The easier my life becomes, the higher the barrier to entry

As an industry we love automation. Seriously, we’re obsessed with it! It sometimes feels like there is a new thing each day I step into the office.

That’s not a bad thing, in fact it’s pretty damn awesome. The web industry is fast paced. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with it. It completely satisfies my short attention span.

A few years ago I could never imagine running a script that would:

  1. Allow me to create organised CSS which could be compiled.
  2. Check for syntax errors in CSS and JavaScript.
  3. Prefix my CSS to support older browsers.
  4. Minify and concatenate my CSS and JavaScript.
  5. Optimise all the images!

And in a blink(ish) of an eye!

All these tools and libraries have made my life easier but the barrier to entry has never been higher. Learning the tools to develop front-ends is now as big a part as learning the front-end languages themselves.

If a tool makes my life easier, I am always up for trying it. There would be nothing better than halving the time I have to work. Who doesn’t like lying in a hammock sipping rum old fashioned.

I am sure most front-end developers share the same view, if not maybe with another preference of drink. The problem is these new tools often require learning new languages or libraries. It’s a double whammy.

New tools are only beneficial if the entire team understands how to use them. It doesn’t matter how useful a tool potentially is, if it doesn’t have the buy in from everyone it’s completely useless.

A magic black box where code is thrown into and mystical things happen is never a solution. Everyone needs to be part of the decision to implement them. Everyone should understand how these tools work.

Share knowledge. We can all learn from and help each other.

Posted on 13th August 2015

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