No Good Can Come of Bad Code

  • I feel your pain every time I encounter a shop or company that brags about its full-stack expertise but writes markup like it’s 1999. Or, just as bad, like it’s 2003: all meaningless spans and divs, half of them there purely as visual hooks, and the other half there because the developers didn’t know what to cut out of the framework they used (and didn’t consider that a problem, figuring that gzipping everything would take care of the performance aspects).

  • It’s particularly troubling when the code schools turning out tomorrow’s coders by the tens of thousands neglect to teach their students the vital importance of separating structure from appearance and behavior;

  • It also kills me when these schools teach responsive design as a bloated, top-down enterprise rather than the lean, content-first experience its creator intended.

  • I’ve seen agencies where an HR person who doesn’t understand the web hires designers and developers based on the candidates’ meeting a checklist of skill areas. The more tools and software the candidate knows, the likelier they are to get hired. Understanding of accessible, standards-based design doesn’t even enter the picture.

  • Above all, the kind of “pretty design but bad code” you’re stuck with… comes from stone age companies that heavily silo their employees. In such places, the developer’s job is to comply with a list of specifications as quickly and cheaply as possible. The designer’s job is to make it pretty. If there is a user experience person, her job is to create wireframes in isolation, and slip them under the designer’s door.

  • Remember: the future will come whether you design for it or not. If your company charges $300,000 for a website that won’t work on next week’s most popular device, your company won’t be able to stay competitive in this business. It might not even be able to stay in the business, period.

Source: No Good Can Come of Bad Code · An A List Apart Column

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