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Is DEV skewed to web-dev mainly? Are you in for something else?

rodiongork profile image Rodion Gorkovenko ・1 min read

Hi Friends!

I enjoy being here, at dev.to for some time already. By and by I start wondering - is it really so, that most posts here are about web-dev (and even more so - many of them about frontend, UI) - or it's just a kind of hallucination?

Drop a note, if not secret, if your interests are in programming-related but different fields, e.g.:

  1. Mobile development - I really don't see that many posts like "Is Kotlin the best for Android development" or "Have you heard about yet another cross-platform tool for iPhones and Android both".

  2. Computer Science - I've seen here such tag, but usually it is used along with some introductory level stuff only, like "Learn about Stack and List in 2020" which looks amusing :)

  3. Embedded Development - where are all those discussions like "Forget about your Arduino and start doing it with STM32 like a pro".

  4. Competitive Programming - and all those who knew what is Facebook Hackercup, Google Code Jam, TopCoder and CodeForces.

  5. Whatever I may forgot which is not about web-dev - popular branches of Data-Science and Data-Engineering, some Scientific-related programming, Robotics etc.

P.S. Be sure I don't mean it is wrong to be more dedicated to web-dev. It is the field where zounds of projects are nowadays, so it is quite ok. I'm just curious. Thanks! :)

Posted on by:

rodiongork profile

Rodion Gorkovenko

@rodiongork

Developer, Dreamer, School-Teacher, author of CodeAbbey and few other silly projects :)

Discussion

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DEV definitely skews webdev, but we are actively working on some of the structural elements that make it harder for other folks to get their ideal experience.

Currently we don't do a good job of accounting for things just being more popular industry-wide and therefore too weighted in folks feeds, and we generally have not scaled the feed to account for different needs.

There is plenty of non-webdev activity on the site, but it is kind of choked out by the webdev stuff.

Anyway, I think we're going to make some product improvements which will help with this. It's probably our top legit complaint right now and we're on it!

 

Ben, Hi! I'm quite flattered to get response from you!

Very intriguing to hear that some ideas are brooding about this :)

However be sure, I'm well pleased with DEV as it is - for its light air, humor, social approach - and it is even more pleasing to see DEV being so steadily improved, in constant "stable yet developing" state!

 

Yeah I didn't get the impression this was an "I hate DEV" kind of post by any means, but it addresses something we're actively working on.

Btw if you tag something #meta, there's a really good chance I'll see it due to my "follow weight" on the tag. 🙂

It's technically a great way to keep up with things that you specifically want to see more of, but it still doesn't quite work the way it really should for everyone.

So we can summon you like Batman? Cool! Kidding.. It's great to see you actively contributing to the community. I really enjoy Dev.to

 

"There is plenty of non-webdev activity on the site, but it is kind of choked out by the webdev stuff."

I just found this site and I like it. I hope it stays mostly about development and tech and doesn't devolve into politics and other valueless crap. I think I found this site from a question on Quora. I googled developer forums.

Good luck I bet this site is growing fast. Hopefully you get some money after paying your hosting bills etc. each month.

 

I do find that viewing the feed for a tag can help to find things that you want to read. Your tag list is available on the left sidebar or if you are on mobile you can swipe the left side open like a drawer and find them there.

 

The ability to weight languages would be ideal. This would be especially great if you allow a list of languages that isn't the tag list on the post and the ability to weight languages/tags that you don't want to see.

 

I have also felt the same for quite a while. It would be nice to see some more diversity. I'm mainly interested in Computer Science and Functional Programming. There are some posts about FP, but 90% of them are on how to use map/filter/reduce in JavaScript.

 

I find it helps to directly visit tags for things you're interested in, the feed is not always great at surfacing that, though we're actively working on that.

dev.to/t/haskell
dev.to/t/ocaml
dev.to/t/fsharp

I moderate the latter two and while OCaml is alas a bit dormant (except for a pretty prolific Japanese poster), F# sees some good content.

