I'm irritated with web development. Should I reconsider being a programmer?

OK, I’ve got to admit. After finishing the curriculum for Responsive Web Design after about two months; a little less than one spent completing the challenges at my own pace, over a month to actually get the websites remotely satisfactory, I’ve realized that I really hate web development and don’t see any use for it since there’s so many services for web design already.

I’m going to continue to learn Javascript in hopes that I will be better at that, but I wonder. If I don’t have the patience for HTML and CSS web development, how the hell am I going to proceed with any other language.

There’s just something about spending an hour trying to make sure a logo is properly lined up at the center of the page and not flying off into the far-right field that just drives me up a wall.


Web development and programming is all about solving problems. Solving the problem, no matter how tedious it is, is the driving motivation to do it. Maybe the question you want to ask yourself is: “do I want to spend my day solving problems?” If not, there’s not harm or shame in admitting that. It’s just not what you want to do. Doing something you don’t enjoy for a living would truly suck.


I am in no means ‘experienced’ in development, but based on what I hear from many people who are experienced; if you want to be a developer, you have to have the patience and persistence to work through a problem you may be stuck on for hours, days or even weeks.

That being said, 2-3 months isn’t a very long time to be learning, and at the end of the day you are still learning. Spending hours to position a logo or find a layout you like is both part of the learning process, and part of being a developer (obviously things get easier over time, but it is a constant pursuit of learning and solving problems.)

It’s also easy to feel discouraged at the beginning, there is a lot to learn and it’s rather challenging to ‘pick it up’ quickly from casual learning every so often (and if you are working at it everyday, this can be discouraging in it’s own right - feelings of being burnt out, not taking a step back to see how far you have come ect.)

At the end of the day only you can make the decision to continue or not, taking a break is also an option. Maybe take some time to think about your why (why you started in the first place) and then evaluate your position.

PS - Web development/programming isn’t meant to be quick and easy to become proficient at and get a job in (assuming this is your goal) otherwise it wouldn’t pay so well with flexible conditions and have such a demand for good developers

Hope this sheds some light


I think I will just keep chugging away at it. I still find things like Javascript more interesting than web design, though. Like software or programs telling some machine to do something rather than designing websites.

Designing websites is… well, design, not programming. The actual product uses technologies that need programming, but design is design, programming is programming, they’re two highly specialised sectors.

If you are programming for the web, then it’s essential that you know how HTML/CSS work, and how to use them. But they aren’t complex technologies, and most programmers don’t need anything beyond the basics.

If you hate it, then you shouldn’t do it.


Sure HTML/CSS is not complex but when you are new and start coding website you realize nothing really works the way you think it works so in that way it’s dam complex.

So I’m starting to feel like one of the “grand old men” of the internet. Not that I AM, mind you, just that I feel that way. So gather 'round, kiddies, it’s story time!

Story time!

Back in the day (1988, to be precise), I started college. Went to a tech college, not one I’d recommend, with a major in “Computer Programming.” At the associates level, they taught MS-BASIC, COBOL and RPG-II. At the bachelors, advanced BASIC, Pascal and intro to C.

Throughout school, I really enjoyed programming. It was very primitive, it was largely MS BASIC, but it was fun. Figuring out the graphic context, seeing what the system could do, exploring fractal worlds coded in BASIC on a 5.25" floppy…

At the same time, my dad had started his own print shop, and I was his default designer, doing business cards, brochures, logo design… And that was also fun. I don’t really have a design eye, but fonts are INCREDIBLY intriguing when you get into them.

So I started school, thinking this was my chosen place in life. Then I saw what they were teaching, and who my fellow students were, and I was BORED. I tried teaching myself a half-dozen other languages (LISP, ADA, perl, etc), as I was completing the syllabus by day three of the class.

I ended up quitting, maybe five credits from graduation. Because I hated it. Hated programming, hated everything about it. Even hated the smell of programmers, if you can believe it. Went back home, went back to work at radio shack, and attended night classes… at an actual clown college. Yup, I’m a certifiable clown.

After about a year, though, I came to a realization – I love programming. I love design. I also love clowning, and magic, and balloon twisting. The thing I hated then (well, had a hard time with, and still do) is people who are so one-dimensional that that is their sole interest, and honestly they are not so good at whatever it is. Programmers who want you to tell them how to do a thing. Clowns who denigrate and diminish others, to make themselves look better. Petty people.

I had let the pettiness steal my passion, and it took YEARS for me to find my way back.

End of story time.

