Tell me an unpopular software opinion

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

I tweeted this yesterday and the response was not good.

Tell me your unpopular opinion. Lighthearted only.


Editor guide

CSS and HTML are sufficient to build 99% of all websites.


Like the sprinkles on a cake... 👍


Your web server is coded in HTML and CSS? How does that work? 😜


David was talking about web*sites* ;)

Indeed, a server is the difference between a text file (containing HTML or otherwise) and a web*site*.


True , maybe a javascript and json file reading for content and thats it you dont need a fancy stuff.


I can't do a comment system with just that.


Yes you can 😁 - think of it as a forum.

I can't do a forum with just CSS and HTML...

I could, use <form> and make the magic happen on your backend/server.

Technically but that sucks. You have to refresh the page every time they click something. You can't even do a preview without refreshing. You can't solve the comment box resize problem (<textarea> doesn't resize by default), but it only takes a small amount of JS to fix it.

Like I'm a big fan of minimalism, but I advocate Javascript when it allows a significant UX improvement that's impossible without it.

Of course, I'd never do it in practice (I'd judge anyone who would). I was only trying to prove the unpopular opinion. :D

I really recommend both of you disabling JS in your browser and opening Gmail up to see what can be done.


Super high coverage testing is sometimes a waste of time 😬


A counter unpopular opinion: Everyone should do at least one project with 100% coverage to understand why some tests are better left unwritten.


Ooh I like this! But don't think I could inflict that on anyone 🙈


Don't forget to do tests for the tests.


💯 coverage is usually an indicator of highly coupled testing, which leads to very fragile tests, which leads to the tests being turned off...

Which leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.


For every metric, there is an equal and opposite metric.

Test coverage is good to know and track, but it can hide problems if it isn't a factor considered alongside a lot of principles and qualitative decision making.


Yes exactly; test coverage isn't the goal in itself and I think sometimes focusing too much on a percentage coverage is a distraction from creating an actual robust pipeline.

See also: snapshot testing in the frontend. Very easy to achieve close to 100% coverage with tests that are easily ignored and overwritten when they fail 🙄


Who writes the tests to test the tests?? 😵


Mutation testing


100% coverage of low quality tests is so much worse than 20% critical tests.



Many, many times.

That said, if you are publishing libraries that are meant to be reused (e.g. on PyPI, or NPM), 100% is often a good idea.


Full Stack Devs really exist.


Every "full-stack" I knew is either great with front and bad with back, or vice versa. But this post is about unpopular opinions, so I guess is ok 🤣


This is semi-accurate. I'm specialized in front-end, but have built a TON on the backend.

HOWEVER, I don't look at a backend specialist and say "Anything you can do, I can do", I simply approach every conversation with humility and acceptance that there may be a better approach, and I can't possibly know everything there is to know about all aspects of code.

I'm not bad at backend. But I can realistically assess that while I might be able to architect a cutting-edge front-end with all the bells and whistles, I can simply do an adequate job on the backend. That said, I have had the experience of writing a breadth-first sorting algorithm for a backend implementation covering millions of nodes that completed in 5 minutes vs the previous 6 hours (written by a backend specialist who I would say is VERY good)... so I definitely wouldn't say I'm BAD at the backend...

As a community we need to embrace the fact that there are universal coding patterns that can be applied on the frontend and backend. While I might specialize in tools for the frontend, that doesn't prevent me from using those patterns in work on a backend.

This is what I'd call "experience" though. How long have you been working in the field?

I do agree with you, though. People will have to come to terms with the fact that any decent web developer can learn most parts of the stack just fine with some effort and a tiny bit of interest.

Define "working" ROFL (Kidding)

Getting paid? A little over 10 years now.

But writing web code? Let's just say I remember writing code at a time when CSS didn't exist.

And absolutely it takes experience. I would look sideways at someone calling themselves a "Full Stack Engineer" on the first day of their first job without some significant background information haha.

I'm 3 years in, have worked on production environments maintaining and developing PHP/Node.js back-ends as well as React/Vue front-ends, and CI/CD infrastructures...

I'm still having a lot of trouble calling myself "full-stack". I'm way too junior to pretend I know both well enough.

First: Sounds pretty "Full Stack" to me. Second, make sure you have a specialty that you feel like is your "go-to" (Front-end, back-end... and even though "DevOps" is a mindset, it CAN be a specialty too).

If you've got that, but you wouldn't "little Bobby Tables" if you touched another piece of the stack, then you're full-stack.

You DO need a realistic assessment of your own skills. If you're mid-level in the front, but junior in the back, be honest about it and ask for mentorship and guidance from a senior backend engineer, but don't be afraid to pickup those stories either :D


Pretty much the opposite situation for me! I'm primarily back-end, but learned JS, then React/Vue, then CSS out of sheer necessity, then realized I wasn't half as bad as I thought I was at it. I still suck at layout, especially when responsive, but I'm getting decent at scaling things in mostly sensical ways.

