A thought from Rachel Smith

12th January 2016

Pushing against a tidal wave

There is a theme emerging in the recent content I’m reading from my fellow designers and developers which is hard to put my finger on - but if I had to I would call it dissent with the fact that JavaScript is eating the world.

The web design and development industry has grown out of infancy and is moving in to what I like to think of as the awkward teenage years. We are maturing, rebelling against the limitations set by our elders and trying to make sense of an industry where the demands are constantly evolving. And although our “youth" and naivety gives us space to tackle problems with a fresh and innovative perspective, we sure still make a hell of a lot of mistakes.

If you are overwhelmed, I really empathize with you. This is a tough vocation, where it can feel like if you stop to catch a breath for a second you’ll be left behind. However, given our current environment I feel like we have two options moving forward:

  1. Dig our heels in, beg everyone to slow down, rail against the current state of tools and processes which is far more complicated than the good old days.
  2. Try to learn a little, share what we learned. Maybe try and solve a new problem. Help out.

I’m not pretending that I’m important enough to tell people what to do with their time, but personally, I choose the second option. Although the first can make us feel more secure in the moment and maybe even work a little if we have enough so called online influence - it seems to me a little bit like pushing against a tidal wave: a futile effort, until you drown.

And I might even go as far as suggest that asking this evolving community, this alien life form of an industry, to stop what they’re doing simply because you are not comfortable with it is a tiny bit of an entitled request to make.

Instead of focusing on everything that's wrong with the state of building the web (we’ve kind of covered that part) I think there are a million far more interesting new problems to solve including:

I look forward to reading your thoughts. Its going to be a great year :)

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