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Anselm is a freelance front-end developer who cares about sustainable front-end experiences and ethical choices in life. He writes the WDRL, and is co-founder … More about Anselm

Web Development Reading List #121: The Illusion Of Completeness, Client Hints, CSS Subgrids

Over the last two weeks, I had the chance to review about eighty job applications for a front-end position. The position requires strong JavaScript knowledge, but it also requires HTML and CSS. And here’s a thing: nearly no one could show off substantial markup skills, not to talk about accessibility. Although I only had the chance to review their personal websites or GitHub profiles and this might of course not be a full show-off of their knowledge, it assured my lately developed opinion on web developers. Many are not able to choose the right HTML elements, to explain why and how a clearfix works, or what ARIA roles are for, but they can use React and Angular. If you got some spare time over the next weeks, learn semantics and re-read the basics (or specs if you like the challenge) of HTML and CSS from time to time.

Over the last two weeks, I had the chance to review about eighty job applications for a front-end position. The position requires strong JavaScript knowledge, but it also requires HTML and CSS. And here’s a thing: nearly no one could show off substantial markup skills, not to talk about accessibility.

Although I only had the chance to review their personal websites or GitHub profiles and this might of course not be a full show-off of their knowledge, it assured my lately developed opinion on web developers. Many are not able to choose the right HTML elements, to explain why and how a clearfix works, or what ARIA roles are for, but they can use React and Angular. If you got some spare time over the next weeks, learn semantics and re-read the basics (or specs if you like the challenge) of HTML and CSS from time to time.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

General

  • There’s a lot of discussion currently about the web getting too complex, and some even claim the web is broken. Remy Sharp instead has a different view on the new technologies, options we have today and how we can use them together with our base technology from 25 years ago. The article is best described by Remy’s own words: “Why I love working with the web”.

Concepts & Design

Security

The anatomy of a web app attack
Jack Leonard’s infographic explains the anatomy of a web app attack.

Web Performance

  • Because a <picture>-element can get really bloated when you provide a lot of resolutions and image sources, Jon Arne Sæterås explains how to use Client Hints for a leaner, more automated approach to serve responsive images. The only issue here is that you need a server to support it and that not all browsers support Client Hints at the moment, so you need to find a smart fallback for those.
  • This amazing guide gives you a full introduction into how to set up HTTP/2 from scratch — including the required TLS certificate and server configurations needed.

Accessibility

  • pa11y is your new best friend if you want to have automated accessibility testing. It monitors your website and reports accessibility issues. In that, it is similar to Tenon, a commercial SaaS alternative that you don’t need to set up and maintain on your own.
pa11y, automated accessibility testing
pa11y, your new best friend when it comes to automated accessibility testing.

JavaScript

CSS / Sass

Work & Life

  • After reviewing a lot of applications in the past days, I can only agree with Kristian Glass here and say: “If you get the chance, always send a cover letter”. It’s your opportunity to say something about yourself and make clear why you apply for the job.

Going beyond…

  • We have an ongoing problem with growing inequality around the world and a few super rich people (latest numbers say it’s down to 65) have as much money as the poorest 3.5 billion people. If we don’t change anything and do not oblige people to pay their taxes in their own countries or reject trickle-down economics as the World Bank officially declared just recently, this system will break and our own lives are likely to be affected.

And with that, I’ll close for this week. If you like what I write each week, please support me with a donation or share this resource with other people. You can learn more about the costs of the project here. It’s available via e-mail, RSS and online.

Thanks and all the best, Anselm