Too many tools spoil the web dev world


Well, not this kind of tools :)

Marco elaborates on why tools and frameworks for web development have become so complicated and convoluted (and usually unnecessary), in response to PPK’s post.

Web development has never been more complicated or convoluted than it is today due to the sheer quantity of tools (and their rapid rate of change) involved in most modern web-dev environments.

At the Generate conference, Brad Frost also half-jokingly noted that a web developer applying for a job these days must go through a ridiculous list of “frameworks” that he/she must know.

“Our job descriptions contain so many acronyms… How do we keep from drowning in a sea of devices, tools, technologies, Medium posts, tweets, and opinions? And how do we maintain our sanity in the process?”

My short take of this: know why tools exist and what problem they solve, at what cost. Like with anything in this life, you can’t have it all. Frameworks might help (or often appear to help) with speed and cost, but you might lose on quality of the end product, since it is not going to be perfectly custom to your needs.

PPK proposes a solution:

The solution is simple: ditch the tools. All of them. (No, I’m not being particularly subtle here.) Teach the newbies proper web development. That’s it, really.

The web’s answer to the native challenge should be radical simplification, not even more tools.

Would you agree?

2 thoughts on “Too many tools spoil the web dev world

  1. MadMartian

    I notice that a lot of frameworks (particularly JavaScript) do not accomplish very much more than introducing a layer of abstraction. Here’s what I think is happening:
    – Developers make their own frameworks and libraries to cure the disease of boredom
    – Said library does very little, but that is neither the point nor the motivation for the library
    – Libraries are asserted (not proven) as necessary
    – Developers assume all these useless libraries are important
    – Developers take time to learn how these libraries work
    – Developers feel productive learning about useless libraries
    – The confused notion that web development is booming
    – The actuality that web developers are going around in circles re-inventing the wheel

    Spheres other than web development are starving for experienced developers while web development (and front-end JavaScript in particular) is saturated.

    1. ntanya54

      Well said. There are oftentimes multiple versions of libraries for simple tasks that don’t require libraries.

      What other spheres (aside from web dev) would you say are worth attention?

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