Baldur Bjarnason

... works as a web developer in Hveragerði, Iceland, and writes about the web, digital publishing, and web/product development

These are his notes

Everybody is pussyfooting around the actual problem in front end development

Front-End Dissatisfaction (and Backing Off) - CSS-Tricks

This blog post by Chris Coyier does a good job of pulling together the various threads of dissatisfaction that have been cropping up in the front end development community.

He almost, almost gets into the problem.

Minor pushback there: a lot of people don’t get any choice in the technologies they are tasked with.

That isn’t minor pushback. That’s the heart of the issue: we are beset by crap managers who don’t understand tech, don’t understand how programming works (PDF), resort to React because it simplifies recruitment (no matter whether it’s appropriate to your project or not), and—to top it all off—don’t view their own job, management, as the craft that it is. They’d rather read a fluffy airport management book than ever pick anything up by Deming, Reinertsen, or Gareth Morgan.

It’s a rare manager in tech that actually practices—actually puts a constant effort into improving their management craft.

Our managers choose the wrong tech, wrong processes, wrong platforms, and then never invest in training. Without their backing, the complexities you witness in modern front end web development would never have had the resources to exist in the first place.

Even those of use with good managers still suffer because the managers the rest of you have made sure that the field’s standard practices are toxic as hell and its processes are broken as designed.

There’s actually nothing wrong with much of the tech in front end dev. The tools are fine. Some are complex and are used much to much with little attempt to control the spread of complexity. Some are simple and horrendously underused. The frameworks are useful when used appropriately and magnify complexity when used inappropriately. Browsers are fine and have amazing APIs out of the box but also have stupendously hard-to-use capabilities that you should rarely reach for without a framework.

The field of web development, however, has been mismanaged to within an inch of its life by people who think they know what they are doing but put no effort into studying what they are doing. And their mismanagement has poisoned our practices.