The Literate Web Developer

Rafe Coburn, a very long time blogger, posted today about how he is seeing more and more web developers who don’t know SQL very well.

It seems to me, though, that actual knowledge of SQL seems to be falling. I blame this on the growing popularity of persistence frameworks that abstract the database away, allowing developers to interact without databases without writing much (or any) SQL. … Many developers don’t even learn SQL in depth, period.

Rafe goes on to explain why knowledge of SQL (a way to query databases directly and with great flexibility) is key knowledge even when your team uses a development framework that abstracts away the database.

He makes a closing point that I think is good advice for any web developer. He recommends developing your skills in HTML, CSS, SQL, and Javascript, as they will be around forever (in web terms!) even as new frameworks rise and fall. Any developer with good chops in those areas will have a long term career advantage over someone who is exclusively a specialist in Ruby on Rails, for example.

For those of you who managed web teams and developers, make sure you are investing in these fundamental skills as well as in the specific technology that is unique to your operations.

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