[Insert Framework] Guy

A project recently fell through and I’ve had conversations with a bunch of recruiters since. Many of them were digging in round-about ways to pin me down as an “Angular guy” or “React guy”.

I consciously try to avoid being a “[insert buzzword] guy”, having learned this the hard way : From the late nineties until well after 2010, I was elbow deep into Flash. I know. People look at me like I‘m wearing a MAGA hat when I say that.

But hear me out. The Flash world had some mature and productive tools:

  • MVC Frameworks (with DI, component libs, routing, live messaging, data binding etc.)
  • graphics/animation/3D libraries
  • common libs
  • solutions for designer/developer workflow
  • video, vector graphics, asset library, timeline/keyframe animation…

As I was comparing what was going on with Javascript at the time, in my mind there was no way Flash could die. Flash had already survived a series of “Flash Killers” (Silverlight, JavaFX, etc.).

I remember the day “I got it”. With a friend, I was watching the live feed where Adobe announced they were pulling the plug on Flex (component framework for Rich Internet Applications). That wasn’t even when it properly hit me, rivers in Egypt and all. A guy in the audience stood up and said something along the lines of : “Our Business has invested [well over a million] on a core product built with Flex, WTF are we supposed to do?“

It was a bitter realization that something so big, something with that much personal investment can just die overnight.

Not gonna lie, I was down about this for several years. I had enough going on in my private life to not let it slip into a depression, but I lost the enthusiasm for programming I had previously enjoyed.

Fortunately the tools improved incredibly fast. I’m enjoying work again, which is a good feeling. I know enough about the core concepts of SPA development that I‘m confident diving into projects using any of the main frameworks. But : As cool as the Angluar CLI might be, how much of a breath of fresh air VueJS is or how many jobs there are for React Developers, these platforms are not a part of my identity. If Facebook disappears off the face of the planet tomorrow, you won’t hear me complaining how “React did it so much better”.

TLDR: I’m not your [insert framework] guy, I’m a front end developer who is happy to work with modern tools.