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How To Make Dev Better In 2020

chillhumanoid profile image Jonathan Thorne ・3 min read

Today I'd like to discuss the 5 ways we can make dev a better place in 2020, and I already broke number 1.

1. Stop with the "...in 2020" posts (no clickbait titles).

Seriously, they also aren't new to 2020, it seems that going back we've had a ton of posts that have to do with the year that it is. It doesn't matter. And a lot of times it's just pushing your high horse views. Which brings me to my next point

2. get the hell of your high horse

Maybe you've been a developer for 40 years. Maybe it's been 5 years. Maybe you're a hobbyist. Dev.to is literred with high horse people. My post is meant to break both of the above points, to give an idea. It's like seeing that kid who took a Java class in HS giving coding tutorials on YouTube because he got an A. I'd rather here is experiences then have him think he can teach (giving experiences is still teaching, just indirectly). But this all gets into my next point.

3. no, we really don't need a 'python for beginners' made by every single person ever.

Stop. It's not just python. But it's always the big languages, and it's never anything new. but it's also always different (and not in a good way). In some ways we have a reverse stack overflow here. No one's asking, everyone's offering.

4. let's diversify the front page a bit, huh?

I'm not a web developer. I think everyone and their mother is on here. My language of choice happens to be python, and IL be damned if there's a decent python post that isn't about Gatsby.

5. stop coming here with "how to self promote your blog" or "how to deal with writer's block" etc.

This IS a blog (in a sense), but that doesn't mean we need to have 60000 posts about how to be a better writer. And for that matter, I don't need to hear yet again how to be a better coder either.

I believe there's immense power in this platform. But there's also a severe deficit. I'm tired of seeing the same damn posts. We don't need a 101 on a given language 101 times. Especially if you bring nothing new to the table.

So what do I propose we post more of instead? Experiences. What was YOUR experience in implementing a feature in your application? Even if it's something that's common, maybe it was your first time implementing it. Talk about it. Chances are there ARE people looking for it.

But chances are that people on dev.to aren't looking for a python tutorial. Or how to get 60000 looking at their blog in 2020.

We're developers. From all walks of life, all experiences, all ages, all types (hobbyist, careerist, etc). We don't have to stoop to such levels for clicks. Because it's kind of disheartening, and makes it so I hardly check Dev.to these days.

I was going to wait before I made this post but right now the top 3 posts on dev.to are "...in 2020" and they break 1 of the other 5 points as well.

Take my points or leave them. But please, for the love of all that's good...stop teaching dev.to how to get input from the user.

Posted on by:

chillhumanoid profile

Jonathan Thorne

@chillhumanoid

Hobbyist Script Writer, Wants to get back into OOP but has no real need. I create tools for ADHD

Discussion

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I share your frustration but I think it’s an engineering problem more than a people/content problem.

So here’s an idea for dev.to engineers:

There are already #tags that can be weighted. I think that’s pretty cool. 🙌

And they ask your coding level 1-5....

It would be good if you had to list a coding level as part of the post. Maybe 0 for networking tips, etc.

Then advanced developers could filter out the broad boring beginner stuff easily, and newbies wouldn’t be overwhelmed with highly specific content.

Cheers

 

I feel like the best articles are the ones where people are writing what they need to learn and not for a stilted "I'm gonna teach you" perspective. Experiences in what issues you are facing that aren't basics are a great direction. Personally I'm writing about things that are more about career advancement and learning as these are things that I'm working through figuring out. I did see someone posting about things they want to learn so that they could be corrected in the comments. That seems so fresh and fabulous to me.

 

Dev already has tags and they are good enough: "beginner", "tutorial", "discuss", etc. Choose the right one and be happy. Do you want to create a special label for "special" developers?

 

Yea, sure, but the thing is that I can follow #android for instance, and not #beginner or #tutorial and still get all of the "How to Create a Fragment In Android In 2020" posts with tags of #beginner and #tutorial.

And I'm also not sure that I want to have (if there isn't already) an option to not show certain tags because sometimes there IS good material that's useful to know that I didn't before.

 

As Michael Puckett said in his comment, "it’s an engineering problem more than a people/content problem". I think Dev team could make a search like Google does adding minus sign in front the tag you're (not) searching for. Just a simple filter.

I don't like the idea of qualifying a post/article with a number or a level. I think this could create a caste of "special" developers and segregate the others. IMO, that's not a good idea for a social network for developers.

my point still stands, I also don't want to completely limit out tutorials, and this also implies that the average dev user is coming here looking for something in particular.

I think where dev.to can and does shine is in being a developer specific blog site. I think there's a place for tutorials as well, don't get me wrong, but it is largely a people/content problem in what im thinking.

For instance: you could decide tomorrow to make a "how to create a python class" youtube video tomorrow. This isn't inherently bad. and hell, people on youtube are very well searching for that too. It's especially nice if you have a ton of python experience and are showing something new.

However, if you see that there's already 10000 "how to create a python class" videos on youtube, and they've already said everything you would say on the subject, and you're not even an experienced dev (or bringing anything new to the table) that's when it becomes not good.

In fairness, the only one that was truly no ones fault is that most of the posts here are web dev related.

I think the problem is partially engineering though, i'll agree. I think there should be better ways to limit what kinds of posts are on the main page of dev.to