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.
Phew, what a week! Due to an HTML-parsing bug, Cloudflare experienced a major data leak, and the first practical collision for SHA-1 was revealed as well.
We should take these events as an occasion to reconsider if a centralized front-end load balancer that modifies your traffic is a good idea after all. And it’s definitely time to upgrade your TLS-certificate if you still serve SHA-1, too. Here’s what else happened this week.
As web developers, we need to rely on our knowledge, and choosing solutions we’re already familiar with is often the most convenient approach to solving a problem. However, not only technology is evolving but also our knowledge of how to use it.
Everyone here can have a big impact on a project, on someone else. I get very excited about this when I read stories like the one about an intern at Google who did an experiment that saves tons of traffic, or when I get an email from one of my readers who now published an awesome complete beginner’s guide to front-end development.
We need to recognize that our industry depends on people who share their open-source code and we should support them and their projects that we heavily rely on. Finally, we also need to understand that these people perhaps don’t want a job as an employee at some big company but remain independent instead. So if you make money with a project that uses open-source libraries or other resources, maybe Valentine’s Day might be an occasion to show your appreciation and make the author a nice present.
With great power comes great responsibility. This week I found some resources that got me thinking: Service Workers that download 16MB of data on the user’s first visit? A Bluetooth API in the browser? Private browser windows that aren’t so private at all?
We have a lot of methods and strategies to fix these kinds of things. We can give the browser smarter hints, put security headers and HTTPS in place, serve web fonts locally, and build safer network protocols. The responsibility is in our hands.
When working in a team, we focus so much on the work, that we often forget that we all have something in common. Something that is so obvious that we underestimate it: we all are human beings. And well, if we want to grow as a team and get better at what we do, we should embrace this fact more. In fact, I just came back from a week-long team retreat where we had team activities, team games, and sessions and discussions about how we can achieve just that.
We figured out how much we value diversity, we realized how different the English language and its words are perceived by people from different countries, and we’ve seen short talks on various topics like work-life-balance but also on technical stuff like Docker or intercepting any computer’s traffic with a Raspberry Zero. So if you have the chance to work in a team, use the opportunity and exchange views and share information with your co-workers. Work is part of your life, so why not make it a lovely part?
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.