loading...

What are some misconceptions about web development?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

When people think "web development", what do they get wrong?

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
buinauskas profile image
Evaldas

According to my mom, I'm installing Windows. 🤷‍♂️

Collapse
stephanie profile image
Stephanie Handsteiner

According to everyone: I can fix printers.

Collapse
jrop profile image
Jonathan Apodaca

This. 1000 times this.

Collapse
alessandrojcm profile image
Alessandro Cuppari

According to everyone, I can fix their computers. If only they knew I can barely fix mine when it fails.

Collapse
patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

I expect everyone to be at least electrical engineer and devops. I don't care about your coding.

Collapse
saswatamcode profile image
Saswata Mukherjee

HTML & CSS are not programming languages. Also frontend is easy and not time consuming.

Collapse
barbu110 profile image
Victor Barbu

They are not programming languages. Front end is easy as long as it’s not too complex. After that, it becomes a challenge indeed.

Collapse
cheetah100 profile image
Peter Harrison

HTML is a markup language. Javascript is a full on language. There was a time when front end development was second class, but today there is no real distinction between front end and back end in terms of skillsets.

Thread Thread
fluffynuts profile image
Davyd McColl

They are all programming languages. Some are declarative, some are imperative. A declarative language like CSS doesn't make it "less than" or not "full on".

Thread Thread
cheetah100 profile image
Peter Harrison

I didn't say CSS is less than. It has its function as a cascading style sheet in the context of HTML. HTML itself is a markup system for content, even if ironically the content these days is delivered through REST API more often than not. Front end development usually involves some kind of framework like Angular, Vue, or React. Each technology has its place. However, if you only know HTML and CSS I don't know how you would fare in a modern web application development environment.

Thread Thread
12boxbandit05 profile image
Christopher

I'm currently trying to self teach myself and if you wouldn't mind answering a beginner's question, what should I learn besides HTML and CSS? I had planned JS as my third lesson.

Thread Thread
fluffynuts profile image
Davyd McColl

JS is a good place to go next! You'll be able to use it almost immediately with the HTML/CSS knowledge you have, and, in addition, you'll be able to start doing back-end stuff on Node. If possible, get going with TypeScript -- there's a little extra overhead, but it will (a) help you to make fewer mistakes and (b) set you up for Angular or React (and you can use it effectively with Vue too, and on the backend!)

Thread Thread
jacoby profile image
Dave Jacoby

Just dropping into add that you can solve FizzBuzz with just HTML and CSS.

Collapse
guitarino profile image
Kirill Shestakov

If your definition of a programming language is "structured text which represents machine instructions", then, yes, HTML and CSS are programming languages. But, instead of imperatively saying "add an element X to parent Y", it's written declaratively as <Y><X></X></Y>. And, since there's no branching instructions in HTML, it's not turning complete.

Funny enough, under the same definition, markdown is also considered a programming language, meaning I just wrote a little program 🙂

Collapse
martixy profile image
Martin Ninov

And if my grandma had wheels she would have been a bike.

Collapse
vadzimpm profile image
Vadzim Papou

Yes - they aren't. To reduce misunderstanding you could translate what these acronyms stand for.

Hyper Text Markup Language and Cascading Style Sheet
Where did you see programming language here?

If they are programming languages then please show me how you will implement factorial algorithm with only HTML and CSS and I will agree with you.

Collapse
ashleyjsheridan profile image
Ashley Sheridan

HTML & CSS aren't programming languages. They're computer languages, but not programming languages.

Same with things like JSON, markdown, etc. They're no less valuable for that, and the web wouldn't be the web without them.

Collapse
pris_stratton profile image
pris stratton

I came on to say “CSS is easy”.

I find it harder than learning Haskell or C 😀

Collapse
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

CSS is extremely difficult, specially to programmers, because it's a completely different way of thinking. At the same time, it's an extremely elegant language and I wish more programming languages had that same level of elegance.

Thread Thread
pris_stratton profile image
pris stratton

What makes it a different way of thinking, the declarative nature of the language? Think that’s the right term.

Thread Thread
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

Not only that, but also the non-linear aspect, I'd say.

Collapse
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

HTML and CSS are not programming languages. Front end is, however, just as time consuming as back-end.

Collapse
vaibhavkhulbe profile image
Vaibhav Khulbe

I feel some recruiters think if they're hiring a web developer, they must be good at that AND:

  • Mobile app development
  • DevOps
  • Design (for full-stack web dev mostly)
  • And God knows what else! 🤷‍♂️

I sincerely think they're in a great misconception. Come on man, I'm good at web dev that's why I want to _dev_elop a _web_site! I'm not good at Kubernetes!

