6 ugly habits in web development

At Usersnap, we have over 20 (summed up) years of experience in well organized web development. We figured that track record allows us to call out the good, bad and the ugly in the industry. Now, working in web development can be rewarding, challenging and overall awesome, but the programming world has its dark side too (and no, there are no cookies).

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1. Brogrammers

The Urban Dictionary explains a brogrammer to be…

a programmer who breaks the usual expectations of quiet nerdiness and opts instead for the usual trappings of a frat-boy: popped collars, bad beer, and calling everybody ‘bro’.

This definition is followed by the note that brogrammers are “despised by everyone, especially other programmers.” That being noted, there are a an awful lot of semi ironic references to those dudes. Like the are-you-a-brogrammer test. Or Twilio’s admittedly hilarious presentation on ‘how to become a better brogrammer’. Sad fact is that these guys are not some mythical creatures. And they don’t exactly pave the way for newcomers in our field, popping 3 Red Bulls before standup, to then go on burping the alphabet while waiting for their ‘fresh’ build to finish.

2. Bitching on other communities

Unfortunately there are programmers out there that rank people by the programming language they work with. Java programmers are boring and grey-ish, Ruby developers are all tree-hugging hipsters and nobody seems to like PHP programmers. It’s unfortunate – and unnecessary – that we have to judge each other this way and it’s especially painful when a speaker at a conference sets the tone by dissing another programming languages, just to get a few easy laughs.

3. We don’t listen to your feedback, LOL

Ever came across a project that was ‘open sourced’ and you wanted to contribute to by filing an issue or making a pull request, and they were never heard from again? Unfortunately it’s not uncommon that people just like the ring of the word ‘transparency’, but ignore its very meaning.

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4. YOLO Driven Development

Releasing untested code – or worse: hacking in your production code – is also known as YOLO Driven Development. And never a good idea.

YOLO driven development
“I have no idea which branch I’m working on”
via devopsreactions.tumblr.com

5. Gender gap

The fact that women are largely underrepresented in the IT world is something we’re hopefully all very aware of. Recent events at some conferences (dongle jokes, harassment and horrid threats) certainly are not pretty.

A Rails conference recently got celebrated for its 1-out-of-10 attendees being female and that’s just sad. We can and we have to do better, getting more diversity in our industry. In the meantime, we try our best to bridge that gap by getting more women interested in programming.

6. Harming people

Hacking someone’s devices just ‘because you can’ is never really a nice thing to do. Sure, you want to make a point / you’re a creative genius, but are you also there to fix it again or advise people how to properly use a firewall, VPN or incognito surfing? I didn’t think so…

Having summed up the good, bad and the ugly in web development, you now have a benchmark for your own company. Let’s do awesome!

And: if you have any additions to this post, please let me know in the comments!

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