Living in a Developer's Utopia

Yes, working on the web can challenge even the most seasoned web worker these days. Developing for the web means juggling new technologies, changing best practices and the will to keep up with it all. Several have expressed similar opinions in recent blog posts.

I think about how I used to fill my time with coding. So much coding. I was willing to dive so deep into a library or framework or technology to learn it.

My tolerance for learning curves grows smaller every day. New technologies, once exciting for the sake of newness, now seem like hassles. I’m less and less tolerant of hokey marketing filled with superlatives. I value stability and clarity.

Ed Finkler in The Developer’s Dystopian Future.

I feel the same way, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve lost almost all interest in being a web developer. The client-side app world is much more stable, favoring deep knowledge of infrequent changes over the constant barrage of new, not necessarily better but at least different technologies, libraries, frameworks, techniques, and methodologies that burden professional web development.

Marco Arment in response to Ed’s piece.

I’m in an intriguing position on this subject, because I’m not a developer anymore. I haven’t launched Xcode since last December. Every time I’m out socially with software developers (which is often; I’ve made many good friends in that line of work, and I have no desire to lose them), at least one person asks me if I miss the job.

My answer is always the same: not really. The actual truth of the matter, as ever, is more nuanced.

Matt Gemmell in Confessions of an Ex-Developer, in response to Ed’s piece and Marco’s piece.

I think about it a bit differently. I like the Web’s uncertainty. I don’t mind that it splinters off into a million different directions, often with new ones every day. I work on the Web because of its universality.

That universality leads to a lot of choices. That’s all. Learning something new, integrating it into your project and choosing what you think is a “stable” work environment is up to you. It’s your choice.

Bastian Allgeier writes about that choice, one he made recently:

Creativity is within you and all you need is a fast way to let it out. The more direct, the better.

For a web developer the editor is the pen and the browser is a piece of paper.

The longer I look at boilerplates, build tools, frameworks and ways to make my life as a developer easier, the more I long for the basics.

In the last two months I moved away from SASS for all new projects, though I know how helpful it can be in many places. I moved away from inuit.css, which I really liked as a CSS toolkit and went back to better structure my own CSS. I ditched Angular for Kirby 2 and went for a very reduced and tiny combination of loosely coupled js components.

Bastian Allgeier in Simplicity.

Having all this choice makes me feel like I’m living in a developer’s utopia.