Collapse
shaijut profile image
ShaijuT

:) But I think this is the Job of Full Stack Developer. Isn't ?

Collapse
scott_yeatts profile image
Scott Yeatts

Yes, but also to varying degrees. I started in FE, but I'm also very comfortable building a backend codebase. I'm weaker with DB and devops.

Don't get me wrong, I can stand-up a DB and deploy kubernetes containers, but when you get into the deep understanding issues I lean on my teammates that have devoted more time to those disciplines.

Full Stack doesn't mean "knows everything at an advanced level" it just means you can be productive and contribute at any level (while knowing when to call for backup and not spinning your wheels when someone else could help you get there faster)

Thread Thread
vaibhavkhulbe profile image
Vaibhav Khulbe

Full Stack doesn't mean "knows everything at an advanced level" it just means you can be productive and contribute at any level

Highly agree with this. Thanks for your input :)

Thread Thread
slowgaffle profile image
slowgaffle

I’m going to use this phrase instead of full stack :)

Collapse
vaibhavkhulbe profile image
Vaibhav Khulbe

Well, for me as a front-end dev, all of those skills just doesn't make sense!

Thread Thread
micahlt profile image
Micah Lindley

That's what I originally thought about backend technologies. However, as I move into increasingly difficult frontend topics I've learned that having experience in Node, NPM, custom APIs, and other server-side is extremely beneficial.

Collapse
adrianbdesigns profile image
Adrian Bece

Before I started working with React, I was an ecommerce (Magento) frontend developer. At the time, when I was trying to explain frontend development to a person that doesn't know much about programming, it usually went like this.

Person: "So what is it that you do at your job?"


Me: "I develop websites, I turn design into code and make sure everything looks, and sometimes function, as expected.


Person: "So you're a designer, then?"

Collapse
feministclickback profile image
tina

When I was working at an ecommerce company, my relatives were convinced it was Amazon. The concept that there are Amazon-like online shops out there were a bit too hard to grasp ;)

Collapse
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

Basically another version of the typical

A: "So what do you do?"

B: "I'm a programmer"

A: "Oh, so you fix computers and stuff?"

B: "No, I... uh... just forget it."

Collapse
adrianbdesigns profile image
Adrian Bece

Something similar happened to me with an older neighbour.

A: "So what do you do?"

B: "I'm a programmer"

A: "Oh great! Can you fix my TV?"

That was back when CRT TVs were still a thing.

Thread Thread
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

It's not like I blame people for it, but it does make me wonder why nobody cares what programemrs really do yet I don't exactly see many people asking a carpenter to fix their car.

Collapse
gillarohith profile image
Rohith Gilla

When I say I am a web developer my little cousin thinks I am a spider man 🕸

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza

When you start to catch up on all the JS frameworks, your cousin actually turns right :)

Collapse
patarapolw profile image
Pacharapol Withayasakpunt

web developer !== web emitter

Collapse
sergix profile image
Peyton McGinnis

"So... I hear you write websites. Can you make me an app?"

People always assume, at least in my cases, that web development = native app development...

Collapse
maskedman99 profile image
Rohit Prasad

Well, if you know React you can say Yes :)

Collapse
ar10642 profile image
Andrew Richardson

Even if you can build a hybrid app, there is still loads of app-specific weirdness to deal with. You definitely don't know how to do it until you've tried it

Collapse
somedood profile image
Basti Ortiz (Some Dood)

"Sooo... you can hack a Facebook account, right?"

Collapse
hj profile image
Hemant Joshi

Googling is most important skill to have and it really is❤️

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

I wasn't hired, Google was hired.

Collapse
hj profile image
Hemant Joshi

this surely made my day

Thread Thread
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

Its not completely true, I am an experienced googler 🤣

Thread Thread
hj profile image
Hemant Joshi

Bro you need to stop, or I will stop learning Node and react!

Thread Thread
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

No please don't stop on my account, truth is I have been doing this a long time and I couldn't remember it all, there is just no way, but I can remember the topic or the right questions (the secret of success in programming, ask the computer the right question), so I use Google as it is a tool to get such answers, you as a programmer are expected to use the right tools for the job, brains often degrade over time.

