It’s all too easy for web developers to fall into a rut where they focus on nothing beyond the assignment at hand. While you may be working on many interesting and worthwhile applications, it can also be good to broaden your horizons. This can even help you with your work. You never know how a new experience might inspire you to create something brilliant that everyone will be talking about. Previously, we talked about what are the places a web designer must visit before he die, with this in mind, here are ten things that every web developer should do before they die.
1. Create a Free Game App
While you naturally want to make a living and get paid for your work, creating a viral game app could be your best chance at fame and fortune. Of course, there is no guarantee that anyone will download your free app, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the attempt. The great thing about this type of project is you can have fun with it and create something that’s in line with your interests and talents. The thing about game apps is that they are often addictive, which is what makes them go viral. Even if it turns out to be a flop, you can always share it with your kids, nieces and nephews.
2. Climb Mount Everest
What does a Himalayan expedition have to do with your career as a web developer? Absolutely nothing, which is exactly why you should do it. This gives you a chance to show the world your versatility and free spirit. You aren’t just another dull web professional, but a world traveler who happens to make his living in a technical field in between adventures. If Mount Everest seems a little too ambitious, you can at least visit Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon and post plenty of pictures to prove you actually left your house and made the journey.
Image credit: 123rf
3. Build an App That No One But You Understands
If you want to convince the world that you are brilliant, you must create things that are so complex and incomprehensible that only you can understand them. In this case, the application doesn’t even have to work. It’s enough to make a bold attempt. For example, you could create an app that measures the number of neutrinos in a room. Is this even possible? Probably not, but if you create an application for it you will still impress people with your originality and ambition. If someone calls you out on its limitations, you can always say that the bugs will be removed in the next version.
4. Attend a High Profile Conference
Attending a conference with the industry’s leading experts helps to position you as a leader in your field. If you can get your picture taken with someone famous, so much the better. Try to choose a conference in a glamorous location, such as a European capital or at least Las Vegas. It doesn’t matter too much if you actually learn anything at the conference. People mainly attend conferences to network and be seen, so all you really have to do is show up and take some pictures to prove you were there.
5. Run a Marathon
Doing something athletic, whether it’s running a marathon, competing in a triathlon or entering a bodybuilding contest helps you break the stereotype of the nerdy web developer. It allows you to develop a well-rounded persona. If you are lazy, you can simply devote a few months to training and competing in a high visibility event. Then even if you go back to being a couch potato, you will still have pictures and maybe a certificate that proves you participated in at least one endeavor requiring physical prowess.
Image credit: 123rf
6. Build a Website That Reaches the First Page of Google
Even though you are a web developer and not an SEO specialist, it helps your credibility if you can point to at least one website that comes up on the first page of the search engines. If you are having trouble with this, choose a topic that is sufficiently obscure that doesn’t have much competition. That way, the next time you’re at a party you can boast, “By the way, I designed the world’s leading website on aardvark racing.” If you need ideas, do some research on the topic of long tail keyword phrases and build a website around the most obscure keywords you can come up with.
7. Organize a Fundraiser
You may have noticed that people now talk more about Bill Gates’ foundation and charitable work than his software company. While you may not be in the position to start a billion dollar charity, you could do something similar on a smaller scale. Pick a worthy cause, and organize an event to raise money for it. As a web developer, it should be easy enough for you to create an impressive website for the cause. You could run a local event or perhaps raise money via crowdfunding online. Either way, this is a chance to establish your legacy as someone who has made a real difference in the world!
8. Teach A Class
Want to impress people with your brilliance and expertise? If you’re a web development professional, you are more than qualified to teach a course to beginners. This can be online, at your local community college or even in your garage. When you teach something, you immediately gain new status as an expert. Millions of people, from part time bloggers to owners of pizza parlors and dog grooming schools want to learn how to build websites or learn some basic programming or graphics skills, so why not be the one to teach them?
Image credit: 123rf
9. Learn an Esoteric Programming Language
Learning at least one obscure or esoteric programming language helps set you apart from your more ordinary competitors. It shows you have a deep interest in your field and are willing to explore its more arcane levels. There is, for example, a language called Shakespeare Programming Language which actually uses lines from the great playwright’s work to form the code. Knowing such a language will impress both other web developers and the general public.
10. Pull Some Cool Pranks
As a web developer, you have the power to do evil things as well as being constructive. You have to be careful with this, as you don’t want to get fired or sued. However, as long as your employer, co-workers or clients have any sense of humor whatsoever, you can have a little fun once in a while. You can use your imagination here. You might make some subtle but disturbing changes to a website, such as turning some text and images upside down. Or perhaps you could randomly translate some of the text into an obscure foreign language such as Tibetan or Finnish. If you give it some thought, you can probably come up with lots of April Fool’s style pranks that can be even more fun on other days, when people won’t be expecting them.
These suggestions are meant to help web developers become more versatile and creative people. The real point here is that you don’t always have to conform to the public’s stereotype of a web professional. You can show the world that you can be creative and unpredictable.