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Sad UI dev needs advice on dealing with a stubborn backend developer

  • # June 30, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Hey guys,

    I’m the lead UI dev at a company and we’re working on a “2.0” version of our product. Before I was brought on to the team, the existing website was built as a single page application that relied on YUI for most of its client-side functionality. The backend is done in C#.

    Now that we are rebuilding from the ground up, we have a fantastic opportunity to make some changes in the way the code is done. For instance, separating content, presentation, and behavior. Simple, right?

    Except that our lead programmer insists on using inline Javascript and onclick events for event handlers. We are no longer using YUI but he is very anti-JQuery as well. Not to mention he will try to write frontend code to go with his programming and then insists it’s great. (tables?????) He does not believe in unobtrusive Javascript as he says it’s impossible to debug. On one hand I can ignore him but as much as I enjoy this project, I do not wish for my name to be on something that will have messy code and not follow any standards later than 1999.

    Any advice on dealing with him without being hostile? Good arguments to bring up?

    # June 30, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Sounds like someone doesn’t belong in their position…Unobtrusive JS is not impossible to debug, he is just lazy. I’d take it to a supervisor.

    # June 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Best thing I can think of is to just tell him you think that you have a better idea of what would be more efficient and more with the times. If he disagrees, then you can have him make a sample of java/html and show him how much easier and less lines of code it would be to do it using modern technology such as jQuery/CSS3. The difference in line count between java and jQuery can be huge.

    I’d say that’s one of the easiest ways, is to just show him how you can convert something in older technology to newer with better results.

    # June 30, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Thanks! Can you think of any reason other than laziness that one wouldn’t want to use Jquery or at least unobtrusive js?

    # June 30, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Yea, he is probably stuck in a certain groove that he likes and is now a pain in the butt to deal with because he only wants to do things his way, in other words, if its not being done his way it is an inconvenience…Honestly though, his laziness will cause WAY more trouble for front end coders as well as any SEO working with the code.

    And i agree completely, there is no reason he should be using js itself. The jQuery library will make EVERYONE’s live easier, that is after all why it was developed….

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