Oooh boy…! I’m about to rattle the hornet’s nest with this one. Web tooling tends to change at a very rapid pace, it seems that every other week a new JavaScript framework is released. This can become pretty exhausting to some, and maybe even get that feeling of becoming out of date; a (web dinosaur).

Now a days, being a web developer does not carry the same prestige as being a software engineer! When I attend local meetups or developer conferences I’m often asked by my fellow industry peers what I do for a living? I reply that I’m a web developer and I immediately get crap, lot’s of it. My favorite often response from them is:

“Oh you’re in IT and setup WordPress blogs?”

Ha, good one. My other favorite one is:

“Where did you get your degree from? Codeacademy or Udemy?”

I can’t blame them, I mean they were dropped as children; ha. They often back off once they find out that I do have a formal Computer Science education, but then they ask:

“Why I ended in web and not in mobile app development?”

I often say that everyone’s calling is a bit different from others and my passion is web development!

Many “professionals” see web development as easy, not real programming, crappy frameworks and APIs doing all the real work. Want a great weekend read?, check out the comments on Hacker News about web development. Though crowd!

Why is this some may ask? Well we can have a very heated debate here but I blame the tech giants (Google and Facebook) with their in-house experiments, that often become open source and end up as the new standard.

Web is just too damn fast paced! For example, let’s look at a recent programming language update. Objective-C was released in 1983 and in 2006 Apple introduced the latest update Objective-C 2.0, that’s a twenty-six year time-frame between stable versions. As we all know today Objective-C is being replaced with Swift.

Let me go back for a moment here, I spent close to five years in the digital advertising industry developing websites with the “latest” JavaScript frameworks (AngularJS, Backbone.js, Ember.js and Node.js). We quickly realized that picking a new framework for each brand new project was not ideal. Our bottlenecks? One, project managers suggesting shit; if you’re a project manager and not technical please, pretty please consult with the devs first. Two, within our very own development teams, most developers don’t stay current and feel more comfortable with the o’le LAMP environment. I’m pretty sure this is often the case at most web shops.

Back to the subject, ha. My very first JavaScript framework that I started with in 2008 was MooTools, ha do any of you still use it or remember it? Then in 2011, I did a couple of projects in Enyo when HP decided to screw-up something great that still lives in most of your current iOS and Android devices feature wise.

So what’s the problem? Here it is:

It’s not 2004 anymore! You just learned Grunt? Great, but do you know Gulp? No wait, how about Webpack? Oh crap! Still laying out your sites using floats? Dude Flexbox is here. Oh you’re using Angular? That’s old news, ReactJS is the way to go!

How we as developers supposed to get any work done when everything keeps changing? Well the truth is, it’s not really changing that fast. All you need to do is pay less attention to what you read on twitter, Hacker News and in your newsletters; what other’s are using isn’t necessarily what everyone is using. Companies make multi-year investments in various web technologies and will stick to their web stacks for quite some time.

Here’s a great example, have any of you ever wondered why Apples’ Web Store goes down when a new product is announced? No, not to update the product line! But because they’re still using WebObjects a mostly dead framework. Yes, believe it or not the most valuable company still uses a dead framework in their web stack.

So what should a web developer do? In the wise words of Chris Coyier; just build websites!

To sum this up. Things are always going to change and that is great news for our industry. You won’t become obsolete overnight if you keep your ear to the ground, honestly evaluate new technology and never stop building stuff.

Always, always follow your passion!