Here’s my advice. You’ve tried design, it seems you may not have the heart for it. But if you try javascript or databases or something else, and you have an understanding of what a designer is looking for or is going through, you’re in a position to provide a connection. You know the language of design now, even if it’s not your passion. You can, in some way, relate.

Don’t give up, there’s a LOT of different niches in the design/development world. Experiment. Make one your own!


Wow. Well what did you mostly learn in clown college?

And you know, even though I still think web development sucks, I do still see a use for it. Maybe I can make a website and monetize it somehow and use it to showcase other things I made with Javascript or some other language. Or maybe be a clown personality myself on the internet.

Honestly, the biggest thing I learned there was thinking outside the box. I already knew juggling, unicycle riding, balloon twisting, magic, storytelling and the like. Learned clown history, learned about makeup, but the biggest thing was how to look at a thing and see other uses, other ways, completely off-the-wall possibilities for everything around us.

Spills over into my coding. Mostly orthodox, with the occasional WHOA! Wha?? moment. Makes me happy.

All that honestly sounds pretty though to learn.

I really appreciate your feedback snowmonkey: I can tell you are a very patient and humble person based on the tone of your replies. So cool that you are a clown too!

Yea I phrased that slightly wrong: I meant that compared to either design or programming they are minor things — yes, they’re hard at first. If the OP finds they want to program, then they don’t need to learn HTML/CSS to great depth

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Well either way, I don’t have many other options in life. I’ll continue to chug away at this every day.

There is another way to think about this.

Don’t think in terms of “web design”.

Javascript is everywhere now. Not only in the browser but also on your machine (node.js). Javascript is a language by itself that happens to have been born in the browser to do things that tools of the time could not do: in the mid-90’s we did not have CSS and simple JS was the only way to do fun things on the web.

Think about the web as it was intended when created by Berners Lee back in 93: as a way to increase human knowledge and foster constructive exchanges. The web is not about putting together nice images and cool fonts as decorations for a blend content. The web as a system is an extremely powerful tool for which you can design (conceive) new ways to apply that power to our realities.

And for that you’ll use Javascript, or any other language that fits you needs, and you’ll use the template format of the web (html) to make such applications visible and useable. That’s all.

The web is a platform to empower humans. And your mission, if you accept it, is to create the tools that we’ll need tomorrow to solve problems that we can’t even imagine today.


Wow I agree about the logo thing. That makes me want to do a double dose of blood pressure meds when a simple alignment task takes a whole day. That being said - there is a lot more to programming that you can explore outside of web development (and web development is quite huge itself). Try dabbling in some data science with python. Or look up game programming with C# or C++. Or look up making desktop applications with VB.NET or powerbuilder (I think that still exists). Then there is adroid or ios app development. Even within web development you could try looking at how to make games using HTML5 or javascript. That is still going to be difficult, but it is a different kind of difficulty. And there are still many, many more topics to explore within programming. Keep poking around and you may find a spark that excites you and motivates you to push through the menial tasks.


I say stick by front end until you have learned enough to say you do not like it. Front end is a lot of art and design, which isn’t for everyone.

It isn’t waste, don’t come crashing down. From learning JS/CSS/HTML you have learned the basics of programming, and you can easily apply that somewhere else maybe in back end work like C++, Python, etc.

It also may be because you don’t have the right tools. CSS flexbox makes front end so much easier and is the reason i am still here. You can position and make responsive webpages easily, and makes building websites less of a hassle.


Look into bootstrap if you haven’t already, it’s extensively used by people who hate the designing and want things to just look GOOD without doing much work. If you hate the design, bootstrap will be enough to learn for now.

Now onto programming itself, which neither HTML or CSS is, is a much more different field and your experience with web design will not have a lot to do with it. You’ll be working a lot with DOM, which means you’ll be accessing/modifying HTML via javascript, so you’ll want to know how to markup things properly, but that’s as far as it goes.

If you happen to hate javascript also, then I suspect this is just not for you.

I disagree about bootstrap. Reasons:
While bootstrap is a useful tool, it is an extra headache if all that you want is a layout that just looks good. There’s flexbox and css grid for that which easy once you get your head around them and five projects are enough for that. You will invest a lot less time into learning modern CSS than that + bootstrap.
@Nimp You can always try backend stuff. And not necessarily JS ecosystem, there’s python, ruby, go, java, whatnot. Try JS module on FCC and you will have a much greater perspective on what programming really is.


I’ll have to look up more about Flexbox. Do you have an example of using it for web design that I could look at? If that is OK.