I’m always intrigued by our industry. In particular, I think it’s incredible how web developers and designers are collaborating and sharing in ways that are unimaginable in other industries. We learn something new, a competitive advantage if you will, and we post about it as soon as we can to share it with the world.
We openly talk about how we work with clients, share millions of lines of code, create open-source projects, give away almost every last tip , trick, and piece of intellectual advantage we may have, and it’s all free for the taking.
One of my favorite examples is 37 Signals. Jason Fried and the rest of the team talk openly about their development process. They’ve been providing concrete examples of usability blunders for years for free. Everybody learned, and they got a book deal. As if that wasn’t enough, they develop the hottest new framework on the internet that they used to build their flagship product and give it away to the community at large. This level of openness would be unheard of in any other industry, but in ours it happens, and everybody benefits.
How many lawyers do you know that go home and night and work on their law skills in the free time because they enjoy it? Even more so, how many lawyers do you know that are sharing their knowledge and skills with everyone else in their industry on a daily basis.
Sure some industries publish in trade rags and the like, but none are doing it on the scale and speed of our wonderful little industry. Not only do we spend our time working on it all day, but a very significant portion of people go home and work on their own personal sites where they do nothing but continue to share experience to help others learn. Of course everybody usually gets their well-deserved credit at the end of the day, but I can’t think of another industry executing as well as we are at sharing a wealth of knowledge.