I know I’m going to get hate-mail for writing this piece, but, so be it. Someone has got to finally say what many of us as experienced software engineers have been thinking for some time now.

I’ve been a developer for over 20 years working for some of North America’s most prestigious companies. For several years now I’ve been watching the state of UI and how it’s gone from bad to worse. Specifically, I’m talking about “fad-tech”, those cutesy not-so-little pieces of JS and CSS that are supposed to be all the rage with the newbie crowd and now even with some seasoned engineers who should know better.

The snowballing culture of using these frameworks, like Angular, have avalanched us into code hell with no end in sight of when this nonsense is ever going to level off.

Everyday I see job postings come into my email, companies of all sizes scrambling for EXPERIENCED Angular 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 developers with at least 5 years of experience building and maintaining this mess we call “state-of-the-art” UI.

It’s not “state-of-the-art”. It’s a mess.

Several years ago I had an interview with EA (Electronic Arts) during which I was told that the company was junking all of their UI frameworks and returning to simply writing plain vanilla ECMA (JavaScript) enclosures. (That would be JS “plugins” for us jQuery people.) I was surprised but also curious.

Now the rest of us know why.
Keep It Stupid-Simple

I don’t like calling people “stupid”, so I’ve sort of rearranged the classic KISS acronym. But the KISS principle has been utterly lost with the latest versions of Angular. It’s no longer just a UI framework, but a backend service as well. Your UI people are now having to write backend code that goes beyond mere HTML templating. Some people would like to say that is a good thing! But it’s not.

Yes, Angular has some cool “whiz-bang” features—ALL of which are completely unnecessary to write effective and stunning UI or deliver a professional UX.

SPA’s (single-page applications) are out. They are difficult to maintain and wreak havoc with analytics and search engine crawlers which rely on the URL actually changing.

Yes, there are work arounds for these issues, but THAT’S THE POINT! You shouldn’t have to write code to “work around” how the web actually works!