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Discussion on: Is Dev.to victim of its own success?

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leob profile image
leob

Very thoughtful article - I've had pretty much these same thoughts and feelings about dev.to for quite a long time, and now I see them put into words - this is spot on!

Been a dev.to reader/follower almost from the start (yes, I'm also a defector from Medium!), and I can say that in the beginning the site definitely had a different "feel" - there was a lot more quality over quantity, you hardly saw "listicles", a lot less self promotion ... more interesting content I would say, and also more of a community feeling.

I think this is the inevitable consequence of growth, you definitely can't blame dev.to - and the funny thing is that this is something only we "veterans" will notice - people who discovered the site recently will be blissfully unaware.

And yes, there's a heavy focus on junior devs, people entering the profession, but that's something that I can't take issue with - I acknowledge that it's important for the whole industry that we bring people on board, for a long time we've complained about shortages and about being unable to get good people, so I see this surge in bootcamps and all that as something that was long overdue, and inevitable.

The "solution", assuming that we need one, would probably be better categorization and filtering - people should be able to filter their feed more effectively. You wanna read more about Ruby, Rails, PHP and so on? Indicate it in your preferences. More advanced materials, fewer "listicles", fewer short and simple articles (React Hooks Intro anyone?) - check it in your filter settings.

I'm not really in favor of "curating" upfront too heavily, although outright "spam" (I've seen posts that had nothing to do with dev and were nothing more than company advertisements) should of course be nuked, and I think that already happens. But we probably shouldn't take this too far, I think the platform or the site should remain low barrier to entry.

So, better and more extensive categorization and filtering is what I would bet on.