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CMS. Just seeing the letters C. M. S. makes the average developer’s blood pressure spike. That simple acronym induces dread, stress, and our basic survivalist fight or flight instincts. Some will fight against the CMS and bend it to their will, others will run for the hills searching for a better way. How did it get this way? Why do we hate our Content Management Systems so much?

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Today’s traditional Content Management Systems were born in a time long ago. They were born in an age when blogs were a coveted personal slice of the web, instead of the river of advertisements thinly veiled as content that they are today. The traditional CMS was born in a time when PHP and Internet Explorer reigned supreme. There was only one screen to display your website on, and it sat on your desk. The CMS was a wondrous tool in this bygone era. It did one job, and it did it really well. You could go from Joe Six-Pack to website owner with your own personal pulpit within hours. …

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A little over a year ago I left the offices of Teehan+Lax for the last time. The partners had taken jobs at Facebook and the office was shutting down. I had worked there for the past 7½ years with some of the smartest and most creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I left the office that day with a heavy heart, yet had an incredible sense of freedom.

I never felt shackled to my desk or worked to the bone. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Teehan+Lax was a dream job. I had autonomy, respect, interesting projects, a decent salary, reasonable hours, and amazing colleagues. However, I felt trapped. Trapped by my dream job. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to people that wish they had any single thing I listed, let alone all the perks I had. …

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed. Some days it feels like it was yesterday, and others it feels like decades have passed. The best day of my life, and the worst day of life both happened in 2010, only months apart. I cried like a baby during both events.

I’m not one of those guys that believes in the whole “Real men don’t cry” bullshit. But I do think that men save tears for moments that truly matter, you know life changing stuff, or Bambi. …


Chris Erwin

Co-Founder of Elemeno, Formerly lead developer at Teehan+Lax

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