In my last article, I mentioned how designers are among the most valued workers in a start-up. As a start-up founder, you will do anything to keep your best designer with you, for as long as possible. The next set of articles looks at the spectrum of people who do everything from designing the flow of instructions for users on an app, to writing the code that loads the homepage of your favourite website as quickly as possible.

Before we start dissecting personas, let’s step back. Let’s look at the big picture of how the Internet and mobile web have evolved. We have lived in the following eras:

1. In the 1990s and early 2000’s, websites were static pages. These static pages were designed with tools such as photoshop. The journeys of some of the best UI engineers and designers started with producing mockups using photoshop.

2. Then came the HTML5 boilerplate around 2010 which revolutionized the way content could be presented on the internet. From here, we have a long and fascinating history of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) which further refined content presentation. This led to engineers and designers specializing in writing CSS – because a website is judged by its pages, just like a book is judged by its cover.

3. Simultaneously, we moved to a new era where web pages were loaded by servers at the backend. These were the early days of programmers’ love-and-hate relationship with JavaScript.

What is JavaScript? No, it is not the cousin or younger sibling of Java programming language.

Invented by Brendan Eich of Mozilla, JavaScript was that crucial landmark in the history of web technologies which helped produce interactive websites. Unlike static pages that didn’t do anything more than show you information, JavaScript made it possible for users to interact with websites via clickable buttons, graphics and all those ‘cool’ things that make users and designers squeal with delight.

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