The biggest challenge web developers face in 2015

draftsmenWorking on the web is getting harder.  It’s not because we’re getting older, it’s that we, as web developers, are becoming overwhelmed.  Dirtystylus puts describes this discomfort succinctly:

You find something that sounds cool, until you realize that this other thing is a dependency…and suddenly you have to understand five different parts in the chain when you really just wanted the first thing. The prerequisites have gotten so large that it feels like I can’t even get good at something before the whole rickety system has been replaced by something new.

Rickety Systems and the Never-Ending Quest for the Best

We’ve been here before. Around 2005 there was a flood of JavaScript libraries (Mootools, Prototype, etc.) that came out to leverage AJAX, push the envelope and and steamroll over browser inconsistencies, but for those of us that had been doing everything by hand there was no clear winner. Some frameworks broke compatibility early on, others while technically robust never gained a solid following.  It took about two years before jQuery became the clear leader.

Now we’re back in the same boat.  For every Grunt there’s a Gulp, for every angular.js there’s an ember.js.  And the dependencies, oh the dependencies.  The fact is that most of this stuff just is bleeding edge and it’s going to take another few years before people don’t get cut.

So what do we do?

Play, explore, have fun. Don’t believe the hype. Learn the things that help solve problems specific to you and your users, or focus on skills that transcend technologies.

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