In April the webzine A List Apart published the findings from a survey that – for the second year – tries to highlight patterns and behaviours among web job titles.
Last year I isolated some information regarding web project managers [in Italian] so it’s quite interesting to compare this hypothesis with the new findings.
There are several confirmations. A web project manager:
- follows an educational path that usually starts in the programming field
- usually works for small or mid-sized businesses
- it’s 30 to 40 years old
- works for a corporate more often than as a freelance
Let’s have a closer look at the findings. Some questions are different from the 2008 so a direct comparison is only approximate.
This analysis was not included in the 2007 survey and it represents the percentage of web project managers that work for corporates rather than as freelances. Compared to the other job titles, a web project manager more often works as for a corporate rather than as a freelance.
This is not an unexpected finding and I’ve already answered to a similar question in the FAQ (Does the web project manager work for a company or is he a freelance?): in most cases a web project manager works for the company he manages projects for because the quality of the project depends on reciprocal people acquaintance. This approach is not profitable if the web project manager works as a freelance.
There are, however, situations in which the web project manager is a freelance; it works for one or more periods of time (usually semesters) in order to help the company in improving project management skills.
Looking at the 2 years there are not significant differences compared to the other job titles.
Quite impressive the “other” category, more than 1/4 of the total.
The table shows the percentage of web project managers employed in different organizations (note that some categories have been merged with respect to last year).
The majority of web project managers (8.4%) work in small organizations. This confirms a trend: a web project manager most of the time works for a startup, an organization where frequent deployments and strict timing require a professional in charge for the achivement of the objectives.
There are not many differences between the two years. One is not born web project manager, but becomes a web project manager after some years of experience (usually when she is 30/35 years old).
There is a small increment regarding the role of females in web project management, and the same increment is shared by all the job titles, maybe an indication of the improved visibility given this year to the survey.
The trend of last year is somehow confirmed.
There are some changes regarding the perceived relevance of education.
The fact that all job titles experienced an increase in satisfaction can be considered a sign that the question was better understood by participants than last year. In general, however, a bit more than 50% indicated as relevant their education, suggesting that there is room for improvement.
The percentages increase a lot with respect of last year: maybe this is another case where the question was better understood.
Compared to other job titles, however, web project managers’ satisfaction increase in less proportion, leaving the top of the list.
It’s quite difficult to explain the reasons considering that the variation happened in just a year. Maybe the web project manager’s role, in some context, can’t find the room that it deserves.
But, on the other hand, it’s high time for the web project management to grow from a discipline that confine all the responsibilities to the project manager towards a source of leadership and vision.
The web project manager is the tail-end when it comes to writing for a blog.
As suggested last year, the reason can be that it’s difficult to write regarding a job strictly related to human interactions and with many facets. Difficult, but not impossible. A pity.
The web project manager is one of the job title holders that more take part in formal training. The percentage is close to the ones of professionals that are used to a constant training, such us usability and accessibility consultants.
This result can be explained by the heterogeneity of skills (managerial and technical) required for a web project manager.
Concerning back-end programming, less that 17% states to have some skill gaps. This result, compared to the other skill gaps graphs, confirms a trend: one becomes web project manager usually starting to work in areas close to programming, rather then design or marketing.