Cool front-end developers are always pushing the envelope, jumping out of their seat to use the latest and greatest and shiniest of UI frameworks and libraries. They are often found bridging the gap between native apps and web and so will strive to make the UI look and behave like an app. Which app? you may ask. iPhone? Android? What version? All good questions, alas another topic all together. However, there is another kind of front-end developer, the boring front-end developer. Here is an ode to the boring front-end developer, BFED if you will.
When given the choice to add a preprocessor (e.g. LESS, SASS, CoffeeScript etc) to the technology stack, the BFED realises there is a deeper impact beyond just "writing less code". Will developers need to learn a new language beyond the language of the web (i.e. HTML, CSS, JS)? Will debugging code be harder? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then the BFED will say no to preprocessors.
The BFED realises that users have different abilities and preferred ways of using a computer, whether its a mouse, finger, thumb, screen reader, keyboard or a combination of all, websites should be consumable no matter the audience, screen size or capability of the browser.
This great post got me thinking about my own attitude towards code. I've always thought that I'm pretty good programmer but not a great one. I lack the ambition to know everything there is to know about certain specific area. I prefer just to solve the problem at hand and move on to solve the next challenge. I always try to solve the problem well, but I rarely go the extra mile to create awesome solutions.
Sometimes I get annoyed when rockstar programmers create really ambitious and risky solutions (or use tools unfamiliar with the team) to problems that are in my eyes just regular problems where regular solutions work quite well. Of course sometimes radical approaches are needed, otherwise we wouldn't have really great improvements like QML. I guess having the taste to understand when its appropriate to take risk and go with radical solution is what separates wannabe rockstars from truly great programmers.
I just try to be practical and get things done.