Don’t ignore the basics: JS, CSS, HTML

The modern web is a daunting place for the novice. Gone are the days when good ole’ HTML, CSS and PHP would get you by. This is the era of progressive web applications, there’s a whole industry spawned called frontend engineering, security has become a thing, and browsers have become infinitely more capable and powerful — and that aint even the half of it. There’s a lot more to learn that there ever has been, and there are hundreds and thousands of truly excellent places to learn from. But a lot — and I really mean a lot — is a distraction.

We somehow forget, I believe, that at the heart of the web are three core building blocks, CSS, HTML and Javascript. Given this it’s honestly astounding how few web developers properly understand the vanilla instances of each language. People might know how to use say, React.js, but fail to properly understand async concepts of Javascript, promises or the principles of the DOM. Or they might copy a whole chunk of CSS but be unable to edit or manipulate it without getting confused or lost.

For anyone that hasn’t or needs a refresher please spend some time poring over the excellent, comprehensive documentation that exists over at Mozilla.

Each of these sub-parts are deep rabbit-holes of their own mastery and to be truly on top of them takes time, but none are strictly too difficult to start fiddling around with. A moderate level of HTML/CSS/JS underwritten by a good foundational programming knowledge is enough to make almost any complex website. Don’t forget the fundamentals, and don’t retreat to the flashy frameworks too quickly, it’ll do you a disservice in the end.



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