When Will Web Designers and Web Developers Become Obsolete?

For dozens of centuries, human evolution has led to jobs replaced due to innovation.

Chasseurs, musketeers, blacksmiths, haywards, Papias are not in demand in the 21st century. Job requirements evolve since certain jobs become automated or science introduces the need for new occupations.

Will web designers become obsolete? Will web developers become obsolete? Here’s my take on the future of web designers and web developers in an era held by self-driving cars, robots, AI, voice search and video news.


00:22 – Here Are The Stats
01:28 – Qualifications Are Not Enough
02:34 – Who Runs The World? Tech!
03:44 – How The Demand Looks Like
04:34 – Ways Web Designers Can Become More Competitive
05:33 – Ways Web Developers Can Become T-Shaped Experts
06:17 – What’s The Edge of A Business Person?


Hey guys, Mario Peshev from DevriX here. 

The topic I’d like to discuss today is: will there come a time when web designers or developers will not be needed anymore? 

Will the web designers and web developers become obsolete?

The topic has been suggested by Quora. I wrote a detailed answer there that I’m going to decompose and deconstruct here. Then, I’ll structure in a way that makes sense for the audience.

Here Are The Stats

So, essentially, there are a lot of web designers, web developers in different capacities working out there. According to the European Commission in 2020, there will be a shortage of about 900,000 skilled IT professionals in the industry.

That’s specifically for the European Commission measuring only the European Union. Then, we have the entire Asian market, which is extremely broad. There are Australia, North America, South America as well, Africa even, and basically all around the world.

So that’s an interesting paradigm. We obviously have a shortage of people. There are tons of open jobs available, and not enough people basically able to supplement the business needs of that job.

That’s why we have so many universities and training academies and colleges. Everyone else is trying to teach programming for a living. 

A lot of people are going out of those academies or boot camps or so forth, but many of them are unable to find a job. So why is that? Well obviously, the qualifications are not enough.

Qualifications Are Not Enough

There are a lot of things that one should need to learn and study extensively and understand. And, there’s a need to get into a specific target niche and to a specific mindset, into a specific kind of industry and everything that it encompasses.

Like, for example, for web development, you need to understand operating systems, networks, all that stuff. They’re included in computer science as technical education and basically become a developer, which may be a web developer in particular, but not just the web developer. 

So either way, a lot of people can’t find a job right now. Those who study a little bit harder and spend a little bit more time are able to find a job.

This is fine, but many of those people and many of the people practicing in the web design/web development industry may struggle in say 20, 30 years from now, if the web is not the right medium for them, right?

Because currently, we do depend on social media that’s basically ran through web and searching in Google or Bing or Yahoo or so forth and kind of consuming information through web.

Who Runs The World? Tech!

At the same time when you have a smart device, for example, my smartwatch runs a lot of stuff that’s kind of voice control. This may not necessarily require any websites whatsoever. I do have different devices at home that are kind of smart devices, again, not relying on that. 

We do have smart cars coming up, or self-driving cars or whatever it is that either run through embedded development or through external services.

They’re running APIs that control that without any sort of web interface and that new interface may not necessarily require web, in terms of web design and web development.

At the same time, we do have different types of media. We do have videos like this one right now. There are podcasts.

We have all sorts of information like voice-controlled search out there, which also doesn’t depend on web design.

You know, for a voice-controlled search, you need basically one simple page, that kind of lists videos, or at least you can host it on YouTube or Vimeo or anything else out there.

And also with platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and so on, you can solve most of your problems without hiring web developers. 

of lists videos, or at least you can host it on YouTube or Vimeo or anything else out there. And also with platforms such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and so on, you can solve most of your problems without hiring web developers. 

How The Demand Looks Like

Of course, there is demand. Demand will be there for another 5, 10, 15 years maybe, but maybe not so much in the next 20 years.

So what we’re discussing is how to become a proficient person who’s capable and skilled in different areas.

In marketing, there is a specific kind of trend for looking for T-shaped marketers.

