Whenever those discussions are on the agenda, I feel like, that they’re getting their focus entirely wrong. I know that this may sound like a weird hot take, but most of the time, it felt like that they’re more about devaluing each others skill set and more about tech dogmatism than about creating a better Internet.
I will try to make three points in this blogpost:
- At first, on how to choose a Stack for a certain project.
- Second, about Accessibility and a better Internet.
- Last, about that ongoing payment discussion.
Evaluating Which STACK Fits the Best
What My Footer Tells About Me
Evaluating All the Things!
What I want to say is, that languages are just tools. You wouldn’t use a drilling machine (or a ThinkPad) for nailing a nail into a wall, would you? And while people will give you weirdly interesting looks for doing so anyways, building web pages and application on the most unreasonable STACKs seems like a common thing to do & people posting amazed posts, about why it is the best throwing insert overengineered Stack choice here on the most basic problems on a certain awful orange website, isn’t questioned at all.
In the end, programmers are payed for solving problems & I would say there’s a lot room of making a better job on this, especially when it comes to evaluating what Stack one should use for a certain problem, and I felt like the current buzzword-ish tech culture doesn’t make things easier (as in people talking about machine learning when their problem is most likely solveable by some SELECT queries).
One may or may not feel comfortable working with a certain Stack fitting best for a project, and here, the approach to learn in companies should change, since there should be more room to learn new things.
Especially in the modern web accessibility falls short in so many web applications, since some of them may raise more questions in how to wow investors instead of having the humans, who will end up using the applications, in mind (there’s a similar discussion in general/open source programming ongoing as well, but that’s another tea).
The Worst of UX and Accessibility
When I went job hunting during most of January, I have visited so many blinky and just inaccessible company pages, some of them happen to be a worst-case scenario in terms of UX and accessibility.
Alternated scrolling behavior, styled scrolling bar (which just isn’t convenient), an at least 1s animation on like any element one could find.
If you need a last-gen MacBook or ThinkPad to display a webpage giving information about a company and a job description, you’re not just doing something wrong, but also waving a huge red flag to me; since you’re actively shutting out people using low-end hardware. There’s not a single reason to justify why a ThinkPad x201 shouldn’t be able to display such kind of a webpage smoothly.
It’s Wrong Putting UX Against JS Communities
A Better Internet
Instead of splitting and dividing communities, we should aim together for a better internet. To not make that sound like a buzzword, but fill it with meaning, to me, a better internet is:
- accessible (A11Y standards)
- decentralized and less corporate owned
- open and build upon open web standards
And since it’s always easy to start talking about a better internet and not seeing our own responsibility, as developers, in this, we should do better in our own environments as well, which means:
- Stop writing ~think pieces~ about if “developer X should learn language Y”, since the answer’s is always: if they want to do so, yes.
- Care about workspace accessibility and about accessibility in products.
- Don’t bother those “front-end vs. back-end”, “language x vs. language y”, “UX vs. JS” wars, instead focus on delivering great experiences and start building good software.
- Learn from each other & about how the web is designed, intended to be and what concepts there are.
One of the major questions being raised on that end was if there should be a difference in payment when it comes to monetizing on one hand a JS-focussed skillset, and on the other a UX-focussed skillset.
It’s About Time Not Skills
Toxic Nerd Culture
I feel like this is an important appendix to add. While I talked a lot about evaluating programming languages and Stacks for projects and about learning new things, this does not mean that one has to know everything. In January, I talked about the things I do not know on here, and it’s perfectly okay not knowing things. You don’t have to be full stack. It’s okay just knowing one or two programming languages or just the HTML/CSS tea. You deserve a good payment for what you do. Mandy Michael made some good points on this, I recommend reading this 2017 piece of her as well.