The Real Dark Web

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Here’s a wonderful reminder from Charlie Owen that everyone in the web design industry isn’t using the latest and greatest technology. And that’s okay! Charlie writes:

Most web developers are working on very “boring” teams. They’re producing workhorse products that serve the organisation needs. They aren’t trying to innovate. They aren’t trying to impress the next recruiter with their CV. They simply want to get paid, produce a solution that works, and go home.

Yet they are told, mostly implicitly, sometimes directly, that if they’re not innovating and using the latest tools that they are somehow a failure. This feeling of failure for not implementing the latest tech permeates our industry.

This feeling needs to end.

I feel that this is a big problem for our community because there are a small number of folks on the bleeding edge that happen to be quite loud about their work (even here at CSS-Tricks) – and that’s great! We all need to learn from folks that are doing this work. However, we need to remind ourselves that this is a very small number of folks and not every project has to be a technical marvel to be a success.

Take Michelle Barker’s personal site, for example. It’s slick but is also dependency-free so she could focus on writing the languages she loves: HTML and CSS. Not a bad goal, nor a bad outcome.

This also harkens back to something Chris mentioned when discussing complexity in web development:

There are more developers these days working on in-house teams or agencies with big-ticket clients. That is, more and more developers on large-scope, long-scale, highly-complex jobs. So that’s where their minds are at. Big complicated problems with big complicated solutions. That’s what gets talked about. That’s what gets blogged about. That’s what gets argued about. That’s the topic at a lot of conferences I’ve been to.

While you certainly can make a soup-of-the-day website with an index.html file and FTP, blog posts about that are fewer and farther between and don’t get as many claps.

It’s not so much that we need cheers to validate our work; it’s merely recognizing that not everything has to be on the bleeding edge of technology. There’s something to be said about “simple and boring” projects.

Perhaps the real thing to fear is less about what we’re sharing and more about what we’re not sharing.

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