There are no Web Experts

In our ever changing industry we have at least one truth: there are no experts. Sure, in our midst are industry leaders, consultants, even the odd guru, but it must be remembered that no one has all the answers. For every good link, there are ten bad ones. For every insightful tweet there are a hundred misleading ones (not to mention a million mentioning iPads). And in the time between [alistapart](http://www.alistapart.com) articles, there are maybe a thousand new individuals entering our industry who are learning from antiquated sources.

"The reason I know that I am intelligent is that I know that I know nothing"

During my time in the web industry I have already seen a change in attitudes towards this way of thinking. Early on I found opinion-driven rants permeated by hyperbolic advice all presented in absolute terms. There was no area for discussion. There was simply a right way and a thousand wrong ways.

Now more and more I feel like there has been a shift for the better, a trend of discussion has developed over dictation. The question I find myself asking is: Has there actually been a culture shift or have I simply refined the sources?

What makes our industry so exciting is that everyone has a voice and everyone has access to that voice. It also presents us with a bigger issue: how do we present the best information to those searching for it? How do newcomers to the industry catch up with the rapidly evolving entity that the web has become? Especially in the face of overwhelming adverse content?

Well, as individuals, we can’t dictate these sources. We can only implore a critical mind. Socrates was quoted by Plato as saying:

Paradoxical, and indeed an imprecise translation, or not, his expression is one that carries universal meaning. A potentially clearer translation (via Wikipedia) is “I am only wise insofar as what I don’t know, I don’t think I know”

This wisdom applies to all of us, no matter our profession or position within it. To all those starting out in the industry, if by chance you have stumbled across this blog, my hope is that you question everything. There are too many sources tweeting or blogging their philosophy of the web as gospel when there is no gospel, not in the online world. No one knows where the web is going because we’re all steering it collectively.

And it is changing for the better: content-first, mobile, html5, css3 and the potential for the elimination of older browsers have us all excited. My concern is that we are running away from teaching the fundamentals to anyone entering our industry.

I welcome your feedback.

Resources:

http://www.alistapart.com

It’s not for me to dictate where you should go for knowledge. That said, if you are new to the industry and want a reliable source I can offer no better than alistapart. Some of the content may be more advanced and thematic than you are searching for but stick with it, follow the authors on twitter, follow those they reference and build yourself up a reliable array of sources. And then question all of them!

And here are a couple of excellent resources if per chance you are starting out in the Front End Development Game. I wish they had been around, or I had been aware of them, when I first began:

http://csswizardry.com/web-design+/http://taitems.github.com/Front-End-Development-Guidelines/