 

The concepts of those is the same in all languages with functional capabilities. The way you implement them, the syntax can be quite different though. I've been using Scala for a while now and it's functional syntax reminds me of Javascript. It is like Javascript with heavy typing capabilities and it compiles.

There are concepts like Monads, Functors and other complex sounding things. If you really want to dig into Functional programming I've read that Haskwell is the way to go.

 

I'm well aware of Haskell and its typeclasses, I have tried it. And I've programmed in F# for a while. Once I get more free time I will definitely learn Haskell properly. My point is that everyone seems to posts specifically about map/filter/reduce in JS, and occasionally some immutability or other very basic concept. I feel like there's a post like that at least once a week here. Very few people go in-depth about any FP topic. Brian Berns and Aibhstin have some good FP content though.

Write one. I have found like 1 decent video on youtube about functional programming. There is little about it because it is harder to understand because it is more math based. Almost everything tries to force people in to OOP like it is the only right way and if you do programming any other way you are wrong. Personally I get tired of the OOP only approach. I get tired of breaking things into 1,000 classes then writing 100 import or include statements or a file with them then including it.
Not everything can or should be solved with inheritance.

 

I am a data scientist, but do more data engineering. I am planning to do more posts on building pipelines and tools with python. Right now I am going through a redesign of my personal site so my free time outside of work is mostly front end for a bit.

 

My interests include front end development -- I work a full stack. And I appreciate that Javascript as a language is (now) broad in its potential uses. Nevermind the variants, frameworks, etc. And to play with it requires little -- never mind codesandbox.io, the various fiddles and pastebins, but just a console or an "environment" on mdn. Tooling can get in your way with Javascript. But for examples, etc, it rarely does.

I am interested in tech culture, tech OUTSIDE of the magnet cities, real life compromises instead of "the best way to do X", devOps, machine learning, legacy codebases, statistical approaches, optimization and tuning...

But yeah, there's a lot of CSS and JS here.

 

I also made another comment in this thread

(and also made this issue because I felt like I should be able to address everyone who's already commented at one 😋)

@thread mention #6065

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.

As an admin, tag mod, or author of a post, I might want to leave a comment which addresses everyone who has already commented in the thread.

It might be that I want to weigh in on a topic I am late to as a site admin and give everyone my thoughts. I might want to let the whole thread know that because things are getting heated we may need to take action. Or simply assure folks that mods are paying attention.

Describe the solution you'd like

If I type @thread (or maybe @all? or something else) I create a mention for all users in that thread.

The mention notification should account for it being this "type" of mention and likely have slightly different copy but otherwise I think this can run through normal mention infrastructure.

Additional context

There is an element of spammy abuse, but I think restricting this to authors/mods/admins makes this work. If anyone abuses this, we deal with them via warning/suspension. It might be worth codifying what this kind of abuse looks like though.

...But I 100% hear you and agree with you on this. I think it's a well summarized point of view and we are definitely working to make structural improvements to allow for more content like what you're describing and have it land in the feeds for those who are most interested in it.

 

I always hated Javascript due to the fact it works different in different browsers. Plus Javascript changes so much so quickly I get tired of reviewing, relearning etc. And there are 9,999,999 frameworks, tools and libraries. It gets to be overwhelming and a waste of time.

I am about over programming all together. Lack of proper documentation of most frameworks, libraries and languages makes me angry and I am tired of being angry. I want a field less chaotic, something like Math or Physics. At least those don't change the day after you learn them and the documentation is always excellent.

I think programmers lack of communication skills is what I hate most.

 

My main focus for learning is around system and desktop software development, which I sadly don't see a lot right now.

But I've heard about issues with the feed that are currently being worked on right now, so I'll just have to wait and see!

 

I think is more a observer bias, when you dwell in the HW circles as I do when my Arduino fingers get itchy (or I have some paid work on that realm :) ), you just see C or C++; some Python but more in the hobbie side. JS is not even in the radar most of the time. In general if you work with both, code and a soldering iron, you'll talk C/C++.