I'm probably getting to mid-level in back-end at this point, maybe? And I learned DevOps-y stuff by scaling up my team's growing architecture past their FTP and manual CRON jobs on a single VM.


What is a full stack dev? A "jack of all trades"?


Yes, we exist. I design, write markup, styles, and handle back-end code and design database models.

But can you solder? 😜

One of the fun games to play with people who call themselves full-stack devs is to see just how "full" their stack is. So often it's just a bit of JS and PHP.

I can solder 😂😂

Exactly, I have also seen bad examples of full stack. But that doesn't change the fact.


I ask because I think people use the terms "front-end developer," "back-end developer," "full-stack developer," "Java developer," etc. in different ways.

Sometimes an "XYZ developer" term seems to describe the skill set possessed by a developer, and other times it is used to describe the specialization area of a developer.

When talking about skill sets, the term "full-stack" makes some sense to me: it emphasizes that a developer has learned a little about a lot and is comfortable diving deeper anywhere, including new territory.

But when talking about focus areas or areas of specialization, I think the term "full-stack" can be confusing: it seems to say "I'm good at everything," but a) that's not true, and b) every tech stack is different.

Also, the terms "front-end" and "back-end" refer to different things depending on if we're talking about web development or not.

Personally, the only modifier I tend to use with the terms "developer" and "engineer" is "software." Anything more feels like I'm putting myself in a box, and it might be hard to get out of later on.

"I'm a software engineer with ___ experience using ___ technologies, and I want to learn more about ___ by working on ___." More verbose, perhaps, but also a more accurate characterization of myself.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Web Devs too quickly silo themselves into front or back-end and limit themselves to understanding only part of the product they're working on.

So often I've seen features implemented in the wrong place in the stack. Not because the Dev was bad, because they didn't want to learn a language on the "other side" of the stack.

This should be more than doable for an average Dev (being multilingual is, after all, a thing) but for some reason the REST API seems to represent a cultural divide between the front-enders and back-enders and us full-stack Devs are viewed suspiciously by both.

SOLID, TDD, Agile, all apply to both "sides" of the stack. It's certainly possible to be a good Dev on both sides - so long as you don't measure being a good dev as simply someone who can remember all the native functions in that language.


I think that while they do exist, they all tend to have a specialty and, more importantly, relatively important shortcomings. I've yet to meet an actual full-stack that doesn't suck at one part of the stack, be it CSS, server configuration, DevOps, whatever.

Myself included. I suck at doing responsive layouts.


This is not so uncommon. There are a lot of people who can program the client all the way to Assembly. The question is, is this an efficient way to work in a project?



If your team and project scopes are small, hiring "full-stacks" make sense. There simply wouldn't be enough work for a full-time front-end developer in many places.

However, I've also seen places hiring a full-stack in hopes or getting rid of the need for an actual front-end developer for their product. Or hiring front-end devs who can use Firebase in hopes they won't need a back-end.

This rarely works, and when it does, it does quite poorly.


Devs can build their portfolios on WordPress


This is a great one.

Wordpress isn't exactly an "elegant solution" these days, but it is a hardened one with basically every use case imaginable covered. Any user-facing flaws can be overcome with tooling and config, same as any comparable software.

It's also very useful to learn Wordpress. The company behind Wordpress just raised another $300m. The software isn't going anywhere any time soon.


True Ben.
Headless Wordpress with Gatsby kind of well optimised frontend will be a killer combo for mid sized projects

Use cases,

  • content websites
  • e-commerce websites

Can second this. Been building a full-stack app for a few months now using WP as the backend + GraphQL API and React Frontend. Also use some serverless functions to supplement functionality that can't be done in WP.

It's been amazing because as a single dev, I can work on what would otherwise be a huge/impossible project by leveraging WPs' CMS, authentication features and plugins.

The only thing slowing me down is the WordPress GraphQL ecosystem is still almost non-existent

I'm going to be looking into Gatsby and next.js this year. One question - how do you handle updates on Gatsby when a post or something else is updated in WordPress? Do you have a hook/action that is triggered and posts to gatsby to run a new build?


I used wordpress once in 2003 but I haven't built a single wordpress site ever since!

I recognise what people have done with it, and it's maturity as a platform, but I count myself lucky!


I've had one on WP for years now. I'm switching to hosting everything on a GitHub pages site. It's just far easier to maintain with little effort. Helps focus on writing rather than messing with a WP set up.


Mine is even more primitive. I use a static site generator. Lol


Too many plugins, not enough code I can modify without fear.


It's 5pm I want to go home.


Yea. People are working themselves hard. I think some people are worried about their prospects or they really love their job.


It would definitely be the prospects. I've worked with companies that do have a good balance though.

Yea. There are nice ones. Just that there're more bad ones.

The nice ones probably have more competition and don't need to hire as often since the turnover would be low.

That's true. I got an email from a company that I interviewed with a year ago. Before I set up an e-commerce website. And they have all three roles open again. Turn over maybe... What do you think?

I don't think most companies need employees that badly. They just want more for extra growth.

