Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

So recently I decided to get back into the world of web development. It has been a while since I have done full-time work, but am already excited at the possibilities. Having taken a break from it for a while (6 years to be exact), I was immediately overwhelmed and amazed! When I left web dev, css was still in its infancy and it took hack after hack to get things to work. jQuery was slowly developing, though there was still an “anti-javascript” rumble in the community.

I am sure there are still problems with both css and javascript, but the massive number of libraries and frameworks clearly shows its usefulness. SASS is an amazing leap forward in the development of css. Hacks are still needed of course, but they are built into any number of css and vs libraries. Funny though that the complaints these days are for IE7 and below… IE7 just came out when I left. I still remember the IE4, 5, and 6 days, man did that suck…

The problems these days are of abundance. I have been trying to figure out what is going on, and it is overwhelming! I have browsed through endless docs of frameworks, mixins, libraries, boilerplates, and articles to figure out what has happened in the last 6 years. It was too much. I figured I had to just dive in and start working on a project… but where?

Twitter Bootstrap seemed to be the obvious choice… there were themes and skins everywhere. But I resisted. It just didn’t seem right. The big idea of the tie when I left was “semantic markup” and the separation of presentation and content layers. I was surprised at the popularity of this framework. Why were designers compromising what seemed to be a really good practice? I get part of it. It just worked. Considering the countless hours I have spent hacking html and css to get things working, I see the appeal. You can get something up fast. I can see it works well with the rapid prototyping of the startup community. But I just don’t want to get on board.

Fortunately I found that others had the same opinion. There were some frameworks that catered to the classic idea of separation and semantic markup, so I decided to look there. I have found two systems that seemed to draw me in. Compass-Susy first grabbed my attention, then I found Bourbon-Neat. I was familiar with grid based layouts, but have not really had much experience, so either of these was going to present a big learning curve.

I am experimenting with both of these, so stay tuned to see my progress and thoughts. I am applying to a dev bootcamp soon as well, so I am sure I will have lots more to learn and talk about.

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