anthony galvin


25 Years

25 years ago this week I started working at what was then known as a 'web agency'. I started off as the 'work experience' kid - I suppose today I would have been an intern.

Quickly that became a part-time and then a full time job. The dot com boom was still in full swing. I didn't know a lot, but I bought a book on building websites from the computer section of Foyles on Charing Cross road. The 'internet' section didn't even fill a whole shelf. So much about technology and building websites has changed since 1999.

But amazingly many of the fundamentals I started to learn about on that first day (between making cups of tea), remain true today.

1/ Good design makes complex things appear simple. But simple is unbelievably difficult to achieve

2/ Thinking about the end user as a real person really helps - the best way to achieve this is to talk to some of your users regularly

3/ Readable code beats 'clever code' 99% of the time - leave comments. The next person will thank you (that next person is often your future self)

4/ Technology is like cricket, an individual sport wrapped in a team game. A lot of working with tech is an individual endeavour, but it's a team game. You need to operate well as an individual contributor and be an excellent collaborator to succeed

5/ It always takes longer than you think (Hofstadter's Law is real), and you often don't control the deadline - try and have a version that's ready to ship even if it's not quite right

6/ Fast web pages with good semantic markup are good pages - 25 years on having a H1 on the page is still a good thing! Web frameworks are amazing, but good markup wins every time

#work #career #web #25years

10/01/2024 permalink