I started programming in the mid 1980s. We had a Spectrum 128k+2 at home, and I used a BBC Micro B (followed by the BBC Master) at school. I coded in BASIC both at home and school. It was very simple back then.
In the 1990s, whilst studying for my degree, I learned C and C++. The internet was only just becoming more widely used – the library at the college had access, and that was pretty much the only place that did. During my placement in 1995/1996, the office had internet access on dial-up! I still used C++ for college work, and a bespoke program for work.
And that’s where we’re at. We’ve made web sites so complicated, where simple fixes take a long time, and it takes a while for new developers to pick up the methodologies they need to get the job done. Apparantely, there’s a shortage of web developers, and looking at job requirements it’s easy to see why! The level of experience is massive. Even if training is offered, it can take years to get to a level of basic understanding, just to amend a simple site.
There will be a lot of developers who will not agree with me. They’ll try and point out the advantages of creating complex sites, using tools and frameworks for no good reason apart from to be trendy, and by using these frameworks that slow sites down they think by adding a loading bar will help! There should be a separation of concerns, so code is placed in separate projects, to make it more managable (it doesn’t!), and easier to update (it isn’t!). They will say that I shouldn’t be a web developer because I don’t like the latest framework and don’t (want to) understand how they work. Maybe I should stick to the desktop or learn app development. (By the way, a previous job I left has still not been filled 18 months later! It’s still being advertised. And my current employer couldn’t fill a position during the same time that they withdrew the job ad!)
What now for me? Well, I’m deciding on what to do at this moment. What project should I concentrate on (I have several ideas), should it be web or desktop, or something in-between? I have a demo website (adrianjohnson.me – though the address might change in future) which loads quite quickly despite being simple, and I’ve almost done a desktop application in C#/WPF that I might release. I’ll tell you one thing though, whatever I code next will not be filled with unnecessary thingys and wotsits that cool hipsters dream up for everyone to drool over. I’ll make sure it can be picked up by the next developer and it’ll be kept simple, stupid!