Personal thoughts on web development

José M. Pérez

José M. Pérez / July 02, 2010

2 min read––– views

Or as David Walsh would say, "confessions of a web developer". Until 2 years ago I had always seen Javascript as a poor language. It was painful to develop a simple script and expect it to work cross-browser. I had to write alert messages to be able to trace the execution of the functions and make try-and-error continuously to quickly find that silent error that could make you spend hours trying to find.

But times have changed and now I feel more comfortable programming JavaScript. Thanks to current powerful frameworks (such as jQuery and Mootools), developer tools (Firebug and Webkit tools) and a greater knowledge about how JavaScript affects webpages (Steve Souders, Nicholas Zakas...) the task of making good performance websites with great UX is now much easier.

I am enjoying these days reading some good books about jQuery and JavaScript. Now I understand why my pages loaded slower than expected and I can apply well-know JavaScript patterns (à la Java or C++ design patterns) to solve common problems.

When I finished my degree I was more focused on accessibility and web standards, and now I tend to make more progressive enhancement and SEO. The possibility of developing a public site with (to some grade) an important number of visits has given me the possibility of knowing better how search engines work and how I can monitor the health of the site.

Finally I am becoming fan of UX. As a proud owner of an iPhone and an iPad I have realized that not only have I used these devices, but I also have enjoyed discovering UI details and patterns that Apple has taken care of to make using their products a fun experience. And that makes me care about making responsive sites with a self-explainable UI that does not need the user to read a whole manual to start using it. I guess you have already watch these videos. And this is really a challenge when developing a framework that should cover everyone's needs.

I think I have found what I enjoy nowadays. Who knows if next year I will be more focused on developing HTML5 mobile-ready websites working both online and offline or building RIA. The truth is that web development is getting fancier and lots of great possibilities are on the horizon.