In the case of dev.to I've clearly notice a frontend bias, is somehow like the chicken and the egg problem (of course there is a clear answer the the chicken/egg problem, but I'm talking metaphorically), I wasn't there when dev.to was born but imagine they started with 3 post: 1 CS, 1 webdev, 1 embedded and then someone posted another a webdev article; now even if an heterogeneous group visit dev.to is more likely that a webdev will stay and post and then the bias towards webdev is even bigger and so on.

So if I have an idea for a post about some specific quirk of the ESP32 (a microcontroller), I would probably post it in another site if I want to be read. Naturally content starts to agglomerate. Sometimes some OS, backend or infrastructure slips but as you see they are also tangent to the frontend.

Sometimes is good to take a look outside, one can even realize that some "good practices", Agile and TDD are far from perfect and many times not even applicable :D

 

I agree, it’s nearly all web dev, but that doesn’t bother me. I believe that the other tangential communities will grow. In that vein, I’ve been playing with tying together Dotnet core, Vue.js and a PLC Rest client lately, maybe I’ll do a couple write-ups to represent our undersized population. 😁

 

I am a backend developer and also have been feeling that there is a lot more frontend - css related content, so you probably got a point!

 

maybe backend people are too busy coding and fighting oh shit fires LMAO

 

I do wish more content from data science/engineering was not behind the medium paywall.

 

don't worry the paywall will hurt them in the end. I avoid sites with this anti-feature. I am not turning off my adblocker and I am not paying money. I do have a solution coming later this year though for sites that want to earn money from their content.

 

Embedded Development

I recently got infected with this bug. I started looking into the STM line, I found some cheap ones on Ebay like $2. I have an Arduino uno and nano and a D1 mini, my next is one of the STM32 you have any suggestions?

I got interested because I cam up with an idea for an invention and in order to prototype it I've decided to step into arduino and Microcontroller land. It's so cool what you can do with these devices hardly larger than a quarter.

I have turned it into my newest hobby. During the day I work on my Apps in Scala. In my free time I play with arduino. I even bought a book Practical Electronics for Inventors. I was surprised how huge it was and how in depth the information about EE was. It has tons of math all through the book explaining everything in detail.

I have an MP3 player project I am putting together. I'm using the MP3 module and I am going to test adding an amplifier inline for the speakers and adding a bluetooth module to try to sync it with my phone and Alexa. Maybe I'll create a post about it on here when I get it done. Without Alexa I'd have to buy a voice module for another $20. So far I have like $10 into this thing, modules are so cheap. LOL

 

my next is one of the STM32 you have any suggestions?

Well... direction is correct, though expect STMs are much more complicated than Arduinos (especially if you used only Arduino platform, not coding for AVR in pure C/assembly). They just have tons of features and some whimsical rules. Their rivals LPCxxxx from NXP are more conscience but more expensive. Also LPCs have definitely better ADC, but in other regards no special difference. STM32F103 may give you more memory (20k RAM) than you expect from such a cheap thing. No rivals in this regard. F104 is more expensive and not necessary for beginner. F030 or F070 are slightly outdated (Cortex-M0 as I remember), but they have packages with 0.8 lead pitch - which is easier to hand-solder than typical 0.5.

(I mainly used these two from other ARMs because both LPCs and STMs have built-in bootloader so I need no special equipment to program them - and I can hand-solder their LQFP packages)

Low-level programming is different in many ways. I myself initially come from there. But it is quite amusing for me.

 

Thanks for the info. It is so cool what can be done these days. I have How to Program C by Deitel if I wanted to learn C. I don't have a book on Assembly yet. I was looking at the ARM processors and man they are so cool. So tiny and powerful. They make me want to try to make a tiny tv just for fun LOL. I was thinking about building something to broadcast Firestick to multiple TV's

I have to keep this microcontroller obsession under control until I finish my apps though. Some people might wonder how programming microcontrollers can be a hobby for someone that writes code all day, but one makes things happen on screen and the other can tell me when things happen around me or automate something etc.

