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What have you Lost and Gained with Front-end Complexity?

In 2021 front-end software is almost ridiculously advanced.

You've probably read about the history of JS and how brutal cross-browser compatibility used to be. The jQuery days were actually quite exciting and in many ways they still are.

If you think about jQuery for one second, it's a massive compatibility layer wrapped up in one global object $. That's incredible.

jQuery actually hindered a lot of developers because those folks learned jQuery first and JS second. Today, a lot of developers now are falling into learning JSX first and JS second. While there's nothing terribly wrong with this approach (JSX still requires JS knowledge) there is a hidden "jQuery-esque" magic behind the build processes used to convert JSX in pure JS.

Most developers cringe at the thought of going back to ASP or JSP HTML templates and writing pure vanilla JS and CSS.

But it's actually essential to know these things.

While no one can ever fully "know" HTML, CSS, and JS (this is according to the "Essential Difficulties" in software design, it's important to at least have an idea of what you don't "know".

I'm not going to write a hold article on the inner workings of webpack or the differences between OOP and Prototypical Programming. I want to hear from you folks about what you've lost and gained in the complexity of front-end build processes and software advancements.

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