How Can We Make Website Maintenance Work More Visible?

Published on April 24, 2019 (↻ May 29, 2021), filed under (RSS feed for all categories).

The maintenance and maintainability of websites is a much neglected topic. That’s an observation that has prompted me to compile yet two maintainability guides, guides that are surely not all we can document about the subject. It’s a problematic observation, too, because: We cannot not maintain.

Why is maintenance, why is maintainability so neglected?

Given said “law,” that one cannot not maintain, maintenance will not actually be neglected—our efforts and learnings here may just not be visible, and therefore not get documented well.

To turn things around, therefore, the question may be: How can we make website maintenance work more visible, and with our observations improve maintainability?

And some possible answers pop into our minds: Document the tasks we perform, document major issues and decisions, document the time we invest in maintenance.

Especially in high-performance environments, this is neither convenient nor easy to do, and therefore not tempting to even start doing. Which may explain a good part of the visibility problem.

Yet—increasing visibility is what may need to be done if we ever want to draw impactful lessons from our combined maintenance efforts. Therefore, to leave no stone unturned, for everyone:

What can we do to make website maintenance work more visible?

Perhaps we can gather lessons and ideas through something like #webmaintenance.

The story of Prince Valiant’s part in the capture of Sir Negarth and the slaying of the sea monster so interested the warrior king that he bade Sir Gawain bring the lad to his chambers on the morrow.

Figure: Physical maintenance. (Copyright King Features Syndicate, Inc., distr. Bulls.)

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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!