node created 2020/05/11
For the most part I think the reason so many web devs put up with the “all-react” (and similar) development experience is basically cargo culting. If you admit you don’t like it, chances are there’s at least one front-end hipster around who will mock you as outdated, and that’s enough to silence most. For the hipsters, the problems of SPAs are hard, and engineers like hacking on hard problems. Also the fact that the solutions don’t work very well means they’re constantly being reinvented, which means if you do the work to keep up with it all you’re rewarded by being regarded as an expert, which is nice.

Lastly, I wouldn’t underestimate how this has built up slowly over time, and therefore how many people just don’t know any better.

Last year I assigned a feature to a junior dev which was quite simple. He spent two days hunting for and testing react libraries to try and build it. When he told me this I said, “Holy crap, that is overkill.” I tried to explain how easy this would be with just plain HTML and JavaScript and he didn’t understand, so we paired for about 90 minutes and the work was done.

At the end of that session this developer said to me, “wow, I didn’t realize you could actually do anything useful with just plain JavaScript in the browser. I thought it was like... assembly or something.”

This is a good, very productive, very fast-learning developer I’m talking about. He literally had never tried to use the DOM api, and didn’t realize it was, you know, useful.

I think there’s a lot of that in front end world today.