If you look at the T letter reversed backside, like something like this for example, and that’s not a cross, that’s a T letter reversed backwards, so that’s something where that kind of helps you to excel in one particular niche, be proficient in one particular thing but at the same time understand, grow horizontally, learn everything else there is to know about marketing in general.

So that’s kind of very valuable, very important, something that needs to be studied extensively. And the same goes for web designers and developers.

Ways Web Designers Can Become More Competitive

For example, designers may be kind of looking for different opportunities to apply their design in different forms of campaigns that are not necessarily related to web design such as, even printed ads for newsletters. 

Even if they’re outdated, that’s still something that designers should learn to do or craft campaigns, simple graphics and branding materials, stuff like that.

In order to become competitive, in order to understand what’s the next thing coming in, it could be design for appliances, could be interior design, could be something else that’s still design-oriented or it may simply be a step to learning marketing because a lot of the marketing nowadays is visual. 

We have again infographics, we have featured images, we have social media status images and stuff like that. That’s still visual and designers, this one step for them to kind of become competitive and transition to the next big thing that’s going to be hot in another 10 or 15 years.

Ways Web Developers Can Become T-Shaped Experts

For web developers, it’s the same thing. Again, developers with a traditional computer science degree, with a traditional engineering degree can kind of benefit from that by applying their knowledge of, again, operating systems and servers and computer architectures into a different area. 

For example, their math skills may help them with machine learning or any other sorts of artificial intelligence. Their computer science skills can help them with building robots or even self-driving cars or other forms of engineering and so forth. 

So the most important thing web designers and developers should learn, especially if they’re still starting or still studying that, is becoming kind of T-shaped experts or people who are proficient in different areas. 

What’s The Edge of A Business Person?

You know, a business person can adjust to different forms of business. So even if IT dies in 50 years, a business person knows the basics of running a business, or maintaining a business, working in a business, whatever it is because it’s a skill that’s applied to a wide area of skills.

And that’s only valid for those people who want to study business as a thing, and not just their particular niche without anything else out there. 

So being able to kind of expand on your own knowledge and study extensively, learn iteratively all the freaking time, is really important.

And those people who invest that time, those people who really spend their time, are not going to be threatened by another wave of something else, some sort of technology or something that kind of dramatically drops the number of people needed for something. 

Wix and Squarespace and Weebly

And if we look at site building, again, because we are talking about web designers and web developers, a lot of people joined the industry about a decade ago or even five years ago when it was really easy to charge for setting up a WordPress website, installing a theme, installing a few plugins, whatever it is.

But then what happened is, platforms like Wix and Squarespace and Weebly became popular, and business owners no longer need that specific basic skill. 

Of course, some pay for it, but a lot of those people who didn’t have any technical know-how had to transition back to their old job because they couldn’t adapt to that market.

They were relying on something that simple with a very low and easy learning curve. Something that everyone can kind of pick up in a few hours or even in a few days and relying on that thing doesn’t really help them excel further. 

So those people who actually spend the time on learning professional design or programming or marketing even, they were able to adjust and kind of start selling different packages, start selling services and so forth.

But those who are simply selling pre-installed websites had to get back to their previous jobs because there was no longer a demand for that.

And that happened over just a few years, again, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, all of them paying hundreds of millions in marketing in order to attract tens of millions of customers now using those websites. 

The Bottom Line

Will the web designers and web developers become obsolete?

Web design and web development, they’re still hot. They’re still trendy. There’s still demand for them. But in order to become competitive, in order to become a great fit, in order to become someone who’s actually needed for a job, someone who’s not going to be replaced by a robot, just become a more proficient expert in a wider area of skills. 

This would let you understand the foundation and understand different specific skills that would be transferable to a given thing, if you decide to choose so, and if the industry kind of sets into a certain manner that really requires that.

What are your thoughts? When do you think will the web designers and web developers become obsolete? Are they really going to become obsolete? Let me know!


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