They aren't closing without them.

That's a good point. Could you explain in more detail?

I mean they can still operate without hiring more people.

Just that they might not have as much output.

Oh I see. That makes sense. Thanks for explaining that in more detail.


My boss makes a point of telling us he doesn't pay overtime. When I first started I was staying until 6-8 PM. Absolutely not worth it.


Not paying overtime is pretty normal. But staying that late definitely not normal


But did your contract have that clause which states working extra hours to get the work done?


JavaScript is well-designed: most of us simply don't use it effectively and too frequently blame the tool for our problems.


It honestly irks me a lot how people cite the infamous 0.1 + 0.2 floating point arithmetic error as a justification to ostracize JavaScript (even though most programming languages suffer from this issue as well by virtue of floating point limitations).

Like, seriously? Are tiny nuances really that evil so as to dismiss the programming language altogether? No, right? Python suffers from the same error, but is nonetheless one of the most loved languages out there.

You are definitely correct about people not using it effectively. When people write arguments against the languages, it's always because they don't use it right, as in non-"Pythonic" code for Python.


No, I would cite -- github.com/aemkei/jsfuck

Most importantly, [1, 2] + [3, 4] that I learnt from Python. I know that there is .concat() and spread operator, but still...

Another thing is var hoisting, but it can be made understand, really.

I hope I'm misunderstanding, but this style of example "learnt from Python" always puzzles me. Specifically, why do devs expect things to work the way they do in some other language, rather than learning the constructs in the language theyre presently working in?

I do suppose that the language should be failsafe. Even TypeScript doesn't warn., nor throws an error. Even Python is safer. TypeScript is partly safer, and some part more dangerous than Python, due to JavaScript-based.

RTFM, partly, is OK. But reading the whole EMCA specification is crazy.

Also, I cannot expect tutorials to teach everything.

I also expect the language to be "guessable" rather than being told to do so. Otherwise, throw an error early.

Productivity doesn't wait for you to finish learning...

But knowing additional paradigms might be helpful. Knowledge should add-on rather than replace.

Still, end-in-end, I love JavaScript (not even saying TS), more than Python.


Although it was designed in 10 days (in a way) it is quite simple and good enough I would agree. I just would never use it for backend as I prefer type safety and having some thread control. Dynamic typing and such things could be "shoot yourself in the foot" for some devs and then they blame the tool.


Agree, JS is a simple, productive and elegant language with a great ecosystem.


I was following you until "great ecosystem". The whole node_modules thing is mostly a house of cards waiting for the right gust of wind to make everything fall apart, and most of the tooling is mostly over-engineered reinventions of existing tools.

But I really like using the language. It's fun to write in.


I think this is true after ES6 when JavaScript has all the syntactic sugar that other languages like Ruby has.

Also whoever designed it actually thought about what they're changing before actually making the changes.


IMO the premise that most users don't use it effectively disproves the assertion that it is well-designed. To me, a language that is well-designed is easy to use effectively by default, and so most people would. I like JavaScript because the platform runs in so many places and there are so many different things I can do with it. This is ultimately not a consequence of good language design, though.


I like JavaScript because the platform runs in so many places and there are so many different things I can do with it. This is ultimately not a consequence of good language design, though.

I would amend that it to "popularity and versatility are not necessarily a consequence of good language design." 👍

To me, a language that is well-designed is easy to use effectively by default, and so most people would.

I suppose we should come up with a definition of "effective use" for this discussion before we dive too far and realize we're not talking about the same things. 🤓

When it comes to effective use, programming languages are quite similar to natural languages: it's all about communication. How well can you say the right thing?

One of the key differences between natural language and programming language, though, involves the audience: natural languages meant to be read by humans, but programming languages are are meant to be read by humans and computers.

So effective use of JavaScript is a question of how well you can balance what you say, such that it is right (for some, and possibly different, definitions of 'right') for both the readers of your code and the machine that eventually executes it.

To be able to find this balance, and communicate effectively with JavaScript, you need to understand the impact saying certain things in certain ways has on both humans and machines.

Language design definitely influences how challenging this process is, and there are some features of JavaScript (some present in the original design, some recent additions of ES6) that make this process harder than it needs to be, but not enough to make me feel it deserves the amount of flak it receives from our community.


POC are likely the first production release



Sad but true. I haven't been in the game long, but I feel like the whole "move fast, break things" mantra is often interpreted as "ship your prototypes."


Most software products I’ve seen have at least one feature that just screams “we have a demo on Monday, can you code this over the weekend?” And then that’s what goes to prod because there’s another demo on Friday for some other feature.


Haha yes

"we have a poc, so the Software is already complete. There is only some logic missing!"


learned this the hard way


I would love to hear about your experience in this area.

Well latest one was like build this and that and we need demo up in 3 months. Next thing you know always new feature requests and as a must. After that they started talking about release in another 6 months and I was like heeelllll no. They agreed to build prototype and then rewrite the whole thing but I'm sure they think well it's only bug fixing and optimizing. The code is impossible to maintain so hope they understood last time what rewrite means


Man I think I just found my support group 😢


Scalability can be a premature optimization


Don't need it, yet doesn't come into it.


