Mom's lessons on web development

Mom: bless her, the wonderful lady who spent years of her life fretting over every little detail so you might grow up to be a doctor or the President. The lady that fought so hard to get you outside, instead of cooped up in front of the TV, playing video games. Who would have thought that she would end up teaching you valuable lessons in web development? I mean... come on! She only learned to copy/paste a few months ago!

Still, the lessons are there, and they are important... even if you'd never admit it to her face.

Get outside and play!

I know, it doesn't seem to relate at all, but it does. Web developers aren't a bunch of hermits, but we can over focus sometimes. It's important to take a break and let the mind wander.

The value of taking breaks has been known for years, but it seems many still ignore the facts and work harder instead. Mom wouldn't be happy about this: go outside... climb a tree or something.

Clean your room!

It pains me to admit Mom had a point here, but she did. Whether your workspace is clean or not is personal preference, but keeping your code clean is serious business. Here's why:

  1. Legibility. When you are working on a site, the last thing you want to do is waste time hunting down sections of code. Keeping it clean and tidy will help a great deal.
  2. Future editability. Yes, you may remember where an item is right now but in six months, you likely won't remember what it's called, let alone where it is.
  3. Delegateability. (I'm not sure that's a word.) Having clean, readable code ensures that other developers will be able to look at your files and make sense of them. This is important whether you are a single developer or working in a large team.

Play nice with others!

You never know who your next business contact will be, or where you will meet them. Whether they are a potential client, employer, employee, or partner, being nice and open with others will help keep you from burning bridges before you've crossed them.

Share!

Share of yourself. Share what you know, who you know, and what you do. Whether it be snippets of code, an open source project or just a blog with web development tips, put yourself out there; don't close yourself off and try to hog all the toys.

So go tell your mom thanks for the lessons that enabled you to be a better person... and a better web developer. It's a surprise, but in the end, it's paid off nicely... even though you probably still don't make your bed very often.