Web Development Visual Tools: Solid Or Cheating?


Hey, what’s up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. I’ll be talking a little bit about web development
today and using visual tools to do it. My old friend Dreamweaver. This is from Kishan and he says, “Hi, John. I just want to talk about web development
software.” All right. I just want to talk about web development
software too. Let’s talk about web development software. All right. “You may have or haven’t known about something
from Adobe called Macromedia Dreamweaver.” Yes, I have known about it. I remember getting cracked versions have known
about it.” I remember getting cracked versions of this
way back when I was like 19 years old or whatever in order to do web development. Not that I recommend doing that today. “This piece of software will allow you to
change visuals e.g. tables, CSS and interactive features for your website without you having
to touch the code. Do you think it is a good way of web development
or a bad way? In addition, if you want to become a freelancer
in web development, it would be a good idea to use Dreamweaver. Take care.” I’ve got sort of an opinion on this that I
actually did a course so I’ll tell you about a lot of people say, “Oh, don’t use visual
editors or visual stuff because it’s cheating. You don’t really understand what’s going
on and you should just do everything in command line or do everything in Notepad and write
your HTML in there, and everything.” I don’t necessarily agree with that. I did a course on Pluralsight. You can check out on SVN. That’s the source control management system
and I didn’t do it like most people would do it on SVN. I use TortoiseSVN which was a graphical SVN
tool and I did everything graphically. There was a reason why I did that and that
was because it just was more intuitive and it made sense, and it was easy and it saved
me a bunch of time rather than typing in a bunch of command line stuff. All of you would say, “Oh, well, a real expert
would have done it from the command line.” Maybe, but what’s more effective? What’s more practical? What’s more pragmatic? Again, now, I could do a lot of the stuff
from the command line and I still can with SVN, and I needed to learn that stuff and
I did learn that stuff, and there’s a dog in the frame but that’s all right. What I did was I focused on what was pragmatic. Think of it this way. If you’re doing web development, if it’s more
useful to you to use a tool like Dreamweaver, if it’s easier for you to manipulate elements,
to manipulate the CSS, to change the properties of things, some people will look at you, and
frown at you and say, “Hey, you’re not a real web developer because you’re not manually
editing the CSS.” That’s fine. They can say that all they want, but when
you get work done three times as fast, that speaks much more louder than any other words
that they’re saying, but here’s the thing. If you’re just relying on the visual elements
and you don’t understand the underlying, then that’s the problem because sometimes Dreamweaver
is going to break down. Sometimes you’re going to need to look at
the raw HTML on the web page and you’re not going to have Dreamweaver. Sometimes you’re going to need to troubleshoot
a problem and if you don’t understand what’s going on or see how the CSS and HTML behind
the scenes work or you don’t understand the code, whatever context you’re applying this
to, you don’t understand how that stuff works, then you’re going to be stuck and you’re going
to be in trouble and you’re not going to understand the nuances that exist because that Dreamweaver,
that TortoiseSVN, it’s an abstraction over something. It’s making things simpler by giving you a
visual abstraction. I’m all for using visual IDs and visual development
tools, but I’m also for understanding the underlying code behind them. Code generators, for example, in programming. A great tool. Will save you a lot of time but you have to
understand how they’re working and you have to understand the code that they’re creating. You need to have that depth of knowledge and
then you can take it and apply the abstractions and use shortcuts. There’s a lot of developers that go too far
in one direction. There are some developers that they’re like,
“I just want to use these visual tools and I’m not going to understand what’s happening
underneath the covers,” right? I’m just going to say at that level abstraction
and they get into trouble because they don’t understand what’s going on. When they debug things, they don’t have enough
of a knowledge of the space. Then there’s other developers that insist
on not using an ID and coding up everything in Notepad. I went to this company and did some consulting,
and all the developers were like, “Oh, yes. We write our java code in Notepad and then
we compile it on the command line.” I’m like, “No.” It’s good that you can do that, but you could
be saving a lot of time by using an ID, right? You could be saving a lot of effort by doing
that. You got to find the balance and what it really
comes down to is you have to know the technology, know the underlying thing, unless the abstraction
is perfect. Most abstractions are not. Most abstractions are leaky, but you have
to know the underlying technology and the underlying thing and then you use the tool. You use the thing, the abstraction that’s
built over that makes things convenient. I don’t know a huge amount about videography
and photography, but I had to learn enough about it to know that point and shoot, it’s
not like—you can’t be a great photographer which is point and shoot. Now, you could probably get away with that
or get away with things like autofocus and some of the auto stuff that the camera does,
but you need to know about lighting and the actual aperture and all of these details that—I’m
not an expert about all this stuff if you want to be good. Even though you may use some of these automated
features from time to time, but sometimes you’re going to have to crack it open and
probably most of the time and you’re going to get down to the low level stuff and understand
that stuff. You’re not going to be really good like—you
could fake it and you could pretend to be good, and you could shoot some decent video
or some decent photos, you know, just using the auto features and autofocus, and all that
stuff, but you’re not really going to be—you’re not really going to understand what you’re
doing and that’s not the way. Dreamweaver by itself, don’t just use that. Understand HTML and the CSS, but then use
that if it makes you faster and I think it will. Right? That’s why the tool was invented. It wasn’t invented to make it so you didn’t
have to know anything about CSS and HTML. At least that’s my opinion on it. All right. That’s all I got to say about that. If you like this video, make sure you click
that Subscribe button below and click the bell to make sure you don’t miss any videos. I’ll talk to you next time. Take care.

23 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *