Hello, my name is JP.

I Love Web Development Twitter, But...

Written by JP on December 1, 2021
~ 2 minutes to read
  • twitter
  • webdev

The @sleeplessyogi put out the above tweet that got some traction on Web Development Twitter topic and it got me thinking a bit.

I took a long time away from Twitter due to political discourse only to come back recently. I mostly have stuck around because of sports content and web development content. For the most part I've been impressed with web development Twitter.

I only have two issues with the topic:

One, some people share concepts that are out of their breadth or misrepresent concepts simply due to the limited scope of their experience. I'm 100% cool with that - especially since the responses are mostly kind and educational (community, yay!).

Second, tweets like the one above that damage the community and gate-keep what it means to develop software on the web.

Do I understand or personally have experience with every concept on that list? Yes on both accounts. Am I prepared to write a Wikipedia entry on any of them? No. For instance I've professionally implemented a JWT based authentication scheme at my current company and can describe what Json Web Tokens are, but it would be disingenuous to not acknowledge how heavily I leaned on a 3rd party library to accomplish the task. Pretty standard, actually. Why would you write the implementation from scratch? Why would I not use a tested and hardened library?

The other thing that annoys me about the post is the addition of React Hooks to the list. React is a requirement to be considered a web developer now? I love React. I love hooks. This is a React site. With that said, adding React Hooks is the stupidest addition to an already stupid list. There are an endless amount of options to build a web site - React is one of many.

So with that in context, I have to wonder, how does that tweet make a newer programmer feel? While web development Twitter will tell you programming is easy (and you should learn it to make that $$$) it's in fact not easy at all. It takes hard work and patience. It takes humbling your ego by reading others code and asking for help. It takes being vulnerable in allowing people to evaluate your work and give you blunt feedback. It takes grit to not just simply copy/paste a snippet from StackOverflow, but to understand the snippet and how to implement it in the DRY-est way possible.

It's because of that truth - that becoming a good web developer isn't easy - tweets like the one above can be damaging to the confidence of newer developers. There's so much to learn about, so many concepts to grasp, I feel it's counterproductive and comes off as a douchey humblebrag more than anything.

I never had a chance of making to the NBA, but if you tell me I can't call myself a basketball player you can kindly go fuck yourself.