Update 3/28/06: Still looking… not for a web designer but a web front-end engineer. Jemery does a good job of describing the distrinction. No doubt about it, this is a hot skill set that is extremely hard to find!
Here’s a tip if you’re considering applying, the first thing I’ll do is go to your portfolio website and do a view source. Save us both time and only apply if your portfolio website W3C validates XHTML and shows proper usage and understanding of CSS. While I’ll eventually look at the work you did for other companies, I generally take it for granted that you did your portfolio site by yourself so it weighs more heavily than anything else! Having a blog is also a good thing, it’ll show me that you have enough enthusiasm for the work you do to take the initiative to write about it!
Of the 40 or so portfolio websites I’ve visited today, only 1 person’s validated and demonstrated proper usage of XHTML and CSS. Please, is the bar really that low? Disprove my pessimism and leave a link to your kick-ass validating XHTML portfolio site (or a friends) as a comment here, even if you’re not looking I’d like to see some better examples than I’ve seen today!
Related reading: Applying for a job HOWTO
I’d balk at requiring XHTML for a personal site. There are all sorts of problems with serving XHTML, so it’s only really a good idea to use it if you’ve got to process the site in some way as XML. Otherwise, HTML4 is probably more correct.
(see also: http://www.hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml )
Also with portfolio sites, you often run into the “the cobbler’s children are barefoot” problem. I remember when I worked for a mostly web-design firm, improving our own site was always on that “we really need to do it, but we’re snowed under with paid work” list. We just sent prospective customers links to sites we’d developed for other customers, and nervously coughed about our own site. 🙂
Charles, I’d be happy if even a few of the sites I looked at validated at all, HTML 4 or XHTML. The bottom line is most personal portfolio sites are full of invalid HTML, display no understanding of proper CSS, and in my opinion there’s just no excuse for it from people who produce HTML for a living. I’ve phone interviewed a bunch of candidates and so far the only 2 that were worth interviewing in person had sites that validate so I think it’s a pretty good benchmark.
Ouch, sounds right up my alley but unfortunately I fall in the boat of most-past-sites not validating. Luckily I am currently rebuilding my design firm site (http://www.webinception.com) and so far it validates as I am in process with building it. I’ve been working with a private comapny for a few years now so my chops have been on thier intranet for getting up on valid coding, thus I wouldn’t have much to show anyway. Good luck witht he search…
Nice rant. Your next page (Enhancements to SubModal) doesn’t validate.
Sounds like the guy your looking for is already going to have a good job!