Episode 27: What Every Web Developer Needs To Know

Kevin leads a discussion on what every web developer needs to know.


  • Javascript – language or toolkits?
  • Does clean HTML matter? What are the tangible benefits?
  • Working with designers who only speak Photoshop
  • Basic usability
  • Tools every web developer needs
  • Progressive enhancement
  • K. Scott introduces the Lightning Round

Download / Listen

Herding Code 27: What every web developer should know

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  • http://digg.com/design/Episode_27_What_Every_Web_Developer_Needs_To_Know DiggIt

    Great episode…found it on LegalTorrents.

  • http://jrwren.wrenfam.com/blog/ Jay R. Wren

    I’m absolutely disguested by your discussion on regular expressions.

    I seriously feel ill right now.

    You are supposed to be some of the best devs out there, and you can’t grok one of the simplest programming devices ever created?

    You reasoning behind not using this tool is the same reasoning behind not using ANY tool. “People won’t understand it.” If this were true, then maybe we shouldn’t use javascript at all. After all, it is pretty complex and I might have to learn something new to figure out what is going on.

    You have done your listeners a great disservice by suggesting that they don’t try to better themselves as programmers. By suggesting that they write many lines of error prone logic of for loops and if statements to match text that could otherwise be matched by a regular expression.

    I have no suggestion for you other than: 1. better educating yourselves, 2. mastering new skills rather than suggesting certain skills are unimportant when obviously you are not masters of them and 3. recant your possition.

    Finally, I would like to quote Ted Neward to you: “You are wrong. You are wrong.”

  • admin

    Folks sure love their regular expressions…

    The question was whether “every developer should know ___”. Notice that all of us said no on RIA platforms like Silverlight, despite the fact that some of us are really into Silverlight.

    Also – why would you assume that we don’t know regular expressions? That’s a pretty condescending assumption. We’ve put the time into learning regular expressions, see that they’re a useful tool, and didn’t think that they made the cut for required, basic knowledge that every single web developer should know. Would every developer benefit from knowing assembly language? Sure! Is assembly language core, basic knowledge that every developer should put time into learning? Not in my book.

    I’d rather web developers put that time into learning the HTML/CSS platform better. I’ve worked with a lot of web developers who were handy with a regex but couldn’t write cross-browser code or table-less layouts. That’s a mistake.

    I do think people overrate the utility of regex’s. Having used regular expressions extensively in a custom CMS application, my personal experience is that they’re easy enough when you’re writing the application, but the maintenance and edge cases kill you. So in my opinion, they’re fine for things like e-mail validation, but pretty error prone for things like HTML manipulation (c.f. all the security vulnerabilities Jeff Atwood hit with StackOverflow’s HTML manipulation).

  • http://john-sheehan.com/blog John Sheehan

    @Jay – Suggesting that the logic of for loops and if statements is any more error prone than regex is ludicrous. Bad programmers are going to write error prone code, regardless of whether their using regex or doing it the “long way.”

  • http://lazycoder.com Scott
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  • http://www.markstahler.ca Mark Stahler

    Is there a BitTorrent feed available so I can download podcasts that way?

  • admin
  • vijayachandar

    This is great and helpful… thanks again kevin

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  • http://www.visual-blade.com Daquan Wright

    I loved the topics covered, found some of it hilarious myself (not in a bad way). :)

    I think when it comes to the web, one of the things I find out is that there are many tools out there. But nothing beats learning core concepts the the basic fundamentals for yourself.

    I’ve been told that I should just program my websites (I like both design/coding) and not to mix my skills but what happens when something goes wrong? Then you have to pay someone to do it for you.

    Obviously I agree that you should learn the core language first before you use a tool to do it for you, because it gives you more control.

    There are many ways to get a solution on the web. Nothing is really bad just by the nature of it, it too depends on how you proceed with a particular technology and that you understand what this is going to do and how it will effect the web environment.

    Knowing when to utilize a technology and knowing the limits are a key aspect to not using the wrong tools for the job.

    Interesting topic here, if it works then don’t fix it. But if it doesn’t work well enough, refine it.

  • http://www.siliconwebsolutions.com Jacklee

    I have altered the console that came with jbpm-jpdl-3.2.2 so that clicking on a task in the task list brings up the task page to fill in data and click the ‘Submit’ button, for instance. I would like to return to the ‘processes.xhtml’ page after clicking the button causing a transition to another state ( or when ‘Cancel’ is clicked ), but cannot find out how to do this. Suggestions?

  • http://www.inowweb.com web development

    Interesting topic here. This is great and helpful… thanks


  • http://www.youniquesoftlab.pl Projektowanie Stron Warszawa

    This is great and helpful, thanks

  • http://www.digitalfreedom.info Andrew

    Yeah IE Tester is good but there is no need to test in IE5.5 i think – even IE6 to some extent

    I think so long as you work in IE7, IE8, FF, Safari, Chrome, Opera, AOL (Same as IE) then your are good to go.

    Also, you can emulate IE7 in IE8 if you hit the compatibility view buttoon

  • http://www.aditcreation.com Aditcreation

    good this is important information for all developers.

  • http://www.viteb.com/web-2-0-webdesign/ Web Design India

    This is such informative post.

  • http://www.viteb.com/custom-software-development/ Software Web App Development

    As per my point of view Progressive enhancement is very major part among it.

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