developed for our client Baseball HQ, we use Drupal.  Even cooler, some sites require two, three, or even four platforms to create the look and feel they’re seeking!  For example, take a look at the site we developed for our client Honor – can you guess which platforms their site required?

5. QA (Quality Assurance) testing is essential for any site before it goes live.  Web development companies generally use a staging area, which is hosted locally, to test the site before it is deployed as a live site.  This QA phase is imperative because when a site is tested for the first time, there are inevitably bugs (issues that wouldn’t allow the site to function properly) that still need to be addressed.

Hopefully, this has given you some insight into the world of web development.  Just as every client is different, so is every website.  Each has its own unique set of challenges, but that is what makes being in the technology industry so exciting – you can never predict how your creativity and problem-solving skills will be tested each day!