What’s in a Name?

If I were to ask your interpretation of the following two titles, what would your response be?


Web Developer


ASP.NET Developer


Think about those two terms and tell me what comes to mind.  If you were to post a job opportunity for a Web developer, what skills are you looking for?  If you posted for an ASP.NET developer, what skills would you be seeking?

I don't want to sway your opinions or answers in anway, but, we are finalizing the branding on the new level of certifications.  Not only do I want them to align with the Visual Studio story, but also to align with real-world expectations based on title.

Your information is very valuable to me and your responses are greatly appreciated.



Comments (7)
  1. Web developer: a generic web developer, not necessarily Microsoft-focused.

    ASP.NET developer: a developer with both .NET Windows and .NET Web development skills.

    A new tag, something like .NET/Web or .NET/Windows, shows the developer’s focus.  


  2. Chris Sutton says:

    This is fairly abbreviated, but here is what i would expect if I were hiring a position with those titles.  You would probably also qualify this job title for different levels of expertise.

    ASP.Net Developer – I would expect that the applicant have a good grasp of html, css and javascript as a foundation.  They would need to know how http works, but not necessarily at a deep level.  They would need to know the difference between a get and a post.  On top of that I would want them to have a great handle on the ins and outs of server controls and how the ASP.Net postback model works. They would need to be proficient in C# or VB.Net and know there way around core names spaces related to the web and data access.

    Web Developer is such a vague term(there are too many different ways you can do web development anymore).  I don’t think I would ever post a job with just that title.  I would definitely qualify it with the pertinent technologies such ASP.Net, Ruby on Rails etc.

    Some people use "Web Developer" to mean the jack of all trades developer that can work well with many different web technologies, but I personally don’t think that usage of the term is very valuable.

  3. Excellent comments.  Thanks Chris and Reeve.

    Our thoughts are along the same path.


  4. Iain says:

    I agree.

    Web developer term is vauge, though often used in job ads I’ve noticed.

    There is obviously less confusion about what a "PHP Developer", "ColdFusion Developer" does /uses as aposed to a "Web Developer"

    What about the difference between

    "ASP.Net Programmer", "Web Designer", "ASP.Net Developer" and "Web Developer"? 😉

  5. Alfred Myers says:

    ASP.NET Developer is much more in sync with the exam’s probable contents.

    It would have been at least for the 1.x and 2.0 exams.

  6. Daniel Braga says:


    In my opnion, Web Developers must have skills in all areas of Web development, because such as Chris said, it is a vague term. What Skills must we expect from a Web Developer? I don’t know exactly. Ist’s necessary to define more… ASP.NET maybe? can be, but is not a rule.

  7. rtpHarry says:

    If you want to search for jobs then web developer is the best common name to search for. Also if I was filling out a form which required my current job I would expect to find web developer but not asp.net developer unless it was a specialist form.

    I prefer the title of asp.net developer for myself. That is what I call myself to other geeks because I think it lets them know that I am a serious developer and not just doing html/css brochure sites. However, for customer facing emails I use the term web developer because they can’t be expected to know what asp.net is.

    However, when I see asp.net developer I presume that they are cowboy coders that don’t know anything about css or html markup and wont make standards compliant sites or follow any best practices.

    Anyway, I have just realised this thread is about three years old so probably nobody cares any more 🙂

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