At the end of my talk on the Lean Web at Boston CSS last month, I got asked a really good question by one of the audience members:
Are there any companies that are actually building sites and apps this way? All of the job postings I find want experience with frameworks, webpack, etc.
The reality is, not enough companies are building lean websites, which is why I created my talk. I’m trying to make a small dent in our small part of the universe.
But the question is pragmatically important.
Web developers need to work and get paid. And that means doing things that the companies that want to pay you are looking for. And that often means using frameworks and over-engineered development tools.
But there are some companies, some of the quite big and notable, doing things more simply.
I reached out on Twitter for examples, and got back some awesome responses from people.
- Netflix still uses React for server-side templating, but switched to vanilla JS for the client-side code and saw big performance improvements.
- GitHub removed jQuery from their frontend at the end of 2018 in favor of vanilla JS, polyfills, and native web components.
- The ecommerce site for British retailer Mark & Spencer is vanilla JS.
- Hacker News is vanilla JS, though given how simple their layout is, that’s probably not surprising.
- The Front End Masters website is also vanilla JS, too, and is powered by Hugo to create static HTML files. They use JS to generate dynamic content for logged-in users (like I do on my course portal).
- Video conferencing app MeetSpace doesn’t use a framework either, and wrote about it in Smashing Mag.
- Colloq is vanilla JS, as is Carrd.
Lean web jobs can definitely be harder to find. But they exist, and at some noteworthy companies, too.