When Intelligent Programmers Realize They Do Not Understand HTTP And The Web That They Use Daily
30 Nov 2015
I've seen something at an ever increasing pace lately, situations where very intelligent software engineers hit a wall, and realize they do not understand the fundamental building blocks of HTTP, and the web that we are all using daily. It makes my heart ache, because I remember when I found myself in the same place, and still suffer from the deprivation I experienced.
Whether it was my time programming in Microsoft-land, Drupal, WordPress, or any other Web 2.0-land, I eventually realized how much was hidden from me behind the curtain. When you bundled this with the fact I'm a fairly privileged white male software engineer who can be fairly clueless about what is around me, I missed a lot. Something I still find myself recovering from in 2015, even after five years of exclusively studying web APIs--you know, the ones that use HTTP for transport?
I'm not stupid, but with my lazerfocus ™, I often miss a lot. I feel that many of the smart people I know suffer from a similar illness, but do not have the fortitude for transparency, or the humbleness to accept, that will allow them to move on. Programming language dogma, and platform or framework dependencies can be a powerful thing, but they can also do a lot protect us from what we need to learn to actually be successful, and grow.
At this point, i question everything. What I know. What a platform might be hiding from me, to sell back to me as feature, and what is the bigger picture of the Internet that I use everyday, and often take for granted.