This past weekend, Nikola and I attended WordCamp Sofia. Although we had an extremely brief stay in Sofia, the talks we were able to attend were well-worth the 5 hour car ride. During Noel Tock’s talk about current trends in content publishing, (which I highly recommend watching), there was the brief mention of finding your content niche in blogging. I was struck by the realization that I have failed to do that for Paiyak Development’s blog.
I am not an expert in any aspect of web development. Nikola and the dev crew handle that aspect of our business. While they may occasionally have time to contribute to the blog, for the most part, it is my responsibility. Knowing that the majority of our clients will know much more about web design and development than I do, and knowing that there are plenty of technical blogs already out there that will offer much better information than I could provide, I began to wonder what expertise I could offer on this platform.
My area of expertise is sociology. It is a far cry from web development, but should it be? Web development is one of the fastest growing occupations. It is becoming accessible to people with varying degrees of technical skill, and it is affecting millions of internet users around the world. In essence, what was once a technical and virtual occupation is now a question of people and social networks.
Because of that realization, you will see this blog start to shift its focus to the ethical side of web development. I will be exploring various codes of ethics and applying basic ethical questions to web development. I will be challenging our company, and other companies in the field, to critically assess their current choices and behaviors to develop a community built on ethics and integrity. I will takes stock of the current relationship models in the web development industry and suggest alternative methods for interaction.
That is not to say that I see a world of unethical developers, designers, and content creators. For the most part, people tend to have good intentions and treat others well. However, a critical examination of ethics can help foster an intentional movement that goes beyond “do no harm,” and creates a better world. Do web developers actually have the power to change the world? I believe that we do, and I believe that we should.