Programming is getting more complex than ever. Stacks upon stacks, bible-length style guides, and compilers that turn human readable code into robot code. As the programming world around me gets more complex, I find my own code becoming more basic than ever.
I Never Set Out to Become a Programmer
When I was 13 all I wanted to do was blog, but I could never find the right design to match how I wanted to express my words. Little did I know when I first looked up what CSS was that I inadvertently would be launching a decade plus career as an independent programmer.
The goal of it all was to reach an end result, and I was a blogger first before I was a programmer. Yet when the money started coming in that all changed and I became a master at reaching the end result with the few languages I’ve always known.
Despite watching the programming world jump from one hot new language to another, I have stuck to the aforementioned languages and gone to the depths of each to master them in ways that seem to have been lost in today’s world of frameworks and near singularity.
Old Fashioned or Forward Thinking?
A battle I have had internally, and with new programmers is whether or not I have stuck myself in the past by not moving to the popular frameworks and coding languages of the current age of web design.
The common argument I hear for exploring new languages is how I will be able to apply those concepts to my existing workflow, and that sounds appealing enough.
But anybody who understands programming knows that a language is just a tool, it’s the concepts that are universal and “basic” languages can be greatly improved by applying the “better” concepts of the modern and confusing programing languages.
… and seriously, how the hell do I justify bringing a compiler into an environment I know just needs some basic HTML and CSS?
How can it possibly be efficient to setup an entire Git repository for a commercial project that weights under 1MB when copying and pasting to Dropbox has works for years?
To be honest I can’t be bothered to learn most of this crap because I am too busy mastering the methodologies and stretching the tried and proven languages themselves to build products that I actually own, and are actually used by adoring customers.
When I talk to many new programmers who are deep into React—of which I have never written a single line of and have a more successful programming career than most React developers—not only do I follow along with what they are talking about but also hear the novel concepts they gush over that have already been established in the archaic languages they claim superiority over.
This, more than anything, proves to me that the “old-fashioned” path I am on is correct because while the programming language of the day may change, having mastered the basics will give my digital work the strongest foundation to stand upon as the Web around it changes.