Thread Thread
hj profile image
Hemant Joshi

❤️❤️❤️

Thread Thread
fratcliffe profile image
Felicity Ratcliffe

This is absolutely true! :)

Collapse
hj profile image
Collapse
pandaquests profile image
pandaquests

But it is.

Collapse
muhimen123 profile image
Muhimen

I know HTML, time to hack NASA

Collapse
vicradon profile image
Osinachi Chukwujama

Web development is the core of software engineering

Collapse
thefluxapex profile image
Ian Pride

Please explain what you mean for me. I started learning programming 20+ years ago from reading library books and a computer that had no internet for like the first year I had it. I got lucky to have the computer in the first place, but the web was even rarer and only suburban people could afford it and web development was just barely out of it's infancy. Even today where there are web apps everywhere there are exponentially more desktop apps. Most of the software I write and use has nothing to do with the web and even though, yes, I use the web to do research for software development; it's rare it has anything to do with it. I personally refuse to use web apps for things that have nothing to do with the web unless I have no other choice and it's something for legal or responsibility things. I try to open a browser as little as possible with the exception of research and a small amount of time daily I allot myself for free time.
If anything software engineering is at the core of web development, not the other way around.
This was not a rhetorical question, I really want to know what you mean as I can't fathom what it might be.

Collapse
fhsinchy profile image
Farhan Hasin Chowdhury

People often treat web application development as something inferior to making desktop software or mobile application.

I honestly don't know why.

Collapse
pandaquests profile image
pandaquests

Yeah. I think it used to be like that. But nowadays it is just as complex as backend development

Collapse
vycke profile image
Kevin Pennekamp

HTML & CSS are not programming languages

Collapse
gwutama profile image
Galuh Utama

HTML itself is not turing complete. So it’s technically not a programming language. BUT when you mix CSS AND HTML they can be arguably turing complete.

Collapse
wayofthepie profile image
Stephen O'Brien

I've never understood this argument. Where did the idea a programming language has to be turing complete to be a programming language, come from 😄

A good example is agda. Agda is a total language, its functions always terminate and cannot return a value other than the type specified. This property makes it non-turing complete.

I would still call it a programming language. There are many other examples.

Thread Thread
vycke profile image
Kevin Pennekamp

Agreed. I mean, even Pokemon Yellow is tiring complete

Thread Thread
ludamillion profile image
Luke Inglis

I think Turing completeness is more important when determining if a language is a ‘general’ programming language as opposed to domain specific languages.

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

CSS especially, computations and variables and a limited form of logic.

Collapse
somedood profile image
Basti Ortiz (Some Dood)

This right here hits the spot.

Collapse
elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

They're not, and I don't see why that even matters. C++ isn't a natural language. Assembly isn't a markup language. French isn't a formal language. Cuneiform isn't a spoken language.

Collapse
skydevht profile image
Holy-Elie Scaïde

Can't be a programmer if you don't know a programming language.

Thread Thread
elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

So? Not every websites needs to be programmed. Plenty of people spend quite some effort to program tools which you can use to develop a website, without programming.
And there's a difference between developing the CMS and developing the layout and styling.

Thread Thread
skydevht profile image
Holy-Elie Scaïde

I'm not saying it's bad. Just that people want the title of the programmer as soon as they learn HTML and it rubs them the wrong way when you say that HTML is not a real programming language.

Thread Thread
ludamillion profile image
Luke Inglis

Hence web developer 😉

Collapse
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

What you do with HTML and CSS is not programming, thus they are not programming languages.

Otherwise, as some have pointed out, markdown is also a programming language.

Collapse
heytulsiprasad profile image
Tulsi Prasad

That it is taught in college. Bye. 👋

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

It’s weird that the web has been around for a million years and colleges still treat it like a passing fad.

Collapse
projectescape profile image
Aniket

Honestly, most courses that are taught in computer science courses are more or less of no use at all. I think the only relevant ones I was taught at my college were ds/algo and databases, which were very basic themselves (only oracle SQL server in DB. Nothing about scaling, NRDBMS, heck not even some other RDBMS like postgres .) I wish we were taught so much more, but for now, college looks like a necessary hurdle you have to jump through to even get a job and nothing more ( in my country at least )

Thread Thread
elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

Weird, when I did some database/RDBMS courses at the university almost 20 years ago we used PostgreSQL. Reasons:

  1. Gratis
  2. Most SQL standard conforming RDBMS
  3. Extensive featureset

So it was basically the most neutral RDBMS out there, and still is. It was about understanding SQL and RDBMS concepts, not learning Oracle, Sybase, or even PostgreSQL specifically.

