Introducing Web Dev Survey from Kyoto

Jul 25, 2020 · 4 min read

Web Dev Survey from Kyoto is a series of blog posts on web development by myself, an aspiring web designer/developer in Kyoto.

The famous Arashiyama bamboo forest in the summer of Kyoto. Photographed by Masa Kudamatsu (the author of this article) in the morning on July 4, 2020.

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 (, 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 “”. See 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?”

I have written a couple of web dev articles for this purpose: on the and , both of which receive some positive responses from the readers.

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. 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. 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

December 2020

November 2020

September 2020

July 2020

Web Dev Survey from Kyoto

A former academic researcher weaves web dev articles into a story, with a visit to Kyoto at the end.

Web Dev Survey from Kyoto

A virtual web dev conference held in Kyoto, with a former academic researcher using his “literature review” skill to collect scattered pieces of knowledge on web development into a logical, easy-to-understand document.


Written by

Designer-developer of Triangulum Color Picker ( and Line-height Picker (

Web Dev Survey from Kyoto

A virtual web dev conference held in Kyoto, with a former academic researcher using his “literature review” skill to collect scattered pieces of knowledge on web development into a logical, easy-to-understand document.

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