14 Comments

  1. Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with sketch)

    If there were really no demand for WordPress developers, I would not be so busy. But there may not be that much demand for the kind of developers who hang out on Stack Overflow’s job board.

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  2. Rarst

    One nuance of over saturation number might be that many people who self–identify themselves as WordPress “developers” might be in “site builder” segment. Off–the–shelf assembly and lightweight customization rather than involved custom development.

    I had certainly never had an impression that there is an oversupply of of WP devs with advanced level of PHP and experience in custom projects.

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    • Barry Kooij

      I feel like you’re 100% right on this one. WordPress has many self called ‘developers’ who actually don’t know how to code. I think there’s indeed a lot competition in that space (the “Off–the–shelf assembly and lightweight customization”) but there’s still more than enough work for developers that can actually code complex custom solutions in WP.

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    • Ammon

      You’re 100% correct Rarst. In my opinion, if a person does not have the skills of a computer scientist (OOP specifically) then they cannot really hold the title of a “developer,” albeit outside of project management skills; UML, scrum, etc. Developers can develop because when their calculator breaks, they can still do the math, so to speak. It will just be a little slower.

      Installation, light-weight customization, tweaks, etc., relative to the WP theme design or not, is NOT true development. You must know code/syntax, algorithms (e.g. optimization techniques), etc. to truly “develop” big [project] picture, small picture, and the realtionships between them to tweak code. THAT is development.

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    • Ashiquzzaman

      Agree with you. WordPress is heading towards the right direction and It is necessary to implement REST API quickly to make it more accessible for people who hate to deal with PHP or WordPress tags.

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    • Alicia St Rose

      I agree. I build custom WordPress themes and I’m always taking WordPress to another level. If someone is looking for a highend business solution, then I feel there is less competition. Sadly, many clients don’t know the difference or don’t have the proper questions ready and hire on a theme implementer who hacks a theme to make it do it’s bidding, in most cases making something quite janky.

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  3. djsteveb

    tons of wordpress devs – and yet hardly any buddypress devs. I’ve posted several bp jobs and still have 4 plugin projects where no one will take my money.

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    • Slava Abakumov

      I’m a “BuddyPress developer”, as well as quite a bunch of other people.
      The problem is that BP is not that big market, it’s not that easy to be 100% focused on BP-related projects only. So such people are either working with WP (mainly) and BP (when something – seldom – appear), or have own business around WP (and sometimes) BP. And such people are marketing WP skills more, I guess.

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  4. Rick Rottman

    Why doesn’t WordPress have some kind of certification system when it comes to working with WordPress? Make it something similar to CompTIA A+ certification. There could be different levels of verification to cover all aspects of WordPress. It would be a benefit to anyone trying to make a living working with WordPress. It would also be a major benefit for anyone seeking to hire a WordPress professional. There could be a centralized location on dot org that would list certified WordPress professionals tagged with their various certifications.

    Currently, it’s so hit or miss when it comes to hiring someone to provide help with WordPress. You might need someone with just a basic skill set to set up a new site with a standard theme and some basic plugins, but the person you hire is more suited for advanced, complex integrations involving multiple APIs. The problem is, the customer ends up paying far more than they really need to for someone with skill sets far more advanced than what they actually need.

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    • Sallie Goetsch

      In theory, this might be a good idea, though just who would do the certifying? In practice, however, I’ve heard from people who’ve been developing compiled software since before PHP existed that a lot of those certifications really test your ability to take standardized tests, not your ability as a programmer. The best way to hire anybody to do anything is to get a personal recommendation.

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      • Rick Rottman

        WordPress.org should do the certifications. Individual testing could happen at WordCamps and/or at local testing facilities like how CompTIA A+ certification is handled. Most clients do not need a programmer or a developer. They need someone who can set up a website. That means finding a host, installing WordPress, installing a theme, and installing plugins.

        If someone hires a programmer to do all that, they are most likely overpaying for the work.

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        • Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with sketch)

          Were you volunteering to help design the tests and conduct the certifications? Or at least set up the means to organize it on make.wordpress.org? It’s an idea that has potential merit and you aren’t the first person to wish there were some kind of standards by which to judge a person’s basic WordPress literacy.

          To the best of my knowledge, however, everything done by WordPress.org is handled by volunteers. In the spirit of open source, if there’s something you want to see happen, you need to get it started.

          An idea like certification would actually need much broader support throughout the WordPress community than a choice of what to focus development on for the next release. And it would require either a means to administer and grade the test online automatically (requiring programming to make it work) or a fairly large army of volunteers to undertake in-person testing. I imagine you could tie up years of surveys and committee meetings just figuring out what you wanted to test for, never mind designing the test itself.

          And you have to decide how often people need to re-certify, because recommendations and best practices change rapidly in the web world.

          Even if you get that far, it will only make a difference if enough people accept the validity of the test and care whether someone has passed it before hiring them.

          And, finally, a test like that could determine whether the person had enough skill to install WordPress, set up a theme, and choose some plugins, or (at a more advanced level) whether they understand WordPress’ action and filter hooks, plus PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but it will never tell you whether a person is honest, timely, able to understand (or even ask) what a client’s real needs and goals are, or someone you can work with without both of you going crazy.

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