Confessions of a Web Developer XIX

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It's been a while since I've gotten a few things off of my chest and since I'm always full of peeves and annoyances I thought it was time to unleash:

  • Due to the immensely negative response to any tweet about crypto from my blog account, I created a second account just for crypto musings. I'll be honest -- it hurt that I needed to do that. I've always felt readers and followers were on a journey with me but maybe the truth is that the majority of my value is quick tips and code to get people past a single problem.
  • Last week I contributed to Uniswap, the well known decentralized exchange with billions of dollars in locked value and used by millions of DeFi investors each day. It was a small change but putting my footprint in as many places as possible is important to me. Good for the ego but also helps to make me feel valuable and energized.
  • I couldn't be prouder to be working the amazing team at MetaMask to build the secure future of Web3 and change the landscape of trading, voting, and money. The potential of blockchain, Web3, and the entrepreneurial spirit that comes with it makes me incredibly excited to wake up each day.
  • It's taken a while to admit to myself but Mozilla's layoffs were mostly an effort to bin experienced, highly paid senior employees and replace then with younger, cheaper employees. Not bitter, just honest, and it's a good reminder that your employer is not your friend, not matter how much they speak in terms of family.
  • I grew up working incredibly hard and now, at 38, I feel like I need to relax a bit and soak in live, enjoy the fruits of my labor. I'm scared I'm letting my family down in not being more engaged sometimes, but I'm also afraid I'd be stopping the momentum I've built. The more I think about it, the more I feel like I'm failing and will regret how I've spent my time.
  • I've said for years that I'd love for someone to steal me from the Apple ecosystem (computer, phone, etc.) but no one seems capable. Apple's seamless device integrations and Genius Bar support are irreplaceable.
  • Has web development become boring because the browsers have mostly eliminated API differences and kept a relatively synced feature release schedule? Or because Chromium has taken over? Or because we all use React/framework abstractions? It feels like webdev isn't as exciting as it used to be...
  • I fell in love with the programming mostly due to languages that weren't typed because I could code without types getting in the way. The more experience you gain, however, you're desperate for typing because it can keep you out of trouble. Circle of (dev) life?
  • Seeing my children obsessed with watching screens and playing with devices makes me feel like a horrible parent. It doesn't help that I'm glued to my phone, so I'm probably a horrible husband too. Ashamed that I fell into this trap.
  • Working remotely for the past decade, and that coupled with the pandemic, have sunken me into a depression and thrust me into suffering massively from agoraphobia. The idea of boarding a plane or visiting a busy restaurant horrifies me...
  • The fact that our industry is run on arbitrarily adding unaudited, almost anonymously created dependencies to our projects is borderline irresponsible. LavaMoat helps but still...surely there's got to be a better way...
  • ...and speaking of better ways, large organizations need to start contributing money to these open source projects, especially if they want to them to be maintained. Almost criminal that they don't.
  • I was always confused when I saw the eye-watering numbers being paid to podcasters but a recent 4 hour drive made me realize how much easier traveling is when you have a familiar, entertaining voice in your ear. I get it now.
  • Don't work for free -- at the very least, solicit donations for your work. Why? Pay the writer.

What am I right about? What am I incredibly offbase with? Let me know!

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Discussion

  1. jon

    Honestly , that thing with the backlash for crypto comments surprised me

    This is the internet and you are talking about crypto, it’s like saying something out loud in a metro station and hearing people protest…

    your value as a creator and person doesn’t come from this minute interactions with the thoughtless overmind that these topics create

  2. So many good thoughts hard to pick just one but the most important would be that spending less time working is not letting your family down, especially if you are spending that time with them. The young ones will be gone tomorrow, the time you can spend with them today is not replaceable.

  3. East Coast companies assume you will work M-F 9-5, Silicone Valley types promote the ideas of family, hard work, dedication until you have about 5 years with them. After that they try to figure out how to get rid of you without having to pay unemployment.

  4. steve

    I’ve got ~10 years on you but regarding bullet point 5, work is always there, your kids at this precise age aren’t. I know it’s easier said than done, and you always feel like you’re sacrificing one (work) for the other (family) or vice versa, but one is definitely more important than the other (spoiler alert: it’s family; see bullet point 4). Maybe I’m just old and jaded and cynical and realize that most work is bullshit, but you asked… :)

  5. Steve

    First off, I’ve been a fan of yours for forever. Still am, however I am one of those that you lose with any talk of crypto currency. (I’m not gone, I just ignore the non-web stuff)

    The crypto bullet note above triggers 3 key responses:
    1.) “web3” – Those of us that strive(d) for an open web platform where everyone is able to join. “web3” seems to have nothing to do with the Web, and feels like someone is trying to “steal” it from those that helped build it.
    2.) crypto currency gets directly tied to NFTs (unsurprisingly) and as such this distaste for NFTs washes out on crypto currency.
    3.) as software developers, we often want to use “the new hotness” and will often get fixated on “a solution looking for a problem” – to many, blockchain and everything that stems from it falls into this.

