To BEM or not to BEM: the project

How everything started and the reasons for these interviews

To BEM or not to BEM is a series of ten interviews to ten different people that have used the BEM methodology on large CSS projects (on “real world” websites and applications, not simply “hello world” examples) to gather their feedback and opinions, to try to understand their learnings and experiences.

It’s not about the methodology itself — you can find plenty of tutorials, talks and posts about it — but it wants to be a way of getting insights on what works well with BEM and what can go wrong, straight from the voices of the people that actually use it.

It’s a side project that I have decided to take on one evening, while I was reading a post on Medium and I was struck by this statement:

“While our CSS guidelines improved a lot with BEM and OOCSS we feared that not having the appropriate structure in place could be a challenge especially when it comes to rolling out the CSS to different applications. […] In the meantime, to fight the CSS structure problem we found that ITCSS is the way to go.”

When I started the interviews, I had mixed opinions on BEM — on one side I was totally understanding the reasons to adopt it, on the other side I was thinking that (if not used correctly) the remedy may be worse than the disease. So reading about someone else’s experience made me extremely curious, and I started to wonder how many other people could have interesting experiences with BEM to share, how much I could learn from them, and maybe — finally — decide if embrace BEM or simply bear with it.

So this project was essentially an attempt to give an answer to a question that has haunted me for a long time: to BEM or not to BEM?

The series was originally published at