Web Dev Survey from Kyoto is a series of blog posts on web development by myself, an aspiring web designer/developer in Kyoto.
There are thousands of web developers who blog about their profession. Why should I also blog about it? What’s the value added? Who would read a blog post by an amateur web developer?
I keep asking myself this question. And I’ve found two answers.
Answer 1: Survey
One answer is my previous career: I was an academically trained data scientist with a PhD in economics (my Google Scholar site, which counts the number of citations to my academic papers).
In academia, you must “survey the literature” — that is, summarise what other people have found on the same topic in the past — before writing any article on your research.
In the web dev blogsphere, this notion is almost absent. It is usually not clear who first said this or that. For example, did you know who first advocated the norm of “responsive design”? (Answer: Ethan Marcotte with his 2010 article “Responsive Web Design”. See Chapter 3 of Resilient Web Design by Jeremy Keith for the historical context that helped Marcotte’s proposal widely accepted.)
This is important because word of mouth almost always dilutes or even twists the original purpose of methods and principles. We should always be able to trace back to the origin when we feel lost and say, “Why am I doing this?”
But this approach to blogging certainly alienates non-academic people. If they don’t read, what’s the point?
Also the look of my blog posts is not different from any other web dev blogs. My effort to be different should be noticed before the potential reader stops reading or even before they decide whether to click the link to my article.
Medium.com recommends adding a high quality image to attract readers. It’s hard to do for topics in web development, because it’s all about a series of text known as “code”. It’s a waste of time to search for, or draw by myself, some vaguely related graphics. Personally I never ever get impressed by the top image of web dev articles.
Which leads to my second answer to the question of how I can differentiate myself from other web developers.
Answer 2: Kyoto
It’s a crazy idea, perhaps, but I can use my photos of Kyoto as the feature image of my web dev articles (as this article itself does).
I’ve been living in Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan, since 2016. My Instagram account features the photos representing the current season of Kyoto, and it’s popular among my friends and even a few others who don’t know me personally.
How about pasting the photo of Kyoto in the current season for each of my web dev articles? I know people frown upon the image irrelevant to the article. But most images on web dev articles are irrelevant anyway.
And I will choose the photo that makes you feel the current season in Kyoto. It’s like you’re invited to Kyoto now to hear about web development. It must be refreshing for those web developers glued to their computers.
So I call this blog post series Web Dev Survey from Kyoto. Whenever I learn something new about web development, I’ll share it by making explicit the sources of information, together with some nice photos of Kyoto to deliver a seasonal touch. (I believe being alert to seasonal changes is the most effective way of staying happy — that’s the principle of zen buddhism historically thriving in Kyoto.)
Watch this space.
Surveys published so far
How to use HTML Canvas with React Hooks — Web Dev Survey from Kyoto
I’m making a color picker web app with React. Drawing a raster image like the color picker on the web requires a…
Beyond create-react-app— Web Dev Survey from Kyoto
Why you might want to use Next.js or Gatsby.js instead
Placing the Text Field Label at the Top-left inside the Field Box — Web Dev Survey from Kyoto
Where to put the label text for a text field is a hotly debated topic in UI design. After surveying the literatu
Change the background color with transition animation— Web Dev Survey from Kyoto
For smooth animation to change the background color of a web page, use the pseudo element and toggle its opacity with a…
Optimal Line-height Reconsidered (part 1)— Web Dev Survey from Kyoto
Set line height in proportion to x-height, not font size. Only when writing CSS code, convert it into the value…
Optimal Line-height Reconsidered (part 2) — Web Dev Survey from Kyoto
More characters per line, even if line length is the same, demand larger line height. And so does Dark Mode.