How to Talk to a Web Developer – Networking Note Cards

In this article I will give you 10 different talking points you can use when in conversation for talking to someone who is either a web developer or a web designer. If you have ever tried talking to one of these people while possessing only a very basic knowledge of web development then you probably wanted to plug your ears and run away. No need to worry because after reading this article you will be able to hang in the conversation with the best web developers and designers around.

ASK:

1) “Which File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program do you use to upload your files?” Of course I suggest you do some very basic research as to what is FTP. Describing FTP is beyond the scope of this article just know that it is basically a program that transfers files from one computer to the next over the Internet. If you spring this on the person you’re talking to you instantly will create a rapore.

2) “What sites are you most proud of in your portfolio?” Most developers or designers have a site they are most proud of. Find out what it is and find out what was unique about that site. Also, you can ask such things like : how long it took them to do, who was the client, and what they enjoyed most about working with that client.

3) “Name some of the more difficult challenges you over come when designing and developing.” Every designer and developer can answer this with ease and it will get them talking for awhile about the aspects that they dislike the most. Be sympathetic to them and find out how they make the task they dislike more enjoyable.

4) “What approach do you take when developing?” Everyone has their own approach to designing and developing. They might ask, “What do you mean?” Simply, say what is your step by step process to designing or developing. Once they explain, pick a step they cite and dive more deeply into that step to keep the conversation going.

5) “What do you think is the best approach for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?” This is a great question to ask them as there is still much controversy over the internet about what is the best way to implement SEO on your website. Get their opinion on it. This will lead into a whole conversation in itself. Make sure you do some basic research into what is SEO in Wikipedia for further conversation fodder.

SAY:

1) “A great team for any website consists of: developer, designer, graphic artist, and an administrator.” Saying this at somepoint in the conversation will show them you know what it takes to make up a strong web base presence. You can find out what roles they play in the team and how they get along with the other players on the team.

2) “Tables and layers are great for website layouts.” Tables and layers are the basic ways to layout a web page. Find their preference and ask them what they like to use and why. Take a second and look up the visual differences of both so you can see what you’re talking about before you get into a conversation with a developer or designer.

3) “I prefer to outline everything before I begin developing or designing a website.” Of course if you don’t design or develop websites then this question might not apply to you but you could adapt it to you by simply stating “If I designed or developed a website I would outline…” This still shows that you are expressing an interest in your conversational counterpart’s interests.

4) “There are some excellent database servers online.” For example mySQL is a database server. Check it out on Wikipedia to get a better idea of what a database server is. Once you have a decent idea of what it is and the different types out there you will know enough to get the conversation rolling and then pass it off to them.

5) “Almost any question you have for developing a website can be found by typing it into search engines.” This is one of my personal favorites because I actually do this for EVERYTHING, especially for designing websites. Bring this up and ask them if they have any questions about anything then refer them to do what you just said. Once again this will show that you are taking time away from your agenda whatever that may be to focus on their interests and concerns.

Talking to someone who is a “techy” or a very technical person can sometimes be daunting if you are not familiar with what they are talking about. Though, with these above talking points you will be able to have enough conversational ammunition to get the conversation rolling long enough to where you can pass off most of the talking to them. That is what you want ultimately in the conversation anyway, for them to do most of the talking.

Moreover, if you don’t know much about developing or designing, using the above talking points on a web guru will undoubtedly lead to an increase in your computer web knowledge.

Good luck in your future conversations with those designers and developers!