Here’s Why Client-side Rendering Won
Cory House

As a developer of enterprise SaaS applications, where the core functionality is hidden behind a login, I could not agree more with most of this article and many of the comments as well. Being able to operate in an environment immune to the challenges of SEO should in theory free developers up to choose different tools for the job.

In my experience (and I imagine others would be inclined to agree), most developers want to use the tools and languages they are most comfortable with. When we consider the reality that most developers are used to working with tools usually relegated to backend development, a barrier gets created when these developers are tasked with working on Web Based Applications. These developers are going to approach Web Apps using the same backend\server-side rendering tools they are comfortable with and basic human nature dictates that they are going to try to operate within their comfort zone.

This results in a situation which isn’t all that different from the “if all you have is a hammer” adage.

And who could blame them? For most of the history of web development, client side functionality was appropriately an afterthought & therefore JavaScript was a secondary language many developers just dabbled in.

However, while these developers spent the past 5–10-whatever years working with server side technologies, the web as a whole kept moving forward and advancing. In lockstep, the capabilities of JavaScript changed dramatically such that we now find ourselves in this new reality. A reality where the Browser should be the rendering engine of choice for most, if not all, Web Applications.

Alas, we must still confront the reality that JavaScript is generally not a native language to most developers who come from backend development environments. At best, they tend to have a cursory understanding of JavaScript or worse, a “jQuery is JavaScript” mentality. More so, many of these people are so used to the concept of server side rendering that they will offer numerous reasons why client side rendering is such a bad idea.

And all of that is fine, because while they dig their heels in to the soils they stand on, radical new methods of software development are emerging which may ultimately render their entire argument moot. How would one argue for the virtues of server side rendering when software is developed and hosted in a serverless way?

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