Why corporate developers make sucky corporate websites


“I want an easy way for customers to view their data and access the information with the least amount of effort.”

What the corporate developer heard me say

“blah blah…..least amount of effort”

What the independent contractor heard me say

I am not paying a lot of money for it

What I didn’t say but expect

“I want it to look amazing and be so simple to use my mother-in-law could use it”


Corporate developers and Independent contractors live in completely different worlds. Every consideration during a project life-cycle has a different perspective, the review process is different, the expectations are different.

And here’s some of the difference between independent contractors and corporate developers (in my experience).

  • Corporate developers….
    • are secure in their job status
    • are rarely visionaries, if they were they would get extremely frustrated and become an independent contractor
    • are almost guaranteed to have to develop for only one (usually old) version of Internet Explorer
    • will move onto today’s fire-fighting task in the middle of trying to meet their deadlines and not be able to focus on smoothing the edges (look and feel) on their application
    • will always have the high ground when it comes to requirements being met and it was the customers’ fault for not being more specific in their look and feel requirements
    • will create functionality first and worry about user experience last (if they have time)
    • don’t much care if their application is used or not because there is another fire coming along tomorrow
    • are going to get paid if the project fails
  • Independent Contractors
    • have a specific task which they were hired for
    • must go above an beyond if they want to continue to get (re-)hired
    • know that the user experience will be the first thing they are judged on regardless of functionality
    • stake their reputation on the quality of their work
    • will never have the high ground – regardless of whether or not they are right
    • definitively care if their product gets used – they need the reference for a job well done
    • will not necessarily get paid if the project fails
    • are often on the bleeding edge of technology because they need to differentiate themselves from the pack
    • are often expected to be able to program for all browsers, with no additional cost overhead.


Corporate developers make sucky websites because of their environment. Unfortunately Domino is a corporate tool and I believe there is a correlation.


2 thoughts on “Why corporate developers make sucky corporate websites

  1. You forgot the fact that many developers are not designers…BIG difference there. The issue is that they are many times expected to be both.

    • Agreed, and therefore independant contractors must be both?

      Corporate managers are also in the mix somewhere as well…

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