Today I received my 59th paycheque at work. I only know this rather bizarre fact because I get paid monthly and I just passed my five year anniversary of working here. In my job I wear many hats. I answer phones, perform technical support for a whole range of products and people (most recently troubleshooting an iPod touch), administer the network, generate ray-traced renderings of buildings, develop and maintain websites and, when I have a little extra time, draw buildings which is what I was originally hired to do.
Our previous website was designed in something called WebEasy. As far as I can tell, it allowed one to arrange images, text and links on a page and then exported it as a table of images resized any old how. The background was black but it was a collection of different sized black jpgs instead of anything expectable. Each individual page also had a folder of images just for that particular page. It was not efficient, didnâ€™t work on most screen resolutions and was out of date so I built a new one from scratch.
This was an adventure over several weeks and months and I am heavily indebted to W3Schools and several of my friends from IRC for their help. Our current page is more-or-less up to date and looks a bit like we did it on purpose. It also ranks relatively well on Google searches which was kind of the point.
Our office has beautiful oak floors (there is a tie-in here. Wait for it.. waaaaaaait for it). The fellow who installed and finished them dropped by today to find out if we do webdesign (which, wonder of wonders, we sort of do. I also re-did my bossâ€™s wifeâ€™s B&B website so we technically do work for other companies). He and my boss discussed this and came to a kind of agreement. We (meaning â€œIâ€ but on company time) will design a site for him (which he has already been warned will look a lot like ours with a different colour scheme) and in return he will refinish several floors at my bossâ€™s house.
This is incontrovertible proof that a barter system is developing in these uncertain economic times. I expect that some lines will have to be drawn at some point. I canâ€™t foresee the Ontario Association of Architects allowing its membership to exchange design services for livestock any time soon.