    If you can honestly watch this entire video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ_xWvX1n9g ), and you don’t have a personal financial stake in “crypto succeeding”… and you walk away thinking that NFTs are good, I’m at a complete loss.

    And since you’re linked to MetaMask, which endorses/promotes NFTs (even if you don’t) this is where heads will butt.

    I personally have made it my mission to reject any association with NFT scams/companies, and will not make or play video games that use them.

    For anyone that (despite ecological concerns) wants to **speculate** with crypto currency… I don’t take issue, however it is not an **investment** IMHO.

  6. sonyl

    David, you might remember my name since we talked MooTools almost 15 years ago relating to a project I worked on, but that aside: love that you’re being resilient. There’s a lot to be said for engineers who recognize humanity and for that I applaud you.

  7. I appreciate your thoughts, I’ve been a long time receiver of the e-mails as you’re such a cool writer and I love seeing tidbits of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript for tackling small interesting problems and the occasional rants of a dynamic developer. :)

    I will keep this brief, crypto is treated like a religion so it’s very polarizing and a crowd backing one will grow noisy even if you are “truthy” on your analysis or “painting on the wall” is coming with no one wanting to look for some project out there. Just be fair and objective, while backing your favorite projects and supporting them with proper analysis and faith in that project based on its merits/founders/long term goals and values.

    As for family and work, it’s really not easy man. You talk about kids and they will grow in the blink of an eye so don’t play around! Don’t miss a beat and catch all those moments as you can, but also hit your professional stride and soak up those opportunities in the development or blockchain world too! I always told myself in sports and college my enemy was never a single opponent or class, it was TIME. Time to improve, time to reflect, time to grow and practice my craft, simply the act of losing time to something else was a battle. I can’t always spend time with my girlfriend because of work and wanting to establish myself (sometimes I feel crappy or sad as you do). It just comes down to finding and striking that balance. :)

  8. Anonymous Coward

    It’s a bit rich for you to be working for a company working on centralizing so-called decentralized services. What’s the difference to my banking setup now? I don’t get to use SWIFT directly, my bank does it for me. I don’t get to use cryptocurrencies directly, Metamask (or whatever) does it for me.

    It’s incredibly simple:

    Web3, web3, web 3.0 (or whichever form of writing is currently popular) and cryptocurrency are bullshit. It’s simply another gold rush right now, a Ponzi scheme or simply a value extraction scam. The ones who made a killing were the equipment salesmen, not the hopeful prospectors. As are today. Entirely wrong incentives are given with this setup to ever hope to produce anything useful and not profit-related.

    As soon as the inevitable regulation hits, the whole thing will lose its appeal as a prohibitively inefficient way of doing anything.

    By the way: crypto means cryptology, always has. Hijacking established terms does not help it’s case at all. Anything that is highly opaque and is attempted to be made „cooler sounding“ should be suspect by default.

  9. Mark

    Lots of interesting points. I understand the hate around crypto and web3 though. There’s a large community that wants nothing to do with it (myself included) and wants to protect the web from these unwanted intrusions. Quite glad you moved that content to a different account (in fairness you should link to it for those interested). Looking forward to all of your non-crypto web musings!

  10. Ekweaga Charles

    Hi, thanks for this insightful blog! I really thankful to you that you share your thoughts importance of web design services and I am sure that you are continue your thoughts with us thankyou, keep it up.

  11. Howard

    I’m glad you moved the crypto conversations to another profile slash platform. It has been really hard to watch you fall into this scam and not be able to get a clear message to you.

    I would strongly recommend following this blog about the web3 grift https://web3isgoinggreat.com/ that tracks ongoing sub-scams and facepalms within the crypto/NFT/web3 space. It sums up why the majority of informed users and developers are steering clear of it.

  12. Aaron

    You should do a post on this site linking to your other site. On the other site you should have a post that tries to clearly articulate why you think crypto is a good thing with concrete examples.

    As someone that feels quite strongly that crypto is nothing more than a pyramid scheme it would be good for me and everyone that is a disbeliever to read a well versed explanation of what is supposedly good about it.

    We have strong beliefs however we are always open to being proven incorrect if there’s new info.

  13. Nobody

    One thing I’ve always wondered is how you find the time and discipline to keep posting to this blog. When do you write the posts in between work and family? Is it a chore or do you enjoy writing tutorials so much that you keep coming back to it naturally?

  14. Ryan

    I appreciate you writing this. I’ve been experimenting with Web3/crypto development for the last couple of years. I’ve learned a lot and find it genuinely interesting and worth exploring, but I simply don’t post about it due to the inevitable backlash I see others receive. Disappointing that you’ve faced the same.

    I enjoy your writing and am interested in your thoughts on the Web3 scene. What’s the Twitter account for your crypto musings?

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