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When considering modern web development, I keep two images in mind.

Gleaming Tesla gigafactory with robots and no people

This factory image captures how many devs approach creating websites: constructing an enormous, gleaming, automated system that can produce complex artifacts on a massive scale.

A potter using their hands to sculpt a clay pot on a wheel

In contrast, an individual artisan working in a studio directly creates something simple but useful using their own hands and understandable tools. To me this second image captures the #smallweb/#indieweb spirit.

Factories aren’t always bad and artisans aren’t always good, but many devs can’t conceive of building anything without first making a big factory. “You’re creating that pot by hand?? Why, a gleaming pot factory could make a million pots a day!”

That’s ridiculous. A factory — even one magically built for you — can easily become a monstrosity you don’t understand but have to maintain. In many cases simple tools produce better results than a factory. And some of us like making things by hand!