“I have worked at every level of the stack, but my heart is and will forever be in frontend. I’m a CSS guy.”— @arkmuntasser
Threads Dev Interview #5 I am finding developers on Threads and interviewing them, right here on Threads. Today we have @arkmuntasser. So @arkmuntasser, are you a front-end or back-end developer?
Thanks for having me! I’m very excited to do this interview. I have worked at every level of the stack, but my heart is and will forever be in frontend. I’m a CSS guy.
As a frontend dev, what are your favorite tools and frameworks
I keep it very light. Mostly VS Code and Chrome. I don’t use many extensions and I don’t like anybody UI Libraries.
I prefer to roll my HTML and CSS.
I prefer Vue over React because I’m not a fan of reading JSX, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like React. I’m partial to Next.js since they released the app directory; it feels like PHP.
And I use Glitch often for demos and proofs of concept.
How did your career get you to this point? And how did you know front-end development was for you?
My first job was full stack building and maintaining an e-commerce site. It wasn’t fun, until my friend dared me to make the site responsive which was still very much a new concept at the time. I like a challenge so I did it. And from that point I found the challenges you encounter on the frontend to be far more interesting and rewarding than those on the backend.
Never looked back from that point. Next job was as a frontend dev and now I run a department of mostly frontend devs.
Is bootstrap still the layout to use? Are there alternatives?
It’s still popular, but, generally, not in production. Great for quick prototyping, but not much beyond that.
A lot of people are gravitating toward Tailwind these days and I get why. The cascade and specificity are hard concepts for many when they’re first learning CSS and Tailwind just kind hand waves that away. And while you can build beautiful work with it, it’s obfuscates away the most powerful aspect of CSS.
So just learn CSS first. Then use whatever makes you feel productive.
What gets you most excited about tech right now?
There’s a few things likely coming this year to the web that’ll change pretty much everything.
- The Popover API. Create a full featured, accessible popover with just 2 HTML attributes.
- Anchor Positioning. Conditionally position on element in relation to another.
- :has(). It’s a parent selector on steroids.
- Relative Color Syntax. Make it trivial to generate a color palette from 1 color.
- CSS Nesting & Scope. Improved DX and more control over the cascade.
- And more!
If someone, maybe in high school, is interested in frontend web development, what are some suggestions you would have? Do you have a degree or certifications?
I have a computer science degree. I don’t believe formal education is necessary; I’ve worked with many fabulous self taught devs. What’s necessary is an understanding of how to learn, curiosity to dig in, and self awareness to seek help.
For me college was instrumental in me figuring out how to learn and that’s been worth every penny. I use almost none of what i formally learned in CS.
If you’re starting out don’t build an app. Build a toy and play. Play is when you learn.
What are your favorite resources for frontend dev? Do you follow blogs? Sites? People? Videos?
MDN. There’s so much there to learn and get a deep understanding of the web platform.
The rest is people. I’m no particular order: Adam Argyle, Una Kravets, Cassie Evans, Sarah Drasner, Steve Schoger, Paul Lewis, Rob Dodson, Addie Osmani, Scott Tolinski, Wes Bos, Surma, Brad Frost, Bramus, Mark Otto, Miriam Suzanne, Jen Simmons, Rachel Andrew, Ethan Marcotte, Cassidy Williams, Hassan Djirdeh, Mathias Bynens, and probably a ton more that I can’t remember.
Their work can be found everywhere.
How can people find you elsewhere online?
Thanks for having me, it was a blast!
I’m mostly on Threads since Twitter is a dumpster fire, Mastodon is boring, and Bluesky is not public yet.
Here is the full interview on Threads.