Collapse
heytulsiprasad profile image
Tulsi Prasad

Yeah, I agree and also I think we're just in college for around 3-4 years but our career spans like for decades and we never can depend just on this couple years of college to know every thing in the industry. So, we always have to self teach ourselves.

Collapse
loujaybee profile image
Lou — Cloud Engineer

Hrm, I graduated in 2014 and studied modern web development at the time, JavaScript, JQuery and CSS, LAMP stack were all covered alongside typical computer science topics. My university is top <10 in the UK.

That said, this is only my anecdotal experience, my opinion is also too that universities are considerably less vocational than other options, but the debate is still relevant: should they be?

Collapse
sergix profile image
Peyton McGinnis

I agree. It's so strange how many universities only focus on OOP, systems programming, etc (which are very important) but barely paying any attention to the massive shift to the web in software development. It's not like it's anything new.

Collapse
jcs224 profile image
Joe Sweeney

"So, that means you can fix my printer, right?"

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

Sigh, I often do...

Collapse
jrop profile image
Jonathan Apodaca

That "front-end" is easier than "back-end".

Collapse
darkwiiplayer profile image
DarkWiiPlayer

That "front-end" is "front-end". Like, seriously, if you're managing application state, you're writing back-end code, even if it runs in the browser.

Collapse
bernardbaker profile image
Bernard Baker

The main misconception I recall was when I said "I'm a web developer..." The response was "Oh... You make websites". But you can't see their eye's looking for an exit. #boring #whereisthebar

So generally, a lack of interest.

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

That complex code is better and you are better by making complex things.

barbu110 profile image
Victor Barbu

In the same manner, we could perhaps say JSON is a programming language, and YAML is a programming language., none of which is not true.

Collapse
guitarino profile image
Kirill Shestakov

That web dev is lesser / bigger than other kinds of development. Other developers often look down on web devs, thinking "oh, it's all just stupid CRUD, wait till you get interesting applications". First of all, no, it's not all CRUD. Front-end and back-end have all kinds of complex moving parts, one of which is CRUD. Secondly, web development is made of the same kinds of things as other development: conditional statements, loops, assignment, math, function calls, classes. They're the same thing. Thirdly, you can think of many, many systems as a sort of a CRUD, not related to web dev, e.g. the way drivers work can be thought of as simply writing to a certain memory region, i.e. doing a sort of a CRUD on this region.

I think there's different priorities for web dev, but it's because it's web dev rather than anything else, and this difference doesn't make it any lesser / bigger than other development.

Collapse
oohsinan profile image
Omar Sinan

That UI/UX aren’t as important 🤦‍♂️

Collapse
alangdm profile image
Alan Dávalos

"You need a framework for every project."
"Learning x framework before learning actual JS"
"Defaulting to JS for things that can be done with just HTML/CSS"

Collapse
jacobmgevans profile image
Jacob Evans

TL;DR It's easy.
Commonly hear it's easier than "X", I usually respond with well you do this then and I'll do your thing instead... I especially hear easier compared to other development... I've done various things in my life (outside of tech too), it's all hard especially if you care about improving your skills and doing it right.

Collapse
naftoliost profile image
NaftoliOst

"I need to change the 'time sent' on an email that I've already sent... You can do that for me can't you?"

Collapse
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

As someone who does email for a living. I feel this comment.

Collapse
micahlt profile image
Micah Lindley

opens up Chrome DevTools

Collapse
georgedel profile image
georgedel

I'm really bothered from those to believe that the front-end is just some HTML/javascript and there is no complexity in this. Believe me, there are many of them out there.

I'm a full-stack engineer, I've been to both sides. Front-end is equaly important to the back-end and over the time, more and more business logic is passing from back to the front (Graphql for example).

A lot can be written here but I will not go any further. Good topic for discussion though!

Collapse
nimicent profile image
Julia Nash

Fun one I heard last week: Dark web requires a special assortment of hard to get computer software, thats why nobody knows about it who are normal and that are not computer experts. 👀

On a podcast's Patreon episode.

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

"I don't know what you are talking about I don't care" 🤣🤣🤣

Collapse
ethantoney profile image
Ethan Toney

Most people assume I can whip up an app quickly, all because I provided them a website in a short time. They also think I can quickly build them the newest Facebook-like business ("you can code, right? Here's my trillion-dollar idea...") that will automagically gain high traffic.

