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Alex Bennett's photo

What are some DX problems that y'all see coming up on the horizon that there aren't a lot of solutions for? If you could make any part of developing for web better, what would you change?

swyx's photo

dx @ netlify

Tons. the problem and opportunity of working on DX is that you are literally never done. Jeff Bezos has been working on the internet retail experience for 20 years and it is still Day One for him.

I think it is still too hard to write JAMstack apps. We are -early- in this paradigm, and that's why it is so hard. But every year it gets a bit easier with an ecosystem springing up around it. We got some part of the way there with Netlify Dev, but ultimately my white whale is tackling the broken promise of fullstack JavaScript. Multiple dozens of billions of dollars have been created with Rails (name a 10-15yr old decacorn tech company, it was probably built on Rails). Laravel's Ecosystem is flat out amazing.. Django gets you an awesome admin panel right out of the box. Meanwhile in JS land we futz around for hours trying to debug our node_modules and build steps. Unacceptable. If JAMstack has a chance of being productive (not just faster/more secure/decoupled), the serverless/JS ecosystem needs to drastically catch up.

Sarah Drasner's photo

+1 to swyx's answer, and I have a few more thoughts:

When I look at some of the things that have taken off recently, I see how much people are using and loving abstractions as a service.

Serverless is one such model that allows you to use event-driven logic on server side without setting up a ton of infrastructure, I think we'll see a lot more of this new way of working in the years ahead- abstracting some processes that might be automated, or simply keeping things consistent across machines we previously needed unnecessarily complex processes such as containers allow for.

That's one area. On the client side:

Personally, I think the web is capable of so so much but we're still not taking full advantage of it. Some of this needs some help from the browser side to fix what's broken and should have already shipped a while back (hello where is hardware acceleration on SVG DOM nodes helllloooo) and some of it is from the dev/design side of still kind of treating the browser like a document reader- we still build layouts like we're using tables even though we can do so so much more!

How does this affect developer experience? Devs need APIs they know will work quickly without a lot of hacks, and they also need tools to help build brilliant experiences on the fly without a ton of mental overhead. Some of this comes back to the promise of what tools like Netlify do: spend less time gluing together "kit of parts" services, knowing that your deploys will work in a streamlined manner, and you have more time to commit to user experience overall.