Agile is rarely implemented properly. It usually ends up as shorter timeframe waterfall with less documentation.


I guess, that's not that unpopular.

Some “do agile“ because they're trying to come across hip, but once you look inside it's (like you said) plain old waterfall in biweekly sprints.


I've started asking in depth about user stories, effort/story points, on time deploys vs overtime hours in interviews and literally every company, even large blue chips are stumbling on it. They don't know their process, they think user stories are a waste of time. But then you ship the feature and everyone is all "damn we can't do X" sigh


And called incorrectly. We do Agile is like saying We do Green. Maybe Agile Methodologies?


I call it FrAgile because the Agile pieces tend to fall apart pretty easily and then it’s just a poorly planned Waterfall project...


That's just true, not unpopular, just not talked about.


OMG, you are 100% correct.


Oh yes, wonderfully articulated


Basic for loops in JavaScript are fine.


Depends what you're using then for. For performing operations on every element of an array or object, Array.prototype.map is really nice. But I definitely agree that for loops as opposed to Array.prototype.map, reduce and for each are never really bad; they're just sometimes not the best.


As soon as you need to have async code in your forEach callback you need to switch your code to the for loop again. So if there is any chance this might happen, pick it right away...

Nope, you can Promise.all()

How, .forEach doesn't collect the returned value, you would need to switch to .map and there are quite some cases where you don't want to fire all of these things "at once".

Then you can use await and Array.prototype.reduce. It sounds a bit awkward but is actually straightforward.

I'm not sure I get your point (or whether you got mine), so I'll put some code:

Independent of using map or reduce to iterate over an array, the "aaync callback" will return the promise immediately for every item.
(Even the function that contains the await Promise.all will immediately return with a promise, of course)

The implication is that you can not run those async actions in a sequence using the methods provided by Array.protype.

Meaning urls.map(fetch) is the same as urls.map(async (url) => await fetch(url)) and it's not different from using reduce to create that Array of Promises.


for (const url of urls) {
  await fetch(url)

Will only trigger the second fetch after the first one is done.

I have had plenty of experience where servers have blocked to many simultaneous requests, so it's worth considering the impact the code can have.

(If that's not clear I'm willing to take the time to write a post about it.)


I really don't like seeing people using .map for things not returning a new array. The whole concept of "mapping" comes from functional languages, or even higher, from mathematics, and always have been about "mapping" one set (your input) to another (the returned array). Discarding the output and using map as a glorified for loop makes the intention unclear.


TypeScript is one of the best things that happened to web development in the last few years.

PS: I know this opinion is not really unpopular. But I also know that the hardcore JS devs get really tilted with this opinion 🤣


To me, TypeScript is just like Babel JavaScript with typing. You can always cast to any, or // @ts-ignore. And, the configuration with tsconfig.json is relatively easy. Nowadays, I use ESLint as well, so it gets a little complex.

It is the best "dynamic" typing language IMO, but not strict enough to compare with static typing. Still, being partly dynamic can be massively helpful.


Agree, if you want strictly typed, you can go and use other alternatives. TS is just optional typing in top of JS. What tilts me a little is when JS devs throw shade to TS because is "useless" and they use any for everything 🤣

It becomes less optional when it turns into a standard

I mean, almost every popular project (package) use it and even I really don't like it, I can't ignore ts anymore


I have no qualms with TypeScript, but I'll admit i tilted a bit when i interviewed a .net dev whose reasons for using Typescript amounted to "i dont want to learn anything beyond classical inheritance and imperative programming".

Typing options are a great addition to js, it just saddens me when they're used in place of learning the language and the paradigms it offers.


Believe me, as a TS dev if another developer gave me that as a justification for using TS, I would get tilted as well. TS is a nice addition to JS, but not a replacement. In order to be a good TS developer, you need to be a good JS developer. TS is still just JS with types.


I like ts a lot, specially with a high configuration of tslint when the team are huge. It never where so easy to team code.


I feel so meh about TypeScript lol.

  1. PHP isn't dead and it won't die any time soon.

  2. JavaScript doesn't suck, but a lot of JavaScript developers do.


PHP is definitely not leaving any time soon. It's still the easiest way to deploy a functioning website. Traditional hosts are not the sexiest thing in the world anymore, but they're still running strong. Guess why? Push one index.php file through their web FTP interface (urgh) and you're on the internet.


I so fucking agree, even though I stopped using php while ago.


Burn! Okay how you measure your skill against others, thats nothing to do with languages what so ever. What do you measure 'a lot' as and 'bad' as?


how you measure your skill against others

I don't. To be honest, I would count myself in on devs who suck at JavaScript.

