A short week, having just past the Easter bank holiday and the start of a new project that will see most of my time over the summer working with one of the UK's big six energy suppliers.

Sadly, as we know with big business I cannot share or talk about anything we're doing, or planning on doing so things may go a bit quiet on the week notes front; not that they've been entirely consistent this year.

Instead let's talk about the challenges of the ever decreasing need to write code and the impact that's having on being able to maintain this site.

Recently, Frank Chimero wrote how everything easy is hard again. In his post he was reflecting on how his short break away from the industry has put him at a huge disadvantage to the current requirements for front-end development in particular in web design.

I can relate to this, having come from that place once myself I experienced the same challenges when trying to continue with the odd dabble and rolling my own. Learning Sass and how to make grunt files to compile them was hard enough, then after leaving employment where I had a bit of support for local development environments I needed an alternative solution.

I didn't want to use MAMP anymore because I found it limiting. Instead, I began the move to virtualisation, opting for Vagrant as my solution it wasn't long after playing with a few different options such as Homebrew and building my own box I settled on Scotchbox, a free virtual box instance that has everything you might need for designing and putting together your own sites.

The frequency at which I work on my sites is few and far between. I'm not continually reading about techniques and methods anymore either, relying on learning about what's going on in the industry from the people I'm working with at the time.

When you're so reliant on this tightly wound collection of 3rd party compilers and configurations just to get your site running you are left at the mercy of them staying consistent. One small sidestep sees the entire thing fall down.

And that's what's happened to me this week.

Virtual Box recently had an update which coincided with an update for Vagrant and then Scotchbox also had a new update. I don't know what is going on right now, just that nothing is working. Errors from every orifice I'm stuck unable to work again and not having enough knowledge in the technical machinations behind it all to even start wasting days (because that's what it'll take) to get it up and running again.

The last time this happened in fact, I moved from having a local environment to Vagrant. The most probably solution will be to jump onto the latest config band waggon.


Thoughts from Andy Parker published 6th April 2018