The Death of the Technical

Published on 2 October 2003 in , , , , , ,

I was working with some HTML at work today – the first time I’ve done so in the seven weeks since I stopped being a Client Side Developer, and thus seven weeks since I stopped working with it day in, day out.

The task was not particularly taxing – simply a case of slotting in some content into an intranet page I’d written. It felt rather wierd though, not least as I seem to already have lost the knack of working with the particular style of HTML that is still used at the Beeb.

Whilst my personal sites use CSS to separate content from presentation, at work they’re on the old technique of using HTML tables (and where presentation and content are all one). For those of you who don’t know, coding by table is a rather clunky thing – lots of tags telling the browser what colour to make boxes, and how wide they should be. CSS on the other hand just shoves it all in it’s own file – out of the way and harmless – and your content area is clean and uncluttered.

The thing is not the style of code itself (although it was a little messy) but that not so long ago, I could easily read through that code, filter it all in my mind, and get on with the task in hand. Today I struggled.

I have no burning desire to write that style of code any more, nor any need to, so this is not a critically important thing to worry about – unless I suddenly abandon this production m’larky, and restart coding commercially again.

In a few years, the old techniques of coding that way will be pretty much gone anyway – we’re in the transition period where people slowly move from one method to another at their own pace, and my skills with CSS are unlikely to go anywhere whilst I’ve still got websites of my own to code, but it does feel like it’s already slipping away.

It’s just that I suddenly feel like… well I’m becoming… well less techie… That I’m on a slippery slope, sliding down towards the dreaded ‘non-techie’ world. And having been proud of being a techie for four years, that’s a rather strange thing to feel.