Collapse
shakhbulatgaz profile image
Shakhbulat Gazgireev

One of the most popular myths is that "new framework appears every week". For some damn reason, IT people that have no idea what WebDev actually is, think that frontend developers are bombarded with new technologies, libraries, and frameworks every day. That new frontend skills can become outdated in a couple of months, and that frontend developers are in the constant crunch of having to learn a new library and a framework every week.

I wouldn't be so pissed off about it, if it didn't discourage so many newcomers.

Collapse
createitcarlos profile image
createitcarlos

Them: can't you just use Wordpress for that?

Or "Wordpress just comes with that built in"
Me: No that's a plug-in, or, I have to make that custom
Them: no it comes built in
Me: palm to face ( agggh don't touch your face!)

Collapse
necmettin profile image
Necmettin Begiter

Not about web development but about web developers: We can do anything on any electric/electronic device and anything to such devices. Be it a television, a computer, a printer, a mobile phone, a mouse, a website, a server, a client app, a mobile app and many many more. We can install, fix, format, choose for purchase, configure, and perform any other verb/action.

Collapse
slowgaffle profile image
slowgaffle

Two things... 1. Family / friends think I make the content myself or at least that my job is mainly to post content. 2. That any software package “that does what we want” can be hooked up to their legacy web code base easily and will save time because it already does the thing.

Collapse
alessandrojcm profile image
Alessandro Cuppari

Several ones come to the top of my head. The first one (and the one that upsets me the most) it's the huge ignorance amongst the processes/costs/time that it takes to make X or Y project. Once someone told me "oh you're a programmer? You know I just need a website and a mobile app", and then tried to tell me the requirements via whatsapp.

The other one it's the ignorance about the ramifications of web development: you tell people you make websites and stuff like that and then they start asking you about hosting, servers, domains, mobile apps, and so on.

Although I mainly do front end, I also have some knowledge about back end (I would say I'm no beginner, but I'm not by any means an expert), so I can at least answer those questions to some extent, but that's me. There are people that are happy doing only front end and don't know a thing about back end and vice versa, and that's ok!

And I could go on and on, but we'll enter in misconceptions about software development in general.

Collapse
fluffynuts profile image
Davyd McColl

It's only for spiders!

Collapse
sarathsantoshdamaraju profile image
Krishna Damaraju

"Web development is just copy-pasting code from StackOverflow, nothing hard isn't it ?"

Someone actually asked me this 😅

Collapse
jmau111 profile image
Julien Maury

It seems hard for non-technical people to understand the timing part. Sometimes they think it's a pretty quick task while it requires weeks of hard work and vice versa.

Collapse
loujaybee profile image
Lou — Cloud Engineer

That you need a framework or pre-compiler of any sorts.

In my opinion we over-use tools frameworks and pre-compilers far too often.

Collapse
misss_popcorn profile image
urvashi soni

According to all my non-tech friends, I can fix our Wifi, fix out Smart TV, setup projector in the house and obviously fix it as well and whenever I am winning any online game, I have found some hack LMAO.

Collapse
atulcodex profile image
Atul Prajapati

According to my experience people think that they can make millions easily in Web development and they don't have to give much efforts 😁😂🤣😅

Collapse
jooforja profile image
João Forja 💭

That what's important are the technologies used and not the domain of the applications we're building.

Collapse
ronakjethwa profile image
Ronak Jethwa

You are a front end engineer? Great, you can solve this complex algorithm problem too, just like a back-end engineer can center their div!

Collapse
alaindet profile image
Alain D'Ettorre

According to family, I make computers do beep boops and get paid for that.

Collapse
sethusenthil profile image
Sethu Senthil

Java === JavaScript

Collapse
titoasty profile image
nico-boo

It's on internet, anyone can do it, so it's free!

Collapse
mudlabs profile image
Sam

You'll make good money

Collapse
kailyons profile image
KaiLikesLinux

Two things

  1. HTML/CSS are programming languages
  2. Web-Development is the easiest form of development
Collapse
suvink profile image
Suvin Nimnaka

People : Are you a web developer?
Me : Yes
People : Can you hack Facebook?
Me : 🤐

guitarino profile image
Kirill Shestakov

Funny thing, in this case, markdown is also a programming language.

Collapse
mindset profile image
Jayesh Tembhekar ⚡

I am not a printer fixer 😔

Collapse
elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

That it is solely frontend development.

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza

Devs must not be fully right in the head for staring in a black screen full of some colorful gibberish all day long :)