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.
- Most of these things I have shares in previous editions already when it became available in the Safari Tech Preview. But here is a summary of all the new WebKit features in Safari 11.1 which is now available to everyone.
- Brendan Dawes shares the reasons why he loves URLs so much and thinks they’re an masterpiece of design and user experience by themselves.
- Charlie Owen’s talk transscription of “Dear Developer, The Web Isn't About You” is a good summary of why we as developers need to think beyond what’s good for us, what eases our work but what serves the users and how we can achieve that.
- Anton Lovchikov shares ways to improve optical adjustments in components. It’s an interesting study on how very small changes can make quite a difference in its visual appearance.
- While Argon2 is the current best practice algorithm to use for hasing e.g. passwords, there are a couple of things developers need to prepare for. For example, it’s easy to DOS yourself using Argon2 so you need to rate limit queries.
- James Fisher shares an interesting way to scam Gmail users, as demonstrated with Netflix as example.
- Patrick H. Laucke shares what the new
:focus-visibleCSS pseudo-selector is about and how we need to write it to ensure backwars compatibility to browsers that don’t support it yet.
- Marco Zehe introduces us to the new Accessibility Inspector in the Firefox Developer Tools. This is great news and helps inspecting issues with accessibility way easier than we used to.
- There are a frew articles about Web Push Notifications available already but this one to get started by Oleksii Rudenko is a great primer that explains the principles very well.
Work & Life
- Rebecca Downes shares some insights into her PhD on remote teams and reveals under which circumstances remote teams are great and under which they’re not.
- “A disused coal power station will reopen to solely power crypto[-currencies].” I have no additional words for this.