But I think JavaScript gets shamed a lot not because something's wrong with how the language works, but because many users expect it to work in a different way than it actually does.
Some devs come to JS and see the syntax, thinking "Yep, I know C (or C++ or Java or some other language) - I can work with that too.". And then they skip learning it as a new language and instead start using it straight away. But then something doesn't go exactly as they expected it to and they jump on the JS shaming train.

For me I started my career in the front end, it got to the point where I wanted more. More than node, more than typescript. Knowledge of programming in general is my goal, my first dip into another language was lua, not syntactically similar just a really interesting simple scripting language, that has deep ties within C, I then tried to tape node and lua together with WebAssembly and c++ because why not. It's true that I am accustomed to C style dialects, but it's also true that I have never had such expectations that everything is like JavaScript. I don't think I have met anyone who has had this expectation, but in my bubble all the developers in our team are full stack with a strong lean towards whatever.

I believe in learning programing concepts not languages, to do this I have delved in to a number of backend languages which I am starting to loose count, (being good at a language was not the point, learning was) Most recently returning to Rust, I find this language is outstanding.

I have not yet taken a stab at PHP but I have wrote a few posts about my shameful predudice against it and why I should give it a chance because honestly PHP has probably got a lot to offer in the server department. Anyway I find this opinion interesting but not really quantifiable.


Code Review is a terrible reactive concept that is overly relied on by teams and used as a crutch for bad communication. Pair Programming is significantly more effective at spreading ideas, communication and critiquing code.


I agree with your thought on pair programming, but I haven't experienced your view on code reviews. Are you saying that pairing can be a viable substitute for retroactive review?

Unfortunately pairing doesn't happen much in my current environment, and I don't do much to encourage it. In its absence, I think code reviews are better than nothing, but reviewing code effectively is just as challenging as delivering constructive feedback (because that's exactly what it is) and there aren't nearly as many devs who are good at this as there ought to be.


Hey Daniel! :)

I find that often by the time code is up for review it's "too late" to make important changes. As you're wrestling with factors like the sunk cost fallacy and the de-motivating effects of suggesting that a colleague re-do their work seemingly to appease you.

Not only is it often "too late" to make changes but sometimes it's also hard to convey larger feedback via text. Complex changes are often only realistically conveyed in person going through piece by piece. Naturally over time though the amount of "explaining" is asymptotic as you get more and more inline with each others viewpoints.

My take is not that code review is bad (it's important to stress this point) it's just that I see code review is used as a crutch for not having adequate conversations prior and during the creation of code (since it's reactive in nature). And pair programming in my opinion is superior at type of communication.

However I know that my opinion is unpopular since I'd say the majority of developers I've worked with would admit that they dislike pair programming, which seems to tally your experience too so until the day comes that the industry invites more pairing I'll be over here shouting into the void! 😂

Thanks for elaborating!

Honestly I quite enjoy pairing, but I've recently found myself in a remote work position that is also separated by about 8hrs from my teammates, which makes any sort of synchronous communication difficult. I've been experimenting with opening up a PR as soon as I make a first commit to a branch, and tagging my teammates with the hopes of exchanging feedback "early and often." I've met with mixed success, depending on how available my teammates are.

For large stories, I try to push my team's / teammates to use a two-phased PR: one for the interfaces/design, a second for the code.
This promotes discussion on the approach early on.


I agree. I always found it daunting looking at a PR with 40+ files changed without even knowing what the PR should be doing. In the end, it always seemed to just end up being more efficient sitting down with the owner of the PR and them walking through what changed and reviewing it with them.

Oh and also actually getting the person to RUN the code to see it actually is doing what they expect it to do rather than assuming its working correctly.



Or a little more specific

Code review should include reviewing the history, it is such an important log, those in person conversations need written down for the poor maintenance folks when both of you aren't available.


I always found it daunting looking at a PR with 40+ files changed without even knowing what the PR should be doing.

Do you even CI, bro? :D

I'd consider looking into Continuous Integration. Smaller commits are oftentimes safer commits.


git rebase > git merge


90% of native apps should have been a PWA.


iOS installation is still so terrible though 😔


True, background sync might be a deal breaker for some apps too. Hopefully Apple gets it together on this front soon.


I completely agree!


Material Design is not the only valid design system. Open your mind.


Material Design sucks!


Material Design absolutely sucks so much.

I see finally humanity stands up for something in common


I actually love MD, but it's a pain to work with on the frontend and it's very overused.


I don't know, I feel like I'm just one big unpopular opinion. Where do I start.

  • Vim
  • Dvorak
  • Linux over Windows
  • git history rewrite ftw
  • don't use yaml
  • TDD or testable code can create harder to read code (which could be a detriment
  • there is no full regression
  • dynamic typed languages are harmful to quality

Oh, lighthearted, AI will not take over the world because humanity will have already subsided control before machines could create a plan.



I use Spacemacs in evil mode 😀


I've used "Programmer Dvorak" for the last year and love it, but it has ruined my ability to type on other people's computers 😆😭

Linux over Windows

Most definitely. I use Mac at the moment, but I'd order them as Linux > Mac > Windoze


The only problem I saw with YAML is that it is overdone.

