DEV Community

Cover image for I do HTML and CSS for a living
Silvestar Bistrović
Silvestar Bistrović

Posted on • Originally published at


I do HTML and CSS for a living

A while back, I got a sticker from Smashing Magazine saying, “I do CSS/HTML for a living.” It still sits on my MacBook and is pretty accurate - I genuinely do HTML, CSS, and Vanilla JavaScript for a living.

I do CSS/HTML for a living sticker.

At the beginning of this year, I got an email from Wakatime with my annual code stats for 2022. According to the Wakatime report, I spent the majority of my coding time on HTML, CSS, and Vanilla JavaScript. Of course, that was no surprise for me. As you can see in the screenshot below, I have underlined all HTML-related languages with pink color, all CSS-related languages with green color, and all JavaScript languages with purple color.

Wakatime stats for 2022.

There might be better references than last year, as I was employed full-time by one employer for most of the year. I was responsible for developing and maintaining the website built with Jekyll and Contentful. Hence, I used the Liquid and Markdown languages for HTML templating. Sass was my go-to CSS preprocessor.

I was curious, so I looked back to the year 2021 when I was working for multiple clients. Most of the projects were Jekyll, Hugo, WordPress, and Shopify. Like last year, almost all languages were related to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are a few new languages, like YAML and PHP, which I also used for HTML templating.

Wakatime stats for 2021.

My Wakatime stats go all the way to 2016. I spent the majority of my coding time on HTML, CSS, and Vanilla JavaScript-related languages. Some of these stats bring back memories of all the projects and technologies I have been working on. From monolith applications for the dairy industry to gigantic WordPress projects to simple static site generator websites - I enjoyed working on almost any of them.

Wakatime stats from 2016 to 2020.

I don’t mind which technology or framework is used as long as I can apply my HTML, CSS, and Vanilla JavaScript knowledge. I know my way around many templating languages like Liquid, Pug, or Handlebars and most CSS preprocessors like Sass, Less, and Stylus. But these are just enhancements or extensions to the plain HTML and CSS code. Learning these more sophisticated languages is not hard if you know the basics. Templating language and CSS preprocessors are unimportant if you understand the final output. And that is what matters.

Another software I occasionally use to see the stats for my coding is CodersRank. CodersRank analyses GitHub repositories and creates interesting reports. For example, the screenshot below shows that my main languages are CSS/SCSS, HTML/Liquid, JavaScript, and JSON. That proves the stats from Wakatime.

CodersRank tech skills report.

One thing I want to emphasize here is that I don’t know any JavaScript frameworks or TypeScript. So all the stats related to JavaScript are me working with plain old Vanilla JavaScript. But I must admit that lacking JavaScript framework skills has become a problem. For example, 9 out of 10 frontend-related job posts mention React, Vue, Angular, or some of the most popular JavaScript frameworks, which automatically excludes me as a potential candidate. But frameworks come and go, and Vanilla JavaScript stays. At least, I hope it will.

It is 2023, and it is possible to make a living working primarily with HTML, CSS, and Vanilla JavaScript. I am living proof. For now.

Top comments (7)

outofideasexception profile image
Ken S

Thank you for sharing. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are by far my strongest skills. I've been looking for a new job and similar to your experience, I noticed a lot of them mention React, Angular, etc.

I'm applying like crazy for something entry-level.

Seeing your post about how far these skills can take you is encouraging. Thanks again.

junihh profile image
Junior Hernandez

"But frameworks come and go, and Vanilla JavaScript stays", and become even better.

vulcanwm profile image

wow, it's amazing to see how much you can do with HTML,CSS,JS

ravavyr profile image

I understand you spent most of your time using those languages, but what does that actually mean?

Time spent writing code?
Time having the editor open on a file of that language?
Does it measure actual lines written?
How much code was copy/pasted? [even if you copy your own code, still stands]
What functionality was written? [eg. JS could all be basic click events versus complex algorithms or UI interactions or animations and so on]
Was the JS code all frontend, or node, or running compile commands?
Was the CSS counted from looking at the final file generated by SASS?
Did you learn new things or write 20 websites using the same components and different content?
and so on.

"Time spent" is not a very good metric for "Experience" or "Things learned".

Just my thoughts is all.

starbist profile image
Silvestar Bistrović

I mentioned two tools in this article. One is Wakatime, which I use to track time working on a code and in my browser. Another is CodersRank, which analyzes GitHub repositories.

Wakatime does a good job tracking my time working in my IDE and browser.
If you want to learn more about Wakatime, visiting their FAQ page would be a good start.

I learn something new on every project. While I have my coding style, I often have to adapt to the environment since I have been involved in many projects, and every single one has a different architecture.

There may be something to it for another blog post.

Anyway, thanks for your comment. I like all of your questions.

ravavyr profile image

Hey, thanks for the info there.
I looked at Wakatime's site, but it wasn't clear what exactly it tracked hence my questions.

I was going to sign up for Codersrank to see what it does, but they want WAY too much personal info lol.

Thread Thread
starbist profile image
Silvestar Bistrović

I signed for both of these way back so I am not sure which info they require.

Visualizing Promises and Async/Await 🤓

async await

☝️ Check out this all-time classic DEV post on visualizing Promises and Async/Await 🤓