Big companies and web standards

JavaScript guru Peter-Paul Koch writes about the need to reach out to front-end developers at large companies. The ones using web standards should be encouraged to evangelize. Why? To in turn encourage non-standards-based (is that a word?) developers at other large companies who might not otherwise be convinced by the predominantly freelance and small-business based world of standards evangelists. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, mind you.

One of the article’s comments brings up an interesting point. While I don’t own a large company, we do serve some *very* large clients. And one thing I’ve learned from them is something anyone who sells anything could probably tell you: if you want to sell something, whether it be a product, a service, or an idea, you’re best chance is to first speak the language of the person to whom you’re selling. Once you’ve done that, you need to show the buyer what’s in it for them. At big companies, it’ll usually come down to the subject of money.

Peter-Paul makes an interesting point. Developers at big companies speak the language of other big-company developers. They have different work environments, often high-stress and high-profile projects, and they often work on one aspect of a project (e.g. only HTML/CSS/JavaScript). While this could be a great first step, we need to remember that getting large companies to embrace web standards will not only involve convincing the developers, but also the management of these companies. What’s in it for them? How’s this stuff gonna make them money? Got your pitch ready? Sell it.

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