Anselm Hannemann is a freelance front-end developer and architect and cares about sustainable front-end experiences and ethical choices in life. He curates the WDRL, a weekly handcrafted web development newsletter that thousands of developers love and subscribe to.
What fuels your work? What fuels your mind? What do you do on a non-productive day or when you’re sad? Nowadays, I try to embrace these times. I try to relax and not be angry at myself for not being productive.
And the fun fact about it? Well, most of the times when I could convince my mind that not being productive is nothing to feel bad about, things take a sudden turn: I get my ideas back, my productivity rises and, in effect, I even achieve more work than on an average day. It’s important to try to be human.
Happy new year! I hope you had a good start and can feel positive about what 2017 might bring. As mentioned in the last edition of the past year, I don’t like New Year’s resolutions too much, but I’d like to point you to something that Marc Thiele wishes for this year:
“So my wish then also is, that you reflect and ask yourself, if you want to post the text or maybe even just have another, a second look on the text you are about to post. Maybe you decide, that you don’t post it. Maybe this helps, that less negative posts and emotions are spread.”
Welcome to the last reading list of the year. I'm happy to still have you as a reader and very grateful to all the people who value and support my work. I hope you'll be on vacation for the upcoming days or can relax a bit from your daily work. Remind to take care of yourself, and see you next year!
New year's resolutions — you know it, they're hard to reach. Find out why it's easier to use recurring systems instead of setting goals. As James Clear explains, "It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems."
Only one week left until Christmas, and people already start freaking out again. No gifts purchased yet, work isn’t finished either, and suddenly some budget has to be spent until the end of the year. All of this puts us under pressure. To avoid the stress, I’ve seen a lot of people take a vacation from now until the end of the year — probably a good idea.
And while it’s nice to see so many web advent calendars, I feel like I’ve never written a longer reading list than this one. So save this edition if you don’t have much time currently and read it during some calm moments later this year or early next year. Most articles are still worth reading in a few weeks.
We shouldn’t let ourselves get distracted by people who work on different projects than we do. If a developer advocate works on a web-based QR code application, for example, their way of tackling things most certainly won’t fit your project. If someone builds a real-time dashboard, their concept won’t relate to the company portfolio website you’re building. Bear in mind that you need to find the best concept, the best technologies, the best solution for your specific project.
Thinking about the right decisions rather than following cool, new trends blindly, is the first step to building responsible web solutions. That’s what we call progressive enhancement. The only subjective matter in this undertaking is you, judging what level of progressive enhancement a solution should have.
Are you afraid of refactoring code? I love refactoring code. It’s nice to see a code base growing, but this also means that new quirks and suboptimal changes are introduced along the way. At some point, you might realize that there could be a huge opportunity in rewriting the code — to eliminate conflicts or to rename things.
For me, refactoring is both: It’s a challenge to master, but, in the end, also a relief to see how the code evolved. We can’t anticipate everything when we first build modules, and we shouldn’t try to do so either. So let’s not be afraid to set our hands to an already existing code base and improve our code over time instead.
We have great new technology available to enhance our websites. But while theoretical articles explain well what the technologies do, we often struggle to find real use cases or details on how things worked out in actual projects.
This week I stumbled across a couple of great posts that share exactly these precious real-life insights: stories about HTTP/2 implementation, experiences from using the Cascade of CSS in large-scale projects, and insights into employing Service Worker and BackgroundSync to build solid forms.
As developers, are we paid to write code? This challenging question raises concerns about product quality, code quality, and our purpose as developers in a world of coded applications. You’ll find an interesting post that dives deeper into the matter in the “Work & Life” section of our reading list this week.
But we have other amazing resources to look at this week, too: new tools, new tutorials, and we’ll also take some time to reconsider CSS print styles. Let’s get started!
These days, I’ve been pondering what purpose we as developers have in our world. I’m not able to provide you with an answer here, but instead want to encourage you to think about it, too. Do you have an opinion on this? Are we just pleasing other people’s demands? Or are we in charge of advising the people who demand solutions from us if we think they’re wrong? A challenging question, and the answer will be different for everyone here. If you want to let me know your thoughts, I’d be happy to hear them.