How Web Tech Concerns Change

Chris Coyier //

As a beginner in any specific web tech, your first concern is "what is this and how does it work?" As you level up, those concerns change. You may still learn about about how it works as you dive deeper, but other concerns will emerge the more you know, the more you use it, and the more work of others you are exposed to.

CSS

Beginner

  • How do I make stuff look how I want?

Intermediate

  • How can I keep this under control?
  • Can/should I use frameworks/libraries?
  • How do I deal with cross-browser problems?
  • Should I be using a preprocessor?

Expert

  • How can I write less of this?
  • Can/should I create frameworks/libraries?
  • Is testing possible?
  • How can I improve the tooling?

JavaScript

Beginner

  • How do I make stuff happen?

Intermediate

  • How can I organize this?
  • What are the best practices regarding speed and efficiency?
  • What jobs are best left to other web tech?

Expert

  • How can I write less of this?
  • Are Preprocessors appropriate for this?
  • How can I keep this really fast?
  • How does a team write this?
  • How do we make less mistakes?

HTML

Beginner

  • What tags do I use for what?

Intermediate

  • How can I write this really efficiently?
  • Am I being as semantic as I can be?
  • Am I being as accessible as I can be?

Expert

  • What tags do I use for what? lol.

Back End Languages

Beginner

  • What is the syntax?
  • How do I perform basic loops and logic?

Intermediate

  • How do I organize this?

Expert

  • How can I keep this fast?
  • How can I keep this secure?
  • Am I using the right languages for the right jobs?

Databases

Beginner

  • How can I store and get stuff?

Intermediate

  • How do I structure this intelligently?

Expert

  • How can I scale this?
  • How can I predict our future needs?
  • What types of databases are right for what kind of data?

What does it mean?

I'm not sure exactly. It's just interesting to think about. Here's some maybes:

From an education perspective it would be interesting to know how many people there are out there at each level and how interested they are in getting help on those questions.

From a hiring perspective it may help identify the relative skill level of hires by seeing what kind of things they are concerned about at the moment in a particular area.

From a self improvement perspective it may help you understand what is in store for you as you level up.