  • Who the hell would use no and yes?
  • Strings should always be quoted.
  • safeDump / safeLoad should be default, and probably dump / load should be renamed to fullDump / fullLoad, or dangerous, or just use a custom Encoder / Decoder

I saw no problem with indentation-based languages, though. That is why Markdown is popular.


Likes goes to TDD and dynamic typed things. Vim I disagree I think editors should be a matter of taste and never to be discussed xD.


You don't understand, vim stands for VI Improved. You're missing out on some very nice additions, like multiple undo, by sticking with vi.

Closing your eyes to the changes happening will just just hamper your growth. xD


IDEA is way better than Eclipse and Netbeans.


All jetbrains ide's are just awesome.


You need a BSc in computer science to be a good developer


Counter unpopular opinion: being a good developer has less to do with your knowledge of computing science (e.g. algorithms, runtime complexity, hard maths), than your ability to communicate your solutions to complex problems in non-technical ways.


You need a BSc in CS to be a good computer scientist. But not every computer scientist is a good developer. Most good computer scientists I know are more of a mathematician than a dev.

Or as Paul Graham writes in Hackers and Painters: "Computer science is a grab bag of tenuously related areas thrown together by an accident of history, like Yugoslavia."


Hmm, never heard of that one but good to know how my region became like it is - thrown together by an accident of histroy xD.

Anyways exactly what might be the problem: software development != computer science. Some people mix these two so it might be the reason for confusion.


Unpopular by the way of being completely wrong.

I'm self taught and work with many "BSc in computer science" and several of them will look at my solutions to problems and go "woah you went all CS on us, this is gonna take my some time to review" and I'm like "dude it's just a graph".

Point being: you need CS knowledge to be good at CS, a degree is not a requirement and often not sufficient.


A lot of them have BSc in something else, a lot of them have no BSc at all. So it's not unpopular it's in fact untrue. Although I have BSc in IT which is a bit different, most of my knowledge comes from work or learning by myself in spare time. Now I know more people without BSc in computer science that are way better than me.
It's not defending something it's just a good argument. Don't remember that many popular developers that had BSc while becoming famous. basically I want to argue that you can learn outside of university.


Yes I think that's definitely the growing sentiment these days, that CS degrees (and many other degrees to be fair) are becoming less necessary for one to be considered "good" in one's field.

The two main reasons I believe are responsible:
1) economic reasons: tertiary education costs have inflated to absolutely absurd levels (as a general observation, it also appears quality of teaching is declining). This leads to many people who want to learn CS-related topics, but aren't going to fork out $50k & 4 years to do so. Thus, the natural reaction is to self-teach.
2) It's taken far longer than expected, but the internet is finally providing the quality resources once monopolised by universities. Furthermore, web-based innovation is now occurring so rapidly that unis can't even keep up with the latest developments and industry practices.

These 2 trends combined together mean that a developers skill-level is becoming less coupled from their credentials and is instead more a result of one's drive, resourcefulness, and practical experience.


What if you just watch computer science lectures from universities. I can't afford to go back to uni I'd be 200yrs old before I paid that off.


I think that having a BSc (and MSc, now that I'm bragging) in computer science made me a better developer, but I don't see how the ability to prove the NP-completeness of a problem is a requirement for being a good developer.


I'm not sure that's an unpopular opinion today.


I agree. It's not unpopular but just wrong...


Native mobile development makes sense.


Are you telling that my job is an unpopular opinion ?
this makes me sad :(


Makes me sad to, there is so many tasks that are just better on native.


You don’t always need to write tests.


I do think we should write pre-Pull Request / pre-Merge tests, though. I saw this a lot with GitHub Actions.

Pre-commit is optional, but should be done.



from whatever import that( Atleast Python)

is better than

import that from whatever.


What about:

use whatever::{that, and_this};

Bonus pts for guessing the language.


And maybe typescript too...

Arguably the most interesting module system out of any language, Rust, I don't have any prizes, but this gives me an idea for a post "guess the language".

♥️ Typescript as well, ♥️♥️ for Wasm bindgen TS and Rust it's so beautiful!

Yeah, I love Rust! The module system just works. I've never had issues like the include hell with C and C++


Anything which can help the IDE/ text editor to autocomplete.

That would be a language server and the AST.


That's a popular opinion. 😀


We've hit peak React.


I would go farther... React is in the same place jQuery was circa 2009-2013.

Once something is so ubiquitous that it starts becoming synonymous with front-end programming, people start to think it is the cause of their problems. So they look for and build alternatives... Which is how we got the last decade of "Whack-A-Mole: Framework edition"


I'm interested to hear more as I haven't been in the industry for that long: do you have objective reasons for thinking React will go the way of jQuery, or are you basing it more on previous cycles of hype->obscurity?

My general thoughts are that just because something happened a certain way in the past, it doesn't necessarily mean it'll play out exactly the same way again (although it may, of course).

