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Geek, coder, gamer, tinkerer, husband, father, system admin, web developer, and American cyborg, though not necessarily in that order. Creator of Mythic Wars (card game).


Open Legend: Open Source RPG
Glad to see that this is an RPG with open-source rules, and not an RPG about working in open source (which wouldn't be nearly as much fun).


Fatigue and Mastery

1 min read

Tero Parviainen (@teropa) has a nice piece about [Overcoming Javascript Framework Fatigue](, but don't let the title fool you - much of the advice can be applied those who work (and live) in most any rapidly-evolving field. Plus, it contains [one of the best quotes]( from Rich Hickey (@richhickey, the creator of [Clojure]( about what skills a developer really needs to have (and those skills have nothing to do with preferred language or framework):

> Programming mastery has little to do with languages, paradigms, platforms, building blocks, open source, conferences etc. These things change all the time and are not fundamental. Knowledge acquisition skills allow you to grok them as needed. I'd take a developer (or even non-developer!) with deep knowledge acquisition and problem solving skills over a programmer with a smorgasbord of shallow experiences any day.

Via [HTML5 Weekly](


Developing the Web

3 min read

_Sorry for posting this again, but I accidentally deleted the original when I changed web servers recently, and I thought it was worth reprinting. Let that be a lesson to us all in the [Tao of Backup](

The great Remy Sharp ([@rem]( wrote a [piece]( about what it means to be a web developer, as opposed to an engineer, and the difference a title does (or doesn't) make. In the end, he settles on the title of "web developer":

> I don't know why I thought it was uncool to be a "web developer". Perhaps because it's utterly vague.
> What "web developer" does mean to me though, is this:
> Someone who writes code for browsers. Likely from the school of view source, is comfortable with drop-in libraries, understands standards and best practice techniques. But mostly, a tinkerer.

I like his definition (especially the part about tinkering), but I think that it's incomplete, being merely functional.

I suggest that the term "web developer", by its definition, carriers a philosophical drive: to develop the web. That is to say, a web developer should visualize how they would like the web to be (as a whole), and build their own projects in a way that reflects that vision.

This is something I've tried to do myself, both in my professional and personal projects (albeit with varying degrees of success). To me, being a web developer means that I should use [responsive design principles](, [ensure accessibility](, and [follow the standards]( wherever possible. It also means using only open source software, be it [in the server stack](, the [service layer](, or even as a [client browser](

As a web developer, I want to participate in a decentralized web, and would rather use a self-hosted, fully-open [social media platform]( than a corporate data silo. Likewise, I support the use of standards-based communication protocols (IRC, e-mail, etc.) over proprietary solutions. Finally, as a web developer, I believe in a more secure web, and support initiatives like [HTTPS everywhere](

All in all, I think this definition adds an air of legitimacy to the "web developer" title. As I noted in a [comment]( based on this criteria, one could say that Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the definitive Web Developer (a title he himself uses, as @rem pointed out), and that's not bad company to be in. In fact, I think I'm going to go get some business cards with "Web Developer" on them.

_TL;DR - A should "develop the web" by building their projects in accordance with their own vision of how the web should be. For me, that means using open source software to build standards-compliant, accessible, and secure sites and apps.