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Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript?

I recently had the opportunity to speak at Web Directions Code 2017 over in Melbourne. While there, I was part of a panel with Mark Dalgleish and Glen Maddern (who gave spectacular talks I might add). We’d just finished a set of talks about CSS, and during the panel we got a question along the lines of (paraphrasing): “Is there a place in the industry for people who just write css and html”

To me, this could easily be interpreted as, “Is there any value in people who cannot write JavaScript?”, based on some comments from the audience after, this seemed to be how many understood question.

I want to be very clear and upfront: this is not a CSS vs JS post. If you are looking for another one of those, stop reading this now. This post is not about something being better, it’s about people and expectations.

So, we asked the audience if they hire people who just write CSS and HTML. No-one put their hand up. And I, for one, was disappointed.

I understand the desire to have people who can do a lot of things. What I don’tunderstand is why it’s okay if you can “just write JS”, but somehow you’re not good enough if you “just write HTML and CSS”.

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