5 "Mistakes" you may be making as a developer

I learned how to develop webistes and systems with online courses a few good years ago, but only relatively recently did I find that I did a lot of “wrong” thing.

I bring the word “mistake” here not so strongly, because you can make things work is already sensational. However, there are always ways to develop better and prepare to be more effective.

In this article I want to introduce you to 5 actions that, as much as they helped me in the beginning, blocked me in my development later.

If you want to know how to become a developer, I already leave the link to my guide on how to become a web developer.

Depend on jQuery or other frameworks

When I started developing websites, it was jQuery back and forth. It seemed that the pattern of building a site always started with the html and the call of jQuery.

This JavaScript library, which you’re probably already familiar with or at least heard of, is still widely used on thousands of websites. And for a very simple reason:

It facilitates the manipulation of the DOM absurdly.

It’s much easier to do anything in JavaScript with jQuery than using JS simply. And as good as that is, it turns out that if you have your introduction in JavaScript along with jQuery, you just stop learning how to use real JS.

Currently, with the increased use of libraries such as React, Vue and Angular, it turns out that jQuery has finally won competition since it is quite simple to perform several basic actions with these other libraries as well as in jQuery and they still add several amazing features for modern applications.

However, these frameworks also act as a facilitating layer of language and its use. If we learn only the use of JS in one of these libraries, deep down we are not understanding what is happening behind it, but rather decorating how to perform small, more standardized actions.

If we dig deep into pure JavaScript first, we’re much easier to migrate from frameworks, create better-structured applications, and also have fewer errors on our sites.

It took me a long time to tackle JavaScript learning more deeply because it depended completely on jQuery.

My recommendation is that you first familiarize yourself with pure JavaScript and then move on to other libraries that make life easier.

Depend on Bootstrap or other CSS frameworks

Just as for JavaScript we use jQuery or other frameworks to make life easier, in the CSS field we also do the same thing with Bootstrap, Bulma or Foundation.

They are facilitators to create beautiful and responsive layouts. They bring several classes already ready and just decorate them to be able to create various types of effects that in the background can be even quite complex.

Of course, using this type of tool before understanding and studying how CSS works brings the same challenges to our understanding of how websites work. But more than that, they come with many ‘useless’ things that we don’t use in our systems and end up increasing the size of the sites.

A while ago, creating the Grid of sites – their structures – was pretty boring. We had to deal with float and other features that are not as predictable and easy to deal with. That’s why these frameworks have also become so popular.

Currently, with the use of Flexbox and, in particular, Grid it is possible to create these structures much more easily directly with CSS.

My recommendation, however, is similar to jQuery: Learn CSS in greater depth before you only start using facilitators and libraries with Bootstrap.

This will help you a lot both to solve any problems and to create more complex layouts that are not possible only with frameworks.

Do not use semantic HTML

HTML5 has been between us for a long time and yet it is very common to see the code of new sites being created practically with<div>and <span>to set up your sites.</span></div>

The use of semantic HTML is something that greatly helps the accessibility of your site and also reading to SEO.

My recommendation is to really move on to always wondering if the HTML element you are using is the correct one and seek to discover the dozens of elements available.

Don’t create responsive websites

Maybe by being in a bubble, I thought all the sites were already being created thinking about mobile devices in the first place. But unfortunately it’s not like that.

There is still a lot of creation of sites that are even beautiful and interesting on the desktop but just decrease a little the size of the screen that things start to get strange.

In particular, when I work with designers of marketing agencies I usually always receive the layout of desktop-only sites and most customers only look as well as it appears when viewed by large screens.

Being that well probably more than 70% of the traffic on their website (not to say 90% in some cases) will come from mobile devices.

My recommendation is to always start thinking of a site by the smaller screens and adapt it to the big screens next. I say this because it will be easier and you will be optimizing the amount of content, visual effects and features for that type of screen that will in fact be more viewed.

Conclusion

There are several ways we can improve as web developers and whether or not we will also continue to make various “mistakes”.

The important thing is always to try to understand what we can improve and put the study and practice time necessary for development.

Our industry changes very quickly and every year are new recommendations, new libraries and new languages. Having a deeper knowledge of the technologies behind it will help a lot.

I was inspired by this article in English for the creation of this.

Enjoy!

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André Lug

André Lug

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