Wern Ancheta

Adventures in Web Development.

Why I Love Web Development

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It’s not very often that I reflect on why I love things. Why I Love Web Development is not a question I often ask myself. In this essay I’ll attempt to explore the why. I first started learning about Web Development when I was in College. Back then it was just another subject that I had to learn in order to finish my course. I never really thought that it would be the thing that puts money in my pocket 5 years later. I became a Web Developer. It’s very easy to get into Web Development. All you need is a computer, a text-editor and a browser. Just create an HTML file, put some styling into it, and then sprinkle some JavaScript to make things more interactive and you have a full-fledge web page. Of course you’ll need to install other things such as Apache, MySQL and PHP if you’re working on the back-end. But initially, Web Development is very accessible for beginners. With websites such as Code School, Pluralsight and Codeacademy it became even easier to get into https://www.codecademy.com/. Perhaps that’s the first thing that made me fall in love with Web Development. It’s easy to get into it. There’s also a plethora of information about it. Q&A websites such as Stackoverflow makes it really easy to solve problems in case you get stuck with something. All you really need to know is to know what to Google.

Web Development isn’t without its difficulties. If you’re a Web Developer you have to learn so many things. You have to consider a lot of things when it comes to your users. You need to be empathetic to their needs. That’s probably the reason why there are Web Designers, Front-end Developers, Back-end Developers, Devops and UX Designers. One person can’t really do it all. I’m not really one to talk because I’ve only been practicing Web Development as a Full-stack Developer. Which means that I take care of everything. Or not. I have to admit that I lack the qualities of a Web Designer. And when it comes to UX, I have a lot to learn. I primarily consider myself a Back-end Developer because that’s where my core skills are. But this doesn’t mean that I have to ignore learning things about design and how to make things more accessible. This doesn’t mean that I don’t need to make an effort no matter how little. Such as putting the alt attribute on images or sprinkling some aria-role attributes in my HTML code. Aside from that, you also need to think about performance. Not all users have a blazing fast internet connection with 10 GB/s download speed. But it doesn’t end there. As a developer you also need to think of the maintainability of your code. You need to think of the next person who’s going to end up maintaining your code. As a developer you have to make an effort on carefully naming things and structuring your code in such a way that things can easily be found. Your code should also be DRY. Which means that there should only be a single source of truth in your code. And avoid repeating things as much as possible. You need to think about the future. The dependencies you pull into your code. It’s always wise to pull in a third-party library to easily accomplish things that would be hard for you to implement on your own. But you also need to make sure that your code doesn’t break if this library gets updated.

The idea of creating something that didn’t previously exist. The joy of building something and seeing it come to life is what makes Web Development really awesome. You get to play around with shiny, new and cool stuff all the time. You get to learn something new every day. You get to work on side-projects and push it to Github and have other people use your work. That to me is fantastic.

The ability to see the world in a Programmer’s eyes. You begin to wonder how things are built. What technologies are behind it? How are things implemented?

The dread that you feel whenever a new JavaScript library comes out. And the fear that the shiny new thing that you’ve learned is replaced by that JavaScript library that came out.

The never-ending queue of articles that you think you have to read in order to keep yourself up to date.

The idea that you can reach a lot of people by just creating a single website. The idea that you can provide valuable information and make their life easier by using the thing that you created. The ability to empower people from a thousand miles a way and they don’t even know you. That to me is priceless.