Eight web developer warning signs

Most of us have been there. You talk to someone who has had a bad experience with a site built on a popular web framework and then once you look at the code you suddenly understand why. So I decided it could be useful to create a little cheat sheet. If you find yourself thinking I've done that as you read along, it might be time to get back to bagging groceries, building beautiful houses, practicing law or whatever else you're good at so you don't harm more folks out there who are just trying to make a living.

So here's the list:

  1. You deliver code to a customer with all kinds of sloppy debugging code in it. Give yourself a +2 if it's not even all commented out.
  2. You use a framework and then instead of learning how the framework makes database calls you call the database directly from the display layer.
  3. The variable names you use aren't repeatable on the radio or in front of your mother.
  4. Delivering code that contains multiple copies of live or even worse dead files.
  5. When customers call they have to borrow cell phones and call you because you're not man or woman enough to answer the phone and have a difficult conversation.
  6. Your CSS-based design is really tables that use absolute positioning.
  7. You deliver code with remote kill or backdoor capability. This is not only unethical and just plain wrong it may rise to the level of illegal in some jurisdictions.
  8. The display layer delivered has more str_replace() calls than there are dollars in the latest Congressional bailout.

So if these things sound familiar do everybody a favor and head on over to Craigslist to see what other things you might be doing these days. If you're a client and any of these things sounds like the developer building your website please ask for help. NOW!