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No, Absolutely Not

I think the difference between a junior and senior front-end developer isn't in their understanding or familiarity with a particular tech stack, toolchain, or whether they can write flawless code. Instead, it all comes down to this: how they push back against bad ideas.

What I've learned this year is that web performance will suffer if you don't say no to the marketing department because you'll suddenly find yourself with eighteen different analytics scripts on your website. If you don't … Read article

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JAMstack, Fugu, and Houdini

What has me really excited about building websites recently is the fact that we, as front-end developers, have the power to do so much more. Only a few years ago, I would need a whole team of developers to accomplish what can now be done with just a few amazing tools.

Although the projects/tools/technologies are almost endless, in this article I'd like to talk about the top three that have me the most excited about building websites today, and for … Read article

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Oh, the Places JavaScript Will Go

I tend to be pretty vocal about the problems client-side JavaScript cause from a performance perspective. We're shipping more JavaScript than ever to our user's devices and the result is increasingly brittle and resource-intensive experiences. It's... not great.

But that doesn't mean I don't like JavaScript. On the contrary, I enjoy working in JavaScript quite a bit. I just wish we were a little more selective about where we use it.… Read article

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How Do You Remove Unused CSS From a Site?

Here's what I'd like you to know upfront: this is a hard problem. If you've landed here because you're hoping to be pointed at a tool you can run that tells you exactly what CSS you can delete from your project, well... there are tools out there, but I'm warning you to be very careful with them because none of them can ever tell you the complete story.

I know what you want. You want to run the tool, … Read article

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Six Months Using Firebase Web Performance Monitoring

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serpstack

Is it your job to keep an eye on your company's search engine placement? Or your clients? Or are you building a tool to do just that? Manually Googling stuff isn't going to scale particularly well there. Wouldn't it be nice if you could hit an API and it would return you nicely formatted data with this information?

That's what serpstack is. A "serp" being a "Search Engine Results Page." You hit it with a search query and it hits … Read article

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The Tools are Here

Heading into 2020, it occurs to me that I've now been making websites for 20 years. Looking back on that time, it seems as though our practices have been in near-constant churn, and that our progress did not always seem linear. But ultimately, even the missteps and tangents along the way have contributed to a pattern of refinement, and now for the first time, it feels like we'll have a standard pattern for most of the technical challenges we face. … Read article

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Teaching CSS

I've been using CSS as a web developer since CSS became something we could actually use. My first websites were built using <font></font> tags and <table></table>s for layout. I remember arguments about whether this whole CSS thing was a good idea at all. I was quickly convinced, mostly due to the ability to easily change the font on an entire site in one place. Managing common styles was so useful at a time when most websites were just a … Read article

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The Communal Cycle of Sharing

What I'm interested in this year is how we're continuing to expand on tools, services, and shared side projects to collectively guide where we take the web next, and the way we're sharing that.

So many other mediums—mostly analog ones—have been around for ages and have a deeper history. In the grand scheme of things, the web, and thus the job of building for it, are still pretty new. We talk about open source and licenses, the ebbs and flows … Read article

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The Best Cocktail in Town

I admit I've held in a lot of pent-up frustration about the direction web development has taken the past few years. There is the complexity. It requires a steep learning curve. It focuses more on more configuration than it does development.… Read article

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The Kind of Development I Like

I'm turning 40 next year (yikes!) and even though I've been making websites for over 25 years, I feel like I'm finally beginning to understand the kind of development I like. Expectedly, these are not new revelations and my views can be summed up by two older Computer Science adages that pre-date my career.

  1. Composition over inheritance
  2. Convention over configuration

Allow me to take you on a short journey. In modern component-driven web development, I often end up with or … Read article

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