Dont’ get me wrong: I appreciate the enormous conceptual breakthroughs we’ve made, by constantly revolutionizing how we develop front-end on the web. However, it’s become impossible to ignore how much more complicated the whole environment is now. And – how negatively it affects developer experience.

In an oversimplified view, this is what we have done with front-end development in the past 5 years:

Front-end Web Development Circa 2011:

  1. Master basic HTML & CSS (granted: spend ton of time struggling with cross-browser issues)
  2. Find some useful jQuery plugins (didn’t really need to know jQuery that much, let’s be honest) + learn how to make jQuery Ajax calls.

Result: you were the Resident Ruler of the Webs!

Front-end Web Development Circa 2016:

  1. Webpack or 5 other alternatives of the day
  2. Gulp or Grunt (if you need dev/stage/prod environment - webpack won’t do it)
  3. React (or Angular 2? Or Ember. OK, at least not Backbone)
  4. Realize React alone does nothing. Look into Flux implementations (which of the 10?). Maybe Alt. People say it has great docs. Or Redux?
  5. SASS… Wait – now you want Compass… Wait, now somebody told you: Bourbon is cooler…
  6. At least you’ve already mastered Bootstrap? Nah, Material UI, you are doing React!
  7. What do we do about “continuous integration” to make all these things actually work together and not drive everybody crazy? Choices, choices…
  8. Not done yet: wanna play with GraphQL and Relay while you are at it?

The most likely end-result: a month into ‘research’ and you haven’t accomplished anything…

And no: Yeomen doesn’t magically solve this problem.