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Ditch the developer Swiss Army Knife

Our industry loves Swiss Army Knives.

The tools we tend to gravitate towards are ones that do all the things. They’re packed with features.

I get the appeal, but I also think this tendency is harmful to the people who use the stuff we build, and actually makes our lives as developers harder.

We ship mountains of JavaScript—the slowest, most fragile part of the front end stack—that we don’t actually use, just because it’s built into the multi-tool we chose to use. Often, we’d be much better served by hand-picking some smaller, more focused tools that do just one thing particularly well.

A Swiss Army Knife may have a built-in screw driver and can opener and tweezers, but they all do a pretty poor job at those things. A standalone screw driver works a lot better… and it’s easier to use! The one advantage of the Swiss Army Knife is that you have it with you.

The same is true for things like React.

Sure, you can render static websites with it. You can build simple accordion components with it. You can fetch basic API data and inject it into a UI.

But all of those things are better handled by other tools.

If you need help being more selective about the tools that you use, or picking a more resilient stack for your project, get in touch. I’d love to help you out!