This article is spot on. There are frequent and infrequent developers for any tech and they have different priorities:

I also agree that frequent developers are normally better-served, at the expense of the infrequent, with the exception of a few communities that value simplicity and beginner-friendliness (e.g. Python).

Ignoring the needs of infrequent devs is what leads to the kind of mess that is the JS ecosystem: yes you can get a lot done very quickly, but you achieve this by taking on massive amounts of technical debt.

The tech debt is tolerable while you have the same people involved, who are used to firefighting and know which bits are highly flammable, but it hits future maintainers like a bomb.

It’s like the SV business model writ in code - grow at all costs, cash out before the consequences hit.

@cbowdon I had different experience with JS recently. Frequent developers built a lot of tools and are okay to use for them (npm, yarn, Babel, eslint, webpack and whatnot) but infrequent developers just want to drop a link into HTML and do things good ol' way with jQuery.

@charlag I’ve been in both situations yearning for the other. “Oh jeez jQuery 1.5, how ancient is this?” and “OMG why is node_modules 500MB?”. These days I prefer to have the jQuery problem (if all else is equal).

Complexity in your setup becomes really obvious when projects change hands. I’ve onboarded a few projects where this has really made life difficult, and I think the direction of travel (in JS) is towards more complexity.

Saying this as a someone who (mostly) enjoys JS. 🙂

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