Not inhabiting any particular end

In a developer group of two, or even three, no one can really specialize.

I am dimly/acutely aware that in other work places there are jobs with the title ‘front end developer’ populated by, presumably, people who are JavaScript virtuosos who have been using CSS pre-processors for so long that they now consider such things passé.

Several years ago I briefly felt as if I could describe myself as an expert in HTML and CSS. Not so much anymore.

I was also fascinated with user interfaces. Watching footage of the first mouse and window interface at XEROX PARC (shown in the documentary Triumph of the Nerds by Robert Cringeley) made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Somewhere along the line though I lost my fascination with new UIs – maybe because there haven’t been any really novel UIs crossing my path in a few years.

So I looked at an Apple Watch today. We were in the store to get a cable and it was there and what the hell. And it actually is novel yet intuitive. I always used to say that I wanted to design UIs that the user would just fall into. The watch is like that. I fell in and when I finally emerged I realized that I was perhaps needed in the outside world during my little watch-related vacation.

Which kind of sums up why I’m not more of a hotshot when it comes to front end development. If it doesn’t cross my path and it requires time outside of work to truly master then forget it. It’s not going to happen and I shall remain a generalist.