Every developer I envy has a particular craft, some like designing really cool interactions. Some are great at building layers of functionality that help ease work and some built entire systems like it's nothing.
You can also bring in serial indie hackers and their craft is being able to ship ideas like it nothing.
I've not talked about my history but I've tried to be one of each over the course of about 8 years.
I've been professionally working for about 5 years now but before that I was really into micro interactions and that's basically what I really wanted to do and got into it by replicating a lot of the effects and animations that iOS did at that time