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Keeping your web team's skills up to date

Keeping your web team's skills up to date image
Keeping your web team's skills up to date

The challenges of creating great web experiences have increased exponentially in recent years. Sites need to be ultra fast and work well on myriad devices. In fact, if your site doesn’t load within three seconds, your potential customer is going somewhere else. Assuming they get into your site to begin with, your content better be relevant and the navigation on point.

Web teams continue to increase in size. In today’s ecosystem, a typical small team might consist of a front-end and back-end developer, visual designer, user experience designer, content strategist, and project manager. Chances are your web team’s plate is very full, and yet the march of web technology will continue.

So what to do?

  • Connect your team with experienced practitioners in their field. People with the most experience have a lot to share with people with less. It’s a little something called wisdom! If we’re being formal we can call those people teachers, but titles are perhaps not so important on the web which has a culture of sharing and teaching coded in it’s DNA.  Over the years, two of the most prominent teachers and sharers of all things web are Jeffrey Zeldman and Aaron Gustafson. 
  • Learn from Zeldman and Gustafson, who have fought the good fight for web standards for many years and both have been strong advocates for disseminating information on how to build successful websites and web teams for many years. Listen to a killer discourse with Jeffrey and Aaron on The State of Learning to Design and Code. Watch the recorded event.
  • Let your web team know that learning is a priority in your organization. Make room in the budget for books, conferences, and training and make sure people use them!
  • Make getting out of the office a requirement, not just an option. A good web conference can recharge the creative batteries as well as inspire and promote teamwork. We make a habit of frequently checking Smashing Magazine’s comprehensive list of upcoming conferences to see what piques our interest.
  • Incentivize your team to invest time in training. There are a number of excellent for-pay websites out there, but we are partial to free training, such as Codeacademy, and of course we fully admit our bias towards Aquent Gymnasium, our own online school, which features up-to-date training from some of the industry’s best web design instructors.

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