Friday, August 7, 2009

To Every Web/UI Developer I've Scoffed At - Apologies!

I am/was a cocky programmer. Having only worked on system and application level programming thus far, I really didn't appreciate how hard building a good, usable website or application is. I knew that an application or a system is only as good as how usable it is, but I really considered usability to be a 'simple' problem and by inference I assumed that writing the code behind what you see on a website or an application is also 'simple'. As my career matured I suspected I might be wrong, and now I know I was!

Over the last few weeks, I've been messing quite a bit with Html and CSS to make stuff look non-ugly and Javascript/Ajax to make stuff feel non-sluggish. And the combination of these together to make non-ugly things appear non-sluggish. Of course, this also means dealing with everything that goes on in the middle/backend to support non-sluggish, non-ugly things. Oh, and once you have something that's not ugly and not sluggish, you have to worry about the bad guys. Cross-site Scripting, Cross-site Request Forgery, cookie theft and poisoning, etc are things I didn't think much about previously. What cans of worm those are... !

And then a couple of months ago I spent some time making an mac application non-ugly and non-sluggish. Same deal, pretty much.

Working on these new technologies sure feels like being a kid in a candy store, but I have to confess my new found respect for good UI/Web developers (and I am not one, by a long shot). I may have snickered behind your backs previously, but it sure won't happen again!

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