My Web Development Wishlist 2024

Published on January 7, 2024, filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

Adding to the rekindled tradition, I’d like to make a few wishes for our field of web development:

  1. Treat everyone with respect. We cannot provide a great user experience or be great professionals if we don’t respect our users or our peers. We may need to draw lines, but also stay empathetic.

  2. Put user experience (including accessibility) first, developer experience second. We can always optimize our setups and workflows, seemingly for the good of everyone. At the end of the day, however, a second saved for the user is more important than a second saved for us.

  3. Ship quality output, starting with actual (i.e., valid) HTML. It’s neither good for the user experience nor a sign of professionalism to ship code that works accidentally, or not at all. Not checking on conformance is also what severely limits web and frontend development as professions, and therefore our opportunities within them.

  4. Run your own website. This is the greatest demonstration that we understand the website development cycle, lets us own our content and our reputation, and challenges us to keep growing.

  5. Our peers working on web standards, add as much as necessary, but as little as possible. In the web development community, we cannot constantly, exclusively talk about new features, let alone understand and master the complexity that ever-growing standards bring. Never-ending growth is cancer.

Yes, these wishes are fairly broad. Yes, I keep repeating them (listening, professionalism, commitment to conformance, challenges for frontend development, running one’s own website, spec growth). Yes, we aren’t doing poorly everywhere (with a few who demonstrate how to master everything). But even if only aspired to, and not yet fulfilled, these wishes help us make more impact, in a healthier profession.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!