Bad Code <br> Out

Reworking a website is never my favorite task. Its always more fun to start a site from scratch writing the HTML super clean. A few times I have been given the task to rework other’s sites. If you write any HTML you will know that everyone has their own style. This usually causes me to curse out-loud and blame ridiculous habits on those who are no longer working at the company. I am one of those coders who talks out her code verbally asking aloud “why are you not floating left… float LEFT!”. When it is someone else’s code I usually say something along the lines of” what the hell was #&!@ thinking when he wrote all of this inline CSS?

Today I am reworking one of my sites that is about 2 years old. It is one of the first sites I ever coded quasi-on-my-own. After a bit of procrastination and fear of what may lie beneath, I peaked under the hood to find mountains of
tags. Gasping in horror… “how could i have written this?!”. Looking away in denial I thought to myself “maybe i can just not touch it, no one would notice”. While wrestling with these disturbing feelings the truth percolated through my conscience. It was too late,the image of excessive tags had been burnt into my brain. The embarrassment of ill kept code began to eat me up. Something must be done.

While I don’t mind the revisions, it is the embarrassment of having written it in the first place that hits me hardest. After beginning the process of rebuilding, I started to think about it. It could be worse. These could be tables or non breaking spaces. This code that I am wading through could be horrible given the circumstances. I was designing exclusively for print only a few months prior.

There is a more hideous scenario: Two years after writing the erroneous code I could see nothing wrong with it, making no progress at all. Back then my attitude was like “sweet i know CSS, I can make a website”. Now that attitude is ridiculous and I have learned to stay mindful of what I don’t know. This goes along with a theory I have had for some time. If a potential employer asks you to rate your Photoshop knowledge on a scale of 1-10, and you say 10… he/she will know you are full of yourself. Not even the most badass designers will admit to saying they are Grand Masters of Photoshop. If you do say 10 and the employer is ok with it, then it is someone you don’t want to work for because they have no understanding of the industry.

Whether it be Photoshop, web development, businesses, or design if you think you know it all you are selling yourself short. I hope to continue to be desperate and hungry for web knowledge. The threat of falling behind is looming over us all. In an industry that moves so fast it is often discouraging to keep up. A run on the treadmill may knock the wind out of me but I hope a little bit of HTML never does.

[techtags: HTML, CSS, BY, Web Development, Code Habits]

One Comment

  1. AaronD

    — April 6, 2007