The only clear challenger to SPAs/React I currently see is WebAssembly. That would be a paradigm shift in the way that React was to jQuery. However, I think even WASM won't eat at React's market because WASM will typically be used for games (it'd be over-engineering for most other purposes).

The final piece I see is economic. The longer React remains in demand, the more companies and startups build their entire apps and tooling around it. With all these vested interests, it'll be extremely hard for a challenger to match React's ecosystem in the coming years.
Just my thoughts though, happy to be proven wrong

First: SPAs and React are not synonymous. I do need to make clear that the SPA design pattern will probably never go out of fashion, but Angular, Vue and React (with the appropriate routing libraries added in) all provide a SPA experience.

I'm definitely basing my opinion on previous cycles, but there ARE objective reasons and parallels.

JQuery is still a powerful library that is still in use today (As we see in these comments). I feel certain that will hold true for React 10 years from now.

JQuery saw its "necessity" eroded by the evolution and adoption of its central features into the W3C spec. The things that forced you to need jQuery became native JS.

React is beginning to see that as well. Web Components eliminate the need for React as a means to separate concerns in your code. Just as document.querySelector and the DOMContentLoaded event replaced core jQuery functionality, you're starting to see Svelte and Stencil fill the component gap by offering solutions using spec-compliant web components (Stencil is WC first vs Svelte as an optional compile-target). You COULD do without either, but they give compile-time convenience and abstraction of boiler-plate that is impossible to ignore.

That's my biggest "objective" idea about React and the other current frameworks. The idea for these frameworks was born over 10 years ago with Angular. It was a reaction to jQuery and how, no matter how easily you could traverse the DOM, there was no way to create a simple custom HTML-tag that could easily import a new component. It wasn't part of the spec, so people created it. Now, a decade later, it IS part of the spec, but people really like the habits they've developed over the last decade haha.

That said: The EXACT same things about "economic" dominance have been said about JQuery, PHP, Java, C, FORTRAN, and a million other languages/frameworks. I just don't think it holds-up in the face of history is all. Just like there is a ton of work in the industry today and for many years to come in Java and PHP, I think React will see the same slow decline over the next decade that jQuery, Java and PHP have. (Note: Java's decline from number one by an astronomical margin to sometimes number 2 is STILL a decline... don't @me LOL)

That's just my (unpopular) read on the situation. I won't feel a bit sheepish if I look back on this post a decade from now and React is widening its dominance over the market and no one learns vanilla JS anymore haha. I just don't think its "necessity" now is anywhere near the same as it was in 2015 or even 2019, and that will cause a decline in use in the next few years as people start getting tired of using the new "hooks" or other FOTM they decide to introduce as a reaction to new innovation in the marketplace.

Thanks a lot for the great reply - that was very insightful and I definitely learned something. Particularly the part about web standards: I'd heard it before (how frameworks are basically a faster way to iterate with proposed web standards), but hearing it again helps me see the bigger picture.

I still think if we were to see a decline in React usage it would be a long way off. But your comments highlight the importance of diversifying one's skillset and keeping up-to-date with other technologies, so thanks for that

Another reason React will decline is the baseless assumption that "DOM is slow". There will always be something faster that comes along.


Turning Javascript into a backend language so you "only have to learn one language" was unnecessary.


Yes. And in fact Ryan choose JS simply because it was the only language at the time with an event loop. Pure coincidence.


An event loop was added to NodeJS to handle concurrency as it was the only viable option - not a strength.

Other languages have the freedom to use multi threading instead for concurrency.

I wrote a post about this.


nope. Event loop wasn't added to node. NodeJS was was born because all other runtimes had no event loops.


Continuous integration means integrating continuously.

Dependency injection means injecting dependencies.


I'm very sad that "Continuous Integration" doesn't mean what it's supposed to mean anymore. "Of course we do CI, we have Jenkins".


Communication is just as important as code.


Also, visionary and design.


It's more important.


RxJs can be used in the backend. And it's DOPE.


RxJava is quite popular why wouldn't RxJS be? Because node supports async/await? I gotta know why people dislike Rx


It actually is popular, its heavily used in NestJs development. I think people dont dislike it, many havent tried it

Why have you listed it as unpopular then? Don't get it sorry

I believe it's a growing trend. Ive told other devs about this and seems to be unpopular for some.

I've only ever tried RxJS with a React app and I loved it. The issue was I felt it's something with a lot of potential, but hard to find a concrete use-case for. Like I'm walking around with a hammer and everything looks like a nail. Or maybe I just don't properly understand it.

Could you provide some innovative uses of RxJS? Backend or frontend. RxDB is something that looks cool, basically like Firebase

For the backend I use it for sockets and event driven patterns like messaging, cqrs.

For the frontend I use it almost everywhere lol but I love it for state management, if you do React you probably know Redux, there's a library named redux-observable that implements Redux powered by RxJS.

If you asked me I use RxJS for almost any asynchronous programming task, it's more declarative and has cancellation, something that promises don't.

Huh. Interesting.

From now on I'm going to explain what Vuex is like this : Redux+RxJS


I kinda like the idea... Tell me more!


