I just finished my latest copy of eWeek and was surprised to learn that my career is considered to be, well, a fad.

Fad – noun. Definition: craze. Synonyms: amusement, eccentricity, fancy, fantasy, fashion, fool notion, frivolity, hobby… you get the picture.

Here’s what eWeek said in its article on November 10, 2008 on careers, focusing on enterprise data architects (I would link to it for you, but unfortunately I can’t locate the article on its confusing website):

“While some jobs that were hot in the past – such as Web site designer – were fads created by an economic bubble like the dot-com boom, enterprise data architects are a rare blend of technical expertise and business knowledge, seasoned with a decade or more of experience.”

I beg to differ.

Many (maybe not ‘most’, but certainly ‘many’) professional web designers and developers do in fact constitute ‘that rare blend of technical expertise and business knowledge.’ Many of us started out as hobbyists, indeed, but those of us who have been working in this field for more than 3 or 5 or 10 or 15 years are well aware of the business value we bring to our clients.

Our job is not only to create a pretty website. It is to understand, build and enhance the brands of clients in the eyes of their customers; It’s working as a team member; it’s understanding how social networking affects a client’s reputation. It also includes making websites easier to use, accessible, content-rich and search engine-friendly.

These things require not just design talent and technical expertise, but business savvy too. Most of the web designers and developers I know personally are constantly enhancing their skillset in both the technical and business realms.

Not a fad, nor a hobby, but a multidisciplinary profession. Kind of like enterprise data architecture.