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How to Specialize - Web Development Niche

| Web Developer Advice

Many of us end up working on such a diverse amount of programming languages/libraries to be able to make a living and serve customers needs that we find ourselves lacking confidence in any particular niche.

Specializing can truly be a daunting task. Even just asking the simple question… What is my specialty? - can be difficult. I know when I asked myself this question I could hardly identify it. I found myself pondering for day about what it is that I actually do.

I’ve read/heard some very interesting advice from Eli the Computer Guy, John Sonmez (Simple Programmer), and others and decided to make a simple chart to illustrate the ideas out there for web development specialization.


The order goes from top to bottom where parent items dictate their children. This is not always clear cut but I’ve made assumptions to give a general idea.

I think when deciding on this, the more important question is… What is it that I want to focus on then balance that with past experience and current skill set. For someone quite established/far along in their career this may be more difficulty to accomplish or swallow than someone starting out or one who hasn’t already specialized too much. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t do other things, just that you have a focus and one thing you’re best known for.

The next task is pruning  your portfolio (which I still have yet to work on) as well as even possibly turning down work that isn’t your main focus. These are probably one of the hardest steps, I know I have some work to do myself in this area. I’ve chosen to narrow to narrow my focus to JavaScript web applications on the front end. I’ve done lots of work in other areas but decided that is of most interest to me.

I hope this helps a little on your decision to specialization. With the amount of stuff out there I truly believe it’s extremely important to do so to make a name for one’s self and avoid getting lost. Good luck!


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