Forgive me for my harsh tone of voice today, I’ve had a rough week dealing with a stupid site with stupid code (my own). My mood became worse when I read my Twitter feed at the end of the day – to realize that our industry is simple, and utterly full of crap.
I fully realize that by calling it out and complaining about it, I’m most likely adding to the issue at hand, but I can’t stand it anymore – I must say something. I’ve been making websites since I was 13, which (I’m sad to say) was 13 years ago. I’ve been in “the industry” for 6 years now. I’ve met some fantastic people, while also coming across some people that are meaner than the popular kids in middle school.
First off, I’m tired of people coming out and say “OMG YOU MUST DO THIS!1!1!!11!”. I’m been in the industry long enough to know, that there’s nothing in the web world that you must do, in terms of coding or design techniques. Technically, you could still eek out a living building static sites in tables. Yep, that still happens.
Just because a developer doesn’t want to use that fancy framework or new gidjit, doesn’t make them stupid, or less of an “expert” as you are. I’ve actually been called stupid because I refuse to use LESS or SASS. I’ll be the first to tell you right now – even if the practice of using preprocessors does stick around for the long run, I doubt you’ll even run into clients who won’t hire you because you don’t use it. Or at least, I don’t want to work with clients who insist on using buzzword technologies when having no clue what they’re for or do (I once had a client who insisted on using responsive design, and when they saw the site “moved” around, were upset it didn’t match the full version PSD exactly).
It’s important that you constantly improve yourself and what you do. It’s not important what everyone else says you should be doing. Same goes for responsive vs set pixels, pixels versus ems, browser versus Photoshop and multiple versus singles H1s. Find what works for you and what YOU feel is the correct way of doing things and just do it.
I love the fact that as a freelancer, I can choose who ever I want to work with – both in terms of clients and other freelancers. I’m no longer stuck with a coworker I hate. I’ve worked with so many freelancers that it’s easy for me to see just how different we all do things and run our business.
I will say that the number one complaint new clients have when they come to me is that the freelancer never delivered on-time. I’m not just talking about pure product deadlines but also about actual timely conversation.
Pure and simple: if you’re going to run a business, act like a business. If you promise to stay up every single night and work 24/7 until you finish that project, then by god, you better do it.
And dont’ disappear from a project for days and weeks on end. While I try to only answer and empty my inbox once a day, I do do it at least once a day and do my best to send an answer back to everyone within 24-48 hours, even if I don’t have any new news for them. At least they’ll know I’m not out partying or sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs. They know I’m still on it.
Perhaps my overarching issue today is the issue with people. We’re an industry of spoiled people. We get to sit at our desks everyday doing something really cool. We don’t have to stand all day, work in the sun or break our backs with manual labor. We get to do something that regular people can’t understand so we’re think we’re cool. We’re not.
I’m tired of hearing from all the fellow females in our industry about the disgusting hate mail they get. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of my male colleagues tell me they get hate mail that tells them they’re stupid bitches and their work sucks and they hope this email makes them cry. Nor have they told me that they get emails telling them how pretty and sexy they are. Let’s stop that. Edit: This paragraph was apparently unclear to a few – I’m tired of hearing that this is happening in our industry because I think it’s disgraceful that people send them – I’m not hating on the people who receive these emails and talk about them at all….
Let’s also stop whining, ok? Every time a company does something that we don’t like, we run around crying. This world (mostly) runs on a free market, and if you don’t like Apple’s policies, or Googles TOS or Adobe’s attitude, etc, etc, don’t buy from them. There are always alternatives and you need to weigh the pros and cons of what’s more important: the product you need, or being able to smugly say you stuck it to the company. Let me tell you something: they don’t care.
Twitter doesn’t care, Facebook doesn’t care – none of these guys care. They have enough people who are happy enough to use their services. Move on. Find something else more important to whine about – like stupid Firefox being the ONLY browser to not render properly *glare*.
Every week there’s something totally unimportant that people have to whine about like it’s the end of the world. Also, please stop passing judgement and calling someone who does things different from you “stupid” or “wrong”.
About the author
Amber Weinberg specializes in clean and semantic XHTML, CSS and WordPress development. She has over 10 years of coding experience and is pretty cool to work with. Amber is available for freelance work, so why not hire her for your next project?
See on www.amberweinberg.com