Day 3 – Identity

There is a stupid joke: “Two front-end developers meet at a bar and have nothing to say.” My stance on stupidity of this joke is that it alienates me from front-end community as a whole.

For those unfamiliar with current front-end landscape: There is some division between traditional front-end developers who are good at CSS, HTML, progressive enhancement and “newcomers”1 who are good at developing with JavaScript frameworks. There are people stuck in the middle, e. g. me, and sometimes it feels that I am not welcome on either side and have to filter my identity to be even respected as having a usable skillset.

So for couple of years I’ve been identifying as a front-end developer because a lot of things that excite me could be packed into it without lengthy explanations. For example it’s easy explain deep knowledge about accessibility by saying that I want to create something that can be used by as many people as possible. Front-end developer and accessibility specialist is too long and very few people can understand what accessibility specialist is.

Going forward I’ll probably drop “front-end” part of my identity because there’s no point in having it there. To keep it there means that many explanations will have to be made about what kind of front-end developer I am. Sadly some people will dismiss my skillset upon learning that I am neither framework know-it-all nor CSS magician.

When an identity doesn’t solve a purpose anymore, consider dropping it.

As my skillset develops my identities should too. I am Sarah, artist and developer.

  1. newcomers mostly means people who either started learning to code in framework era or who came from back-end because frameworks made development easier for them