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Kathryn Grayson Nanz
Kathryn Grayson Nanz

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Looking Back: 2017 Web Dev 'Trends' We Should Carry into 2018

Yeah, yeah, we're all supposed to be looking forward right now, but hey – 2017 wasn't a total wash. We created some neat stuff and saw some interesting shifts within the community. While everyone is eagerly guessing at what's next, I'd like to take a moment to look back on some things from 2017 that we shouldn't be too quick to say goodbye to.

1. Coding for Accessibility

This year saw a huge shift in the amount we're talking about accessibility and inclusive web standards as a community. More and more, it's becoming common knowledge that coding accessibly isn't an "above and beyond" thing, so much as a "basic requirement of your job" thing. That awareness and thoughtfulness is absolutely crucial because everyone, at some point in their lives, will benefit from a more accessible web.

Links worth checking out:
A guide to mastering accessible web typography
WebAIM's intro to web accessibility
A handy tool for checking the contrast ratio of your color scheme

2. CSS Grid

So, you probably saw this one coming. CSS Grid has been almost a real thing for years now – I remember seeing Rachel Andrew give an enthusiastic talk on it at An Event Apart about 3 years ago, when it was just something we should be excited about for the future. But now it's here! And it's supported in all major browsers! And it's awesome! What more could you want?

^ The support for CSS Grid

Links worth checking out:

Learn CSS Grid in 5 minutes
Rachel Andrew's Grid by Example
A guide to learning CSS Grid

3. Rethinking Frameworks

Hand-in-hand with the advanced and newly-available layout abilities of CSS Grid, there was a lot of talk this year about stepping away from frameworks. There was some great discussions in the dev community about looking critically at the code we're including in our builds: how is it impacting load time and project weight, and is everything we're including really necessary? More often than not,'s not. Frameworks can be useful in lots of situations, but it's important for devs to judge each project on its own and make that call situationally – rather than letting a framework become the default out of habit or laziness.

Links worth checking out:
Why you might not need a CSS framework
Considering web dev without a framework
Why you don't need a framework with CSS Grid

4. Diversity in Tech

It goes without saying that diversity and inclusion was a hot topic this year in all fields. But, thanks to a certain "manifesto," diversity specifically in tech had its moment in the public eye this year as well. While that certainly wasn't the ideal way for this topic to gain attention, it is nonetheless an incredibly important thing to be discussing openly – and we need to make sure that discussion is carried into 2018 as well. The more diverse perspectives you can include on the build of any project, the better it will be.

Links worth checking out:
How to build diverse teams
Visualizations: Diversity in Tech
The actual science of James Damore’s Google memo

5. Impostor Syndrome

And of course, how could I write up a list like this without circling back to my own hill to die on in 2017 (and probably forever) – impostor syndrome. I've been thrilled to see discussions opening up in a variety of places on this topic, but it's especially wonderful here on and in the #DevDiscuss tag on Twitter. We all are continually learning, and we're all somewhere in the middle of a spectrum that goes all the way from total novice to total expert...and that's okay. And yes, we all Google things while we're coding, every single day (and that's okay too).

Liquid error: internal

Links worth checking out:
Read other people's experiences with impostor syndrome here on
All of us Google stuff – here's how to do it better
Is There Any Value in People Who Cannot Write JS?
(spoiler alert: yes)

2017 was a busy, what did I miss? Any other things you noticed reach 'trend' status within the dev community in 2017? Any ongoing things you'd like to see carry over into 2018? Leave a comment and tell me what should have been on the list!

Top comments (10)

nektro profile image
Meghan (she/her)

Probably my favorite thing to come out of 2017, was the v1 spec for Custom Elements and ES6 Modules. I use both of these all the time and can't wait for when these are common place and everywhere. Every year, we've been getting closer and closer to the ultimate extensible web and I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store!

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

All great things Kathryn, thanks for being a great part of the progress yourself.

hybrid_alex profile image
Alex Carpenter • Edited

I am super excited about CSS variables gaining more traction in the upcoming year as well.

Links worth checking out:
Unlocking the Benefits of CSS Variables
What is the difference between CSS variables and preprocessor variables?

Great list!

kathryngrayson profile image
Kathryn Grayson Nanz

Yes! I only recently learned about CSS counters and that's been a game-changer for me as well. If only variables had IE support! That's all that's keeping me back from being able to use them at work :/

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

This is a fantastic recap! I didn't realize until just now that there are articles justifying not using a CSS framework. I got reamed in a CSS community because I didn't feel I needed to use a CSS framework for a site I was building, but I was completely correct. The site turned out great, and I never once touched a framework. :3

saraalfred profile image
Sara Alfred

I am so excited to have my personal blog but not having enough knowledge but for time being I got my website designed by one of the custom development agency,but I found this article so helpful everything was so well explained.

berlinshawn063 profile image

This summary is excellent! I just learned that there are articles that defend not utilizing a CSS framework. Because I didn't think I needed to use a CSS framework for the website I was constructing based on paper writer service , I received backlash in the CSS community, but I was absolutely right. The website came out fantastic, and I didn't even touch the framework once.

lschultebraucks profile image
Lasse Schultebraucks

I have to try out CSS Grid in 2018... It looks very interesting and easier than the classic way of doing CSS.

kathryngrayson profile image
Kathryn Grayson Nanz

I've been more lax than I mean to be about re-coding old stuff with Grid, but I've been using it in new stuff and incredibly happy with it. I was always a framework user because I didn't want to fuss with doing the math / setup for responsive columns, but CSS grid makes that super easy. Obviously, I highly recommend it.