Tinned Fruit Missives October 2018


The topic of developer experience vs user experience comes up in the front end world about as often as the topic of CSS-in-JS, usually with the same amount of vehement commentary. On that note, this month’s Missives includes some contrasting debate of the topic. Alex Russell gets justifiably angry, and Jason Lengstorf tries to temper the rage with some pragmatic advice that looks a lot like user-centered design. Meanwhile, GitHub got on with some actual work on their front end.

Have a great month!

– Jim


The “Developer Experience” Bait-and-Switch - Alex Russell

The culture of developer enablement and happiness needs to be reset, according to Alex Russell. JavaScript is the web’s carbon dioxide - we use too much of it and those who emit the most are furthest from the consequences. Is it time to take some more radical steps to stop this trend?

Breaking the Deadlock Between User Experience and Developer Experience - Jason Lengstorf

Jason presents some actionable advice for breaking the apparent incompatibility between developer and user experience. The tl;dr of this article for me is: align your team to user outcomes, do more user research and understand the ongoing cost of providing a valuable product. In the absence of this, a team will naturally gravitate to improving the developer experience, because that’s an audience they do understand well.

Removing jQuery from GitHub.com frontend - Various GitHubbers

A great case study of a long-term, part-time front-end migration effort. No developer experience bait-and-switch here. The team made clever use of linting and other automation to keep momentum going where so many of these efforts fizzle out and die.


What makes a good frontend developer? - Zell Liew

Progressive Tooling - A list of community-built, third-party tools that can be used to improve page performance

Chrome’s NOSCRIPT Intervention - Tim Kadlec

The Ecological Impact of Browser Diversity - Rachel Nabors

Web Design Museum - blasts from the past

Designing With Code - Matthew Ström

Inside look at a modern web browser - Mariko Kosaka

How to Build a Low-tech Website? - Low Tech Magazine - fun with solar power and static site generation


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Tinned Fruit Missives is a monthly newsletter about web product development and front-end practices published by Jim Newbery, an independent coach and consultant from Edinburgh in Scotland.

I help growing B2B SaaS companies create profitable and sustainable web products. Find out more.

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