Javascript apps

April 13th 2016

The state of Javascript development is overwhelming and confusing because everyone is over-engineering their apps by default without even realizing it.

This weekend I wrote a small app that tracks how many downloads all of the podcasts on the Spec Network see per week, month, and year. It shows which shows are up or down, as a percent, for each of these timeframes, and can track the network overall to see what our growth looks like.

It's a fairly simple app; it came together after writing ~300 lines of code. But I just ran a script to see how many lines of code were in the entire project: 26,537.

Holy. Shit.

I'm actually embarrassed to admit this next bit: this blog post you're currently reading is built on a codebase of over 400,000 lines. I probably wrote ~2,000 of those.

So yeah, I'm a rookie.

That's what happens when someone who is just starting to learn grabs the nearest boilerplate and goes to town; a million dependencies lay under the surface making magic happen. That's both beautiful and terrifying because I don't know what 99% of my project is doing behind the scenes.

This personal revelation is something the industry has acknowledged for years. I found this great comic to illustrate:

Via Cube Drone

All I can do is recognize that I have a lot left to learn. And now I have a personal challenge to build the next thing as lean as possible.

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