We wrote the Web Application Design Handbook: Best Practices for Web-Based Software for two reasons: 1) to answer twenty years’ worth of real design questions, and 2) to predict the future.

Answering Questions

There are three types of people in the software industry: Consultants, contractors, and employees. Consultants solve big problems—you go in, listen to everyone, recommend some solutions, get big paychecks, and leave. Consulting is fun. However, since you don’t stick around, you rarely get to see how your ideas play out, or even whether anyone took your advice (see Weinberg 1986 for more on this situation).

Contractors, since they already know how to use or design a particular program or database, are hired when a job has to be ...

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