Building websites is programming. Writing HTML and CSS is programming. I am a programmer, and if you’re here, reading CSS-Tricks, chances are you’re a programmer, too.
The thing is, the details in programming layout with CSS are different, for example, than the details in programming API endpoints with Ruby. Or machine learning with Python. Or programming a browser engine with C++.
But those differences are details! A lot of details, but still… details. It’s all programming.
I see programmers like this:
Where do HTML and CSS fit into this weird and cute universe? What is it to program user interface on the web?
Programming boxes, I like to say. Everything is a box, and as HTML/CSS programmers, we program boxes within the domain of the browser. Like this:
So…I believe that we, both as individual programmers and together, as the web slice of the tech industry, need to arrive at a more holistic and inclusive understanding of what it means to be a programmer. This outlook not only makes tech a more welcoming place, but it makes us programmers more powerful and more adaptable.
To me – well, me in 2019 – programming is writing instructions for computers that other programmers, such as your future self, are able to read and maintain. As programmer, I am confident that, once I know one language well, I can learn another one. At the end of the day, it’s all made of the same stuff.
I have been a programmer in this sense for around eight years, but up until about two years ago, I didn’t see myself as one. In fact, I was actively opposed to calling myself a programmer, and in recent times I’ve heard the same sentiment from others. Why, exactly? Is this a reaction to the “not real programming” phenomenon? Is that still happening? What are the impacts? What were the impacts, for me and for others?
Yes, I know ‘gatekeeping’ – that is, the self-inflating exclusion of others from a community or identity – is a thing, and that some people are just jerks, but I think there is more to this story.
So, what’s interesting to me about building websites this year? Talking to others who build websites and beginning the process of answering these burning questions.