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Questions I Asked In 2021

Luke DeWitt
Dec 13

Our Director of Web Services shares all the questions he got stuck on in 2021 and how he was able to look to his colleagues at REDspace to help get the answers.

A few years ago, Dan Abramov published an article where he listed off a bunch of things he didn’t understand in the current web environment, and I always think about that post. I think Dan is an incredibly smart individual. He has helped many better understand JavaScript, works on the core React platform, and created Redux among so many other things. I thought it was refreshing to see someone with so much knowledge just put a list out there of things he didn’t understand.

Over the last 15 years in this industry, I’ve gone from a Flash developer, to a PHP developer, to a Javascript developer, with a bunch of stops in between before eventually ending where I am now: a web developer (in its simplest form). 

We have a lot of smart developers here at REDspace who constantly push me to stay on top of and learn new things, and they’re always very helpful at getting folks unblocked when they’ve started to spin their tires a little too long. We’re all human. We all struggle with different things, but here at REDspace we do a great job of helping each other out when we’ve reached the point of frustration when trying to solve a problem.

With that, I wanted to share with you all the questions that I’ve got stuck on this year and asked for help in our internal #developers Slack channel. A lot of these things I genuinely couldn’t figure out on my own. I have no doubt that I probably ran into some of these issues before and just plain forgot, but I wanted to share these questions because I think it is important for people to see that it’s ok to ask for help when you need it, no matter how long you’ve been in the industry.

  • Who’s using Tailwind on client projects? What do you like / dislike about it?
  • Does anyone have experience building pieces using the WP “Customizer API”? I think I’m good but looking for someone to bounce questions / ideas off of…
  • Does anyone know of a Chrome plugin where I can jump to a tab by typing something in the address bar, similar to how i navigate files in VSCode using Command + P (LOVE when Chrome introduced the “Switch to this tab” button)
  • Anyone using Redux Sagas over Thunks?
  • I have an IntersectionObserver with a rootMargin of “0px 10px” and a threshold of “0”. What this means to me is that if 10px to the left or right of the image is within the visible area of the window, my IntersectionObserver SHOULD trigger my “load image” code, but it’s not… Can anyone help me understand if I’m misinterpreting the documentation, or if I’ve introduced an error elsewhere?
  • I have a div using flexbox with align-items: center, and justify-content: center, where I want to limit the text to X lines… and I cannot for the life of me figure it out… help? It also may not be possible from my Googling to this point…
  • I’m having some Akamai caching issues that I’d love to be able to discuss with someone more well-versed in the subject.
  • Is anyone here a particularly rabid Spongebob fan? (Not technical, but I do love when questions like these come up at work.)
  • I think what I have a question about is recursive type script problem, but I’m not good enough with typescript to be sure, can anyone help me figure out if this is possible?
  • Is anyone familiar with the “keycode” is on iOS for the “go” button on websites?
  • I have a CodePipeline set up that is installing a dependency from a Github repo. I have created a Personal Access Token which I’ve verified, and everything works when I run stuff locally, but in the CodePipeline env the build fails. Does anyone have any idea(s) on what might help solve this? (Output attached in thread)
  • Does anyone with experience deploying NextJS have time to answer some questions? I’d like to speak about memory usage and I’m not finding what I want in their docs.
  • I know this is possible but I can’t remember the term I’m looking for… within WordPress I can update the “Save” message, but I want to add some additional status messages based on a hook that I am running on save. I just can’t for the life of me remember what these are called and / or how I can append additional ones.
  • I had a question here about using JSX <style> tags, but upon re-reading it, I’m having a lot of trouble understanding what I was asking. I did mention that I rarely take this approach when writing my styles (I’m a big SCSS modules guy), but I am worried this question, without context, would simply confuse people more than anything so I’m putting this paragraph in its place.
  • If I add the “defer” attribute to a script, the script is downloaded in parallel, and is then executed when all of the HTML has been parsed by the browser. DOMContentLoaded fires when the DOM has been constructed. Which of these runs first?
  • Has anyone ever built a Masonry-style layout from scratch?
  • Is anyone here well versed in React/NextJS render/re-render flows? I’m stuck on an issue that I cannot make heads or tails of, where triggering a re-render on a child component or it’s parent doesn’t cause any issues, but if the application wide component is re-rendered the children render flows aren’t triggered, but subcomponents are being broken — I’m happy to jump on a call to discuss (Oh, I remember this one being particularly painful…)
  • Has anyone worked with mask-position in CSS? For some reason Firefox is cutting my mask off ~80px too high, but it’s only happening in Firefox…
  • Looking for confirmation: does code that is executed via an IntersectionObserver run on the main browser thread? I was under the assumption that the observer itself wasn’t, but the callback function WAS executed on the main thread.“The Intersection Observer API lets code register a callback function that is executed whenever an element they wish to monitor enters or exits another element (or the viewport), or when the amount by which the two intersect changes by a requested amount. This way, sites no longer need to do anything on the main thread to watch for this kind of element intersection, and the browser is free to optimize the management of intersections as it sees fit.”This is the wording on the Mozilla docs, which really isn’t giving me the answer I’m hoping for.
  • This is the most 2013 issue I’ve run into in a while. I am attaching a listener in JavaScript that displays a confirmation modal. The issue is that I have to click the “OK” twice as it just re-appears when I click “OK” the first time. I’ve tried attaching the listener to the form submit, to the button click, with vanilla js, with jQuery… I cannot for the life of me figure out why it’s triggering twice and having spent over an hour on these different approaches. I really just need the braintrust here to tell me if there’s anything they can remember from the dark ages of JS that might help out…
  • I enjoyed the recent “Last Week in AWS” newsletter which covered “The Unfulfilled Promise of Serverless” — curious if anyone else has thoughts on Serverless and where/how it fits into our web ecosystem in 2021?

You’ll probably notice that the questions I ask span a number of different subjects. In my current role of Director of Web Services, I tend to spend less time in the day-to-day of projects and more time on the operations side of the business, typically jumping in to help when a project needs some extra hands. Most of the time folks have a bit more focused scope, unless of course they’ve asked to take on more.

Also, in the interest of transparency, I have cleaned up the structure of some of my questions in hopes they’ll be a little bit easier to read.

Interested in joining a diverse team of people who constantly collaborate and help you keep learning new things everyday? We’re hiring! Check out our list of job openings and learn more about a career at REDspace!

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