Ruby on Rails remains the fastest way to build a usable web application.


Java is OK.
Object oriented is fine too.
Functional programming is not great at everything.
Kafka is not solution to everything.
Microservices are not faster but more scalabe (there's a huge difference).
Microservices don't decouple your code, you (developers) do.
Coupling is not the biggest issue...
TDD won't make your software better, better UX will.
There's a lot of them, and there's a lot of them in previous comments :D.


As long as it works... it's fine.


What context do you have in mind?

I think "it's fine if it works" makes sense for rapid prototyping, proof-of-concepts, and other "throw-away" code, but when it comes to code that will be shipped and therefore maintained, I lean towards "good enough to work is not good enough to ship."


True, though I meant more for personal growth etc... and not business needs because there always seems to be a pressure to do better or write less with "more advanced" languages. A carousel is a carousel regardless of what tech was used and how it was hacked together and I think that you should be proud regardless. I'm probably wrong though...

Good to see developers and the like still being practical as ever though 😂😂😂


Fully agree, since the statement without context could also be applied to social injustice that just works for most people.

😂😂😂 Making vague statements keeps me out of trouble 😂😂😂


As long as a questionable bit of code has decent tests I'd let it in the codebase.


Not necessarily unpopular in the traditional sense, but things are not always black and white. There's the "it depends" opinion that can be lost in the cracks or I'm just hypothesizing here, but maybe some developers do not want to take the "it depends" stance.

For example, keep it DRY. A lot of discussion has been happening around this the past few days. These are just some Tweets I found

I'll leave you with Jay Phelps Tweet because it made me laugh. We got a whole lot in the toolbelt. 😉

And in the end, all the above leads us to healthy discussions hopefully, like finding the right abstraction which is a good thing.


BDD (behavior driven dev..) is totally mis-used and writting tests in GHERKIN style makes no sense.

** Specially if no business people are looking at the code at all


DHH is right regarding monolith apps.


I don't try to get into debates because you can go in circles, but we've largely subscribed to "majestic monolith" ideology.



That's not unpopular. That's just the truth ...

  • It is best to decouple frontend and backend, even in Desktop app or Mobile app; and the most stable / mature solution for frontend is JavaScript.
  • There is frontend in Desktop and Mobile environment.

Here's 2...

  1. Most "full stack" devs I've met/worked with can't write pure vanilla frond end (HTML, CSS, JS) correctly.
  2. Build your website in pure languages until you run into something you can't do without a library or framework.

#2 is how I (re)learned the hard way why reinventing the wheel does suck, esp. when the wheel is authentication, caching, and keeping data in sync between the server and clients.


Right! But there is a startk difference between bringing in a few libraries to help out and loading in a framework to only use a fraction of the functionality.


Utility/Atomic CSS is the future.


Just use a pre processor


This comment is confrontational and unhelpful. Tailwind/PostCSS gives me advantages that something like SASS does not. I would advise you spend a bit more time researching alternatives before comparing them.


I agree with your opinion on Safari as it just integrates best with macOS (UI, performance), would be very cool by Apple if they'd pump up the DevTools though as regarding that nothing beats Firefox (for now).

My unpopular one: 99% of all websites can be done with HTML, CSS and a bit of Vanilla JS.


Indentation-based language isn't bad. That is why Markdown is popular. I even suggest this.

Only needed to be fixed by linting rules.


You almost certainly don't need a big data solution like Spark - in fact you can probably run that "big data" process in memory with a hash table ... And you can probably do it on your laptop while also running Slack


Developers sometimes worry too much about the finer points of code maintainability, testing, tech debt, whatever. Chances are in five years someone's going to want to bin the whole thing off and start from scratch anyway.


Agreed. There are times that tech debt is appropriate.


Engineers should be expected to spend a greater percentage of their time doing analysis, design, UX and product work.


'Cloud' hosting is inferior to a standard VPS for most users


Why? Got a blog or video to explain?

Also, what is VPS and how much does it cost?

For beginners dev, hosting shouldn't cost a penny.


VPS stands for virtual private server. It is basically just a computer with certain specs you have full controll over. This means you can host anything on it, a website, a game server, mine bitcoins, whatever. I have one for just €5 a month, though the specs are not that great.

When I say cloud, I am referring to the services offered by Google or Amazon. The main difference is the "pay-for-what-you-use" policy, instead of a fixed price per computer you pay for the amount of processing power you use. The dynamic scaling ususally needs to be done with some API which leads to vendor lock-in, plus if you use a bit more in a month it actually quickly gets more expensive than a VPS with similar specs.

I agree for beginners you shouldn't by either, better to use GitHub pages, Heroku, or PythonAnywhere. However, if you need non-trivial processing power or a custom domain or anything outside the limitations of those services, get a VPS.

Also, don't get shared hosting. It's barely cheaper but usually you are restricted to PHP and when you need anything that requires root you have to go via customer support. The only advantage is that you don't have to set up email yourself.