re: What are the misconceptions of non-tech folks when working with devs on web projects? VIEW POST


That there's a big difference between what most people understand as a "webpage" and a web application, the first being just static content or simple data storage/retrieval and the later can have a big application behind in the backend, that can vary from a simple task manager to a full fledged ERP or WMS.

Is not easy to understand and/or explain that the "web" part is just the GUI, and sometimes a bunch of fancy animations and cool design looks more "expensive" than a "boring" an possibly huge and complex API that only throws some json data, in plain boring B&W text that may have been through a lot of data crunching, processing, collection, consolidation, cleaning, etc.


I've been a web developer for 10 years and I'm guilty of this.

When I started working as a web developer the term "web app" didn't exist, all we had were web pages and web sites. Now some of these pages were built with a framework and would make dozens of SQL queries, pull data from a Memcache cache and call some third party APIs or internal APIs (we didn't call them "micro services" either back then)... But they were still web pages.

And I've never made the switch to call them web apps. What I personally call a "web app" is a single page application, and I use it in contrast to native apps.

So yeah... I'm sorry I think I'm devaluing our work in the eyes of non technical people :-/


Oh please don't worry, there is so much confusion about these terms in tech community themselves. I was already thinking about creating some dictionary of tech terms for people learning to code because as I'm teaching, I see that many folks struggle to power through the terminology.


thinking about it, maybe Google search is a good example to give, the huge effort and work of an entire company of talented devs and the visible result is just a blank page with some text on it. And a few years ago it was even more bare.


Wow, yes, that is spot on. Taking it a step further, maybe I should include some basic dictionary to help us have some platform for communication as well.

that's good, we have a lot of fuzz words around, and many concepts have been "rebranded" making some technical terms kinda fuzzy, like: cloud (i.e. just dynamically allocated remote servers) and "apps" (I particularly despise this term). And some widely used but not always well understood like API, REST, framework, SaaS, PaaS, etc. Would be also good to give a shout out to some out of fashion technologies that lack the flashiness but that are vital and sometimes discarted for the wrong reasons, resulting in huge waste of time and money like: SQL that many ditched for the NO-SQL fad, PostrgeSQL that is awesome and considered as old and obsolete by many; good old HTML and CSS that is quickly disregarded and "replaced" with JS, not very successfully if you ask me.

I think you are in the right track, I haven't saw much info to fill the gap between tech and non-tech, and what are there is filled with buzzwords, fad tech they try to sell, old ideas repacked and rebranded to be re-sold as new and condescending explanations about "thingies", "clouds" and "apps", worsening the misconceptions.

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