When I get too tired for either my brain likes to have anxiety and depression time. That is when I listen to Beethoven and think about how death will take me Woohoo fun times. LOL

The more you learn the more you fear.

 

Mobile development

This is something I see as a waste of my time. I am creating a social platform app not a timer or camera or GPS tracking app. I don't have the twitter app on my phone. Samsung things I need facebook and it came pre-installed with absolutely no way to remove it and that pisses me off.

I only install apps that don't have a web interface. Why? Because I don't want my phone cram packed full of bullshit apps. For 1 it eats up precious resources. Number 2 the more damn apps I have the harder it gets to find shit. #3 most apps want access to everything on your phone and probably steal and sell your information.

Many apps are just webviews inside a browser disguised as a native app. I will probably create some of those for the social platform. But I see it as a complete waste of time to write the App at least 3 times so there is a web interface and apps for each device. If you do that then you also have to have all of the teams required to maintain it all and you have to keep everything in sync etc.

I can't be the only person that is tired of every damn thing being an app I must install. There is a reason I don't have instagram, I am not installing that beast on my latest phone. To put it on my last phone I had to uninstall several apps. I am not letting my new phone get to that level. I got so pissed when I could not remove facebook.

 

I’m a web dev myself so can’t comment on these, lol.

FWIW I really appreciate the introductory-level Computer Science posts (eg. #basecs posts), which are useful for self-taught folks—whether they’ll end up doing web, native, full stack, hardware, etc. I think a sensible progression would be intermediate-level Computer Science posts, for those who’ve already got beyond the basics as well as to encourage those who are still learning the basics to envision what’s next. Intermediate-level CS posts would also serve as "gateway drug" to more advanced CS community (users and posts).

 

Also with mobile development. Javascript has most of the capabilities as the native languages and is almost as fast these days. There are more Javascript programmers than almost any other language so it is easier to hire them. This also means there are more Javascript libraries in some ways.

I've never liked the idea of having to pick one platform or another to create an app for or trying to develop for all of them. It seems like a huge wasted effort. I am wondering how many even develop native and how many are moving to the webview type app?

 

Definitely very webdev focused, but I would love to see other kinds of dev kicking around here! I've been wanting to dig more into mobile development myself, and seeing more of that would be brilliant.

 

I am personally trying to write about iOS/Swift development but based on the reactions and views so far it seems like this is very niche topic around here..

 

To this I agree :)

I think even besides "webdev skew" there is a problem that not that great percentage of people uses Apple devices :)

I had a look at your posts - they all seem to be great and thoughtful, but for one not acquainted with technology - this all looks ethereal :)

Perhaps more luck could be with cross-platform mobile tools, but probably it is not related to your professional interests currently :)

 

Yea, you raise very valid points. I hope to also publish something about Django and Python in the future, but iOS and Swift I know the most. My main reason is just to write and practice it since English is not my first language and I really like writing. So having low reactions/views count does not bother me.

 

it's currently true, but it's not like someone is preventing you to write about other topics

 

I'm not a developer - my specialty is infrastructure (as code or not as code 😌)

It's up to us non-devs to write more on diverse topics!

 

Must admit I'd love to see more on programming language design.
Also my bad, as I keep not posting about my work.

 

I'm mostly interested in Computer Science and Data Science content on Dev while working is Static Program Analysis myself.

 

I develop Java Springboot apps (mostly web services) and the webdev stuff isn't very interesting to me.

 

I love reading #productivity here.

 

I'm a Full Stack Data Engineer, and a Former Game Developer. My focus/content tends to go into data, but my expertise lies further with game development.

 

im only here for #blockchain, #cloud, #devops, #devsecops, #embedded, #iot, #mobdev, #webdev