It really pisses me off.

I am a freelance frontend developer. I work from home or the client’s office if that’s what they want. I don’t run a hip agency with my own office or people working for me. I don’t charge my clients big bucks. I just charge my hourly rate. Nothing else. I am a one-man show.

And yet, whenever I deliver a project to a client, they marvel at the way I deliver. High quality, within time, within budget and ridiculously cheaper than what the agencies would charge them.

Of course an agency is going to be more expensive. More people work on a project and they all need to get paid at some point. Nothing wrong there.

The thing that does piss me off? All that manpower, all those resources and still they deliver sub-par code that only holds together for about a year. Websites that sniff user-agents instead of performing feature-detection; responsive menus that show hamburger buttons on desktop-size screens;
massive duplicate content in responsive sites; jQuery-driven websites to handle a few basic tasks; Angular-based sites — not applications. Sites. — ; sites full of javascript features that are completely unusable without Javascript; the list goes on and on.

These agencies charge big bucks for this shit — Yes, if you feel like the above describes your recent work, then yes: It’s shit — and they get away with it. Not because they’re good at selling stuff. Not because they’re a class agency who delivers beyond expectation. The only reason they get away with it is because the client trusts them.

I know some of the people running these agencies. Some are friends, some are strangers to me. Some are very private people, others have a huge following on social media. I have called out some of these agencies; pointed out the problems (some publicly, some privately) and even suggested simple fixes and approaches to improve the websites they put out there. All of them decided to argue with me. As if they could justify the poor work they delivered.

I have taken my time to contemplate what this means. Months have passed since I last reached out to any of these people to talk about this. I have had a lot of time to think about this and the only thing I was able to come up with is: WHAT THE FUCK!?

Seriously, take some pride in your fucking work. You run a agency and parade around like you’re in a fucking Enya video (yes, I stole that line from The Big Short). But you’re lying to your clients and abusing their trust and I don’t see you broadcasting that on your Twitter or Facebook account.

You want to run with the big boys but you can’t be bothered to do the work and be good at it. You’re just a liar. And it pisses me off that clients trust you with these big budgets to create sub-par shit while I know people who struggle to make ends meet who would love to work with clients like yours for half the money and do a better job than you ever could.

It really pisses me off.