I'm a Frontend Web Developer and I Rarely Write CSS Anymore

I love writing CSS. One of the best things I know is getting a new design and spend time implementing it. But I rarely get to do that anymore.

It’s a blessing as well as a curse that CSS has such a low threshhold for getting started. The relative simpleness of CSS and HTML means that the world of web development opens up in a way that JavaScript can not offer, other languages even more so. But it also means that it’s easy to miss that CSS can be hard, and that you need to study and pratice to understand how and why things work.

As soon as you try more complex things you run into obstacles. Floating and negative margins are often used to fix things. Developers get angry, saying that CSS is a crappy way to do things, and it might well not be the optimal way. But still, I think that some of the problems lies in the fact that since it seems so easy at first glance, many don’t bother learning it for real.

Writing good, reusable CSS is not easy, and writing a 3000 lines long CSS file can happen without anyone noticing. JavaScript often gets blamed for making it easy to write bad code, but with CSS this is even more true. It so easily happens that you pile new rules on top of old, the cascading part of CSS that is so great gets overused.

But I have noticed in the last few month or year that the amount of CSS that I’m writing has decreased enormously. Great, and sad, I say. Great beacuse you have some sort of base to build upon and use complete components from. Before you hade to write it all yourself, but with the advent of frameworks, internal as well as external, comes using already written stuff. Many times this is great, you have some sort of baseline and don’t have to reinvent the wheel over and over again.

But still, I miss it.