Why JJWDesign.com?

I’ve noticed some confusion from visitors, about the use of the word “design” in my domain name. I’m not a Web “designer”. I’m more of all-in-one web developer. I’ve done both backend and frontend development, but I’m definitely stronger on a LAMP stack. A jack of many trades, but a master of none; comes to mind. I’m most comfortable developing code in PHP with any database, various frameworks and/or content management systems. I can focus on both backend and frontend technologies. To hopefully clear up any confusion, I’ve written this post/page about the history of this domain name.

Domain Name History

Firstly, it’s a very old domain name. It was registered in 2002 to help attract search engine traffic. In the early days of search engines, the domain name was a very important factor. Having a keyword in the domain name was essential, if you wanted to rank high in the search engine results. Ten years ago, people were not searching for developers. Having a term in the domain name that people search for was critical. I found that the term “design” was a highly searched for term. Therefor, the term “design” was chosen. The domain “jjwdesign.com” was born.

Designer or Developer?

Over the years, more distinction has been placed between designers and developers on the Internet. As Web technologies such as PHP and JavaScript have been developed, so has the terminology used to describe the people working with such technology. “Web Design” is now a term more likely to describe front-end development using HTML, CSS and/or JavaScript/jQuery. “Graphics designers” are now working on full-time Web projects, thanks to the Internet Bubble and the rush to the Web. The term “Design” has really changed since 2002.

Or has it? If you step back away from the Internet and look at how the rest of the world looks at “design”, you’ll notice that some things never change. The term “design” has different meaning to different people. Coming from an Mechanical Engineering background (BSME), I’ve always viewed design in terms of the “engineering design process”. Wikipedia describes “Design” as:


Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams and sewing patterns).[1] Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, cowboy coding and graphic design) is also considered to be design.

If you dig a little deeper and look at engineering or development as a design process, Wikipedia describes the “Engineering Design Process” as:

“Engineering Design Process”

…component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision making process (often iterative) in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing and evaluation.

This is what makes my focus a bit different than some developers. I can see beyond the code. I tend to view the coding process as just a tool towards accomplishing an objective. Some developers tend to focus so much on the code, that they forget there is an objective involved. Whether the process involves mathematics, physics, or even programming it’s all part of a design process intended to solve a problem or objective. You could go as far to say that the “Agile Software Development” is nothing more than the “Engineering Design Process” applied to software development. But, I’ll save that argument for a blog posting. After-all, humans have been designing for thousands of years. In comparison, we’ve one begun to develop software.