I love this platform. I've been hanging around there ever since Medium became shit. So while it's great to see the platform all grown-up, it's also kind of disheartening to see some (most) of the issues that plagued Medium follow along.
Here's a personal take on issues that plague Dev.to. Please be reminded as you read that this does not intend for any moral judgement, but is a single man's opinion on the origins of the issues.
It would be a net gain for everyone to appeal to a broader audience.
Dev.to is not Reddit nor Hackernews. Content is not organized by "best". Which is not to say that it should. But as with any platform that becomes big enough, more and more people are posting here.
Which would not be a problem if everyone was doing its best to write great, useful, and insightful articles. Sadly, this is not what's happening.
To be clear, I'm not trying to say that inexperienced developers should not write, quite the contrary I think they definitely should.
What I'm trying to say is that writing should be motivated by mostly altruistic reasons, rather than selfish ones.
Personally, I wrote some Ruby articles because I felt like they were missing while I was learning the language. I wrote what I would have wanted to read on the internet and that did not exist yet. I wrote so people around me would have it slightly easier than I did.
Writing a good article is hard and takes time. Sadly, the front-page seems stuck with the eternal same "5 Top VSCode extensions" or yet another guide to React hooks. Were the previous guides so bad that the internet needed yet another?
The shallow and repetitive nature of the articles wouldn't be an issue, if it felt like there always was a genuine / heartfelt attempt at producing quality content. But there is none of that, because a genuine effort is rooted in altruism, and that's not why most people seem to post here.
And here comes the bigger issue. Every post seems to either be motivated by personal branding, or is just plain business advertisement.
I'm not even criticizing anyone here, I'm just stating the facts: I understand launching your startup and being in need of free advertisement. I really do.
But ads don't make for good content at all. And this is one of the main reasons why good content is becoming rarer and rarer here.
I'm also not criticizing the fresh-out-of-bootcamps junior devs that want to be able to distinguish themselves - the job market can be quite a bitch for juniors. We've been repeating for years that junior devs should distinguish themselves by contributing, starting a blog, sharing their knowledge, and participating in open-source projects, if they wanted to have a chance at getting a job.
But the return on investment is much better by just rehashing the same knowledge over and over again.
There seems to be a dissonance between what the writers on Dev.to want, and what Dev.to need.
So how can a website with a very low bar of entry such as this one, do its best to promote the best possible content, without becoming yet another Reddit?
Should there be some kind of human curation happening ? The newsletter is trying to achieve this, but this doesn't help with the browsing part of the experience.
Are there community-driven ways to uphold ourselves to higher standards?
I don't really have a solution. Do you?