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Web Design

I think this was the basis for how we all originally met.
I've been looking forever for a decent full-time HTML/CSS/js ninja, which used to seem like a dime a dozen a while ago.
So my questions are:
- Are you still in involved in web design and what are your impressions of the market of jobs and applicants
- Are the tools and frameworks advanced enough now that you can get away without manually coding up the guts of a web app?


  • Man I'm still in it but I work on a terrible Magento website that sucks to work on and feels like it's from another century.
  • I'm still in it, and the market around here is generally pretty tight. You can get a new-ish generalist relatively easy and train them up, but the competition for experienced people in commonly used technologies is pretty fierce.

    And I think the frameworks out there make common tasks easier and automate a lot of the most tedious stuff, but there's still a lot of guts to deal with. It can abstract away the database connections and web services calls, but you still gotta code the business logic.
  • Still in it. Still manage designers and developers. 

    The market is the abyss. Staring into it can make you mad.

    Look for folks who have stayed at a job longer than a year, unless you're looking to hire someone completely fresh. There are a ton of folks out there who fake their way through job after job for 6 months at a time and consistently make around $80k/yr. Watch out for prima donnas too. Most aren't competent, but some are. Even if they write good code, they're not worth it, since they'll sink a project and taint your development culture to stroke their own ego. 

    Some of the best devs I've known have only a couple years experience, but usually only at one or two places. Sometimes you can luck out and get an amazing intro-level dev too. I know we've lucked out there a few times.

    At my last job, the boss would occasionally jam together a rudimentary web app using Ruby on Rails components, Bootstrap, and a bunch of jQuery libraries. That kind of thing is great for quick and dirty prototypes and even sometimes a startup MVP. I'm generally a fan of that approach, but you have to be careful and make sure you don't paint yourself into a corner for when you inevitably outgrow it. 

    I'm not sure it's really possible to avoid code. Even if you use a variety of SaaS tools and tie them together with Zapier, you end up doing some custom work. 

    Can you tell us what you have in mind? 
  • edited February 2019
    We've got a number of good application developers - mostly in Python and Django, some application relics are in .NET, ColdFusion, or Java; but inevitably everything produced looks like an engineer designed the interface.  
    In addition to this, style of the overall institution website changes not infrequently and we're asked to make all our stuff fall in line aesthetically.
  • I'm still at it, 3-4 WordPress sites a month.

    I think the frameworks that are supposed to make huge conplex sites easy to maintain have made small to mid-sized sites ridiculously difficult/expensive to maintain.

    HTML, CSS, and a sprinkling of vanilla JS is all most front ends need.
  • Out of it since 2004. See you never web design.
  • I am surprised at Chris's assertion that HTML, CSS and simple JS is all that is required in these days of frameworks (and mobile!). Everything seems so complicated now.
  • I believe that is what he's saying. 

    Every time I look up some recipe on my phone and the page is still building and painting and reformatting and then some mobile video player pops up and starts blaring sound AND I AM JUST TRYING TO SEE WHAT TO TEMP TO PREHEAT THE OVEN, I wonder how and why this is anything anyone but the programmer wants.
  • There is a reason I still do web surfing in w3m. I am surprised that this works at all anywhere, but sometimes it does.
  • The bloat is mostly ads and images, not the frameworks. Our Angular apps come in around 500K and load in around half-a-second. Average on our old, dumb website is over twice as big and twice as slow.

    Most ad supported sites, however, have multiple trafficking systems and ad creators are generally not super concerned with performance. To put it mildly.

  • Ecommerce sites are bulked up by a ton of analytics and personalization services. Mountains of JavaScript.
  • "Engagement"
  • I'll buy it. Seeing fonts repaint over the course of a full minute clouds my sanity.
  • LinkedIn SUCKS. I tried logging into it today, and it lagged so hard. What's LinkedIn's excuse?
  • "I would like to add you to my professional network" apparently requires 2MB of minified Javascript. Who knew?
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