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Web design and development articles and tutorials for advent.



Published: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:29:08 +0000

Last Build Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 04:29:08 +0000

 



All That Glisters

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 12:00:00 +0000

Drew McLellan wraps up our 2017 series with a gentle reminder that in a rapidly moving industry, the best technology for the job isn’t always the newest. And while Christmas tradition tells us we should follow the bright star, sometimes the answer lies closer to home. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Tradition has it that at this time of year, families gather together, sit, eat and share stories. It’s an opportunity for the wisdom of the elders to be passed down to the younger members of the tribe. Tradition also has it that we should chase cheese downhill and dunk the nice lady to prove she’s a witch, so maybe let’s not put too much stock in that.

I’ve been building things on the web professionally for about twenty years, and although the web has changed immeasurably, it’s probably not changed as much as I have. While I can happily say I’m not the young (always right, always arrogant) developer that I once was, unfortunately I’m now an approaching-middle-age developer who thinks he’s always right and on top of it is extremely pompous. What can you do? Nature has devised this system with the distinct advantage of allowing us to always be right, and only ever wrong in the future or in the past. So let’s roll with it.

Increasingly, there seems to be a sense of fatigue within our industry. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on whatever the latest tool or technology is, something new comes out to replace it. Suddenly you find that you’ve invested precious time learning something new and it’s already old hat. The pace of change is so rapid, that new developers don’t know where to start, and experienced developers don’t know where it ends. With that in mind, here’s some fireside thoughts from a pompous old developer, that I hope might bring some Christmas comfort.

Reliable and boring beats shiny and new

There are so many new tools, frameworks, techniques, styles and libraries to learn. You know what? You don’t have to use them. You’re not a bad developer if you use Grunt even though others have switched to Gulp or Brunch or Webpack or Banana Sandwich. It’s probably misguided to spend lots of project time messing around with build tool fashions when your so last year build tool is already doing what you need.


About the author

Chen Hui Jing is a self-taught designer and developer with an inordinate love for CSS, as evidenced by her blog that is mostly about CSS, and her tweets, which are largely about typography and the web. She used to play basketball full-time and launched her web career during downtime between training sessions.

More articles by Hui Jing