I think that it’s a lost art in many ways – coding by hand. With all the visual point-and-click editors out there, few people code from scratch anymore. Personally, I prefer hand coding and will until a visual editor comes along that works well enough to know what I’m thinking before I do.
There are alot of people out there who tout the power of all these point-and-click, drag-and-drop, bait-and-switch? type of visual editors out there. I’ve yet to find one that I really liked. Beyond that – one that didn’t require me to go back and spend alot of time editing out incorrect code inserted by the visual editor. I’m open to suggestions, and I do try out new software on a regular basis – I’m just incredibly picky. When I create a design for a client, or for an open source release, I want the code to be flawless. The fact that there are ‘popular’ web development software programs out there that still create the font tag bothers me. Even more dumbfounding to me is the fact that some new web development software is being created that does the same thing.
In any event, I’m beginning to feel old in the world of technology. When I talk to some other ‘new’ techs, I realize they are probably seeing me as some sort of relic because I prefer my Linux computer and I code by hand. A teeny part of me wants to laugh and say ‘No no, I just started using Linux a year or two ago and I didn’t always code solely by hand.’ But the rest of me wins and I tend to just ignore the ‘looks’ and keep on with the subject. I think it’s amusing that to some people ‘hand coding’ makes you a relic, and to others it makes you a ‘god’, while to me … it just tells me that you probably have good attention to detail.
But before I close out this brief discussion about coding by hand, I have to mention one of those inevitable questions I get asked when people find out that I code by hand:
What software do you use for that?
You know… I’m never sure whether to laugh or cry when I hear that. Sometimes I just find myself staring in dumbfounded amusement for a moment. When my mind has stopped reeling, I slowly say “Erm… a text editor.”
The subsequent question is typically: “Which one?”
So here’s my answer, for one and all:
Now, don’t get me wrong – I do use content management systems to make my life easier. In fact, I’m a big proponent of them so long as they generate good code (ex: WordPress) . But everything that goes into those systems – that’s coded by hand.