Some blog posts over the past few days have been going around talking about marketable skills and what it takes to be a front end developer these days.
First, Jeff Croft:
In some ways, the Web Standards Movement killed the Web Standards Guru. We all should have seen this coming. The goal of the Web Standards Movement was for it to not have to exist — for the browsers to be good enough that there wasn’t a need for such a movement.
Then Jeffrey Zeldman responded:
This doesn’t mean “go be an HTML guru.” It does mean cherish the lessons of the recent past, and share them with those who missed them (or missed the point). Wisdom is not a job, but it is always an asset.
And Andy Clark got into it too:
If you feel disheartened, I’m with you, but remember, making something that’s beautiful takes a great deal of knowledge and experience.
Just to give a bit of my two cents, I have heard some of this before and I think in this industry you should always be learning and growing. So HTML and CSS to me mean a lot more than just actually writing markup and CSS. They include Sass (or some other preprocessor), using Compass, understanding how to do layouts for different size viewports, accessibility, etc. That is way more than just writing markup and CSS from a PSD to me. There will always be organizations who don’t care about that stuff as much as others, therefore the jobs have always been limited. But over time, everyone needs to keep theirs skills growing to keep up in this market.
As for me? I am following what I love, just as Zeldman advises:
But “follow the path you love” will always be good advice.