Hey,

What would I tell someone who wants to become a developer these days? What would you? I think the technical requirements, the latest technologies are the smallest part of becoming a good developer. The more important skills are to take responsibility for what we do, to make decisions that are sustainable and in the interest of the people who will use your work on a daily basis. It’s about choosing a software system that works for years, it’s about choosing technologies that results in a fast, secure and privacy-driven web service that has great user experience. And to achieve that, we can’t just code something away. We need to think first about what we do and then apply our skills.

When I read about privacy-leaks and security issues, or about dark design patterns I often see that people just do their work. And while we are not always able to influence decisions we can try. We can ask whether we need to add Google Analytics, add social sharing buttons, add behavioural heatmap trackers that all share user data to some third-party company. Do we really need to give our users data to a company that makes money out of that (sometimes even for free)? If we care about our own privacy, the first step is to avoid building systems that violate it. If we complain about data abuse like the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook story, we need to avoid feeding these services with our users data. And we can do this by building more responsible systems. It might be more effort but it’s amazing what really clever systems we can build, how simple some solutions can be. By the way: The new EU GDPR rules can give you a trigger to do try building better systems. The simpler your system is, the less data you capture, the less third-parties you have, the easier it is to comply with it.

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Work & Life

Go beyond…

—Anselm