The Great Divide Was Indeed Divisive

Zach reflects on 17 years in the game and my essay The Great Divide, four years old this month:

The Great Divide really resonated with me. I keep coming back to it and I do think it continues to accurately describe what feels like two very distinct and separate camps of web developer.

And despite Zach being very, very, hardcore, definitely a JavaScript author professionally…

… I also vehemently reject that I have to exclusively choose one side, and perhaps that is best reflected in my work on Eleventy.

That’s the problem with my essay. While I still feel like it captures the situation with a lot of people in this industry, and the emotion they have around it, it also pitted the sides against one another. It didn’t say these things as well as it should have:

  • There are plenty of people who are on both sides.
  • While focus is OK and time is precious, it’s ideal to have a foot on both sides.

I’m on both sides myself. I like JavaScript. I like both the front-of-the-front and the back-of-the-front. These days, I feel like I can say I’m quite full stack, writing plenty of back-end code as well. But it doesn’t make me care any less or be any less good at The Other Side (which I described as “HTML, CSS, design, interaction, patterns, accessibility, etc.”).

Maybe the bigger question is now:

Since there is too much for any web developer to know, what is the most graceful and professionally acceptable way of not knowing things?

Whatever the answer is, it’s definitely not “ignore, shit on, and downplay the things you don’t know and gatekeep the things you do.”


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One response to “The Great Divide Was Indeed Divisive”

  1. what’s the best way to declare you do not know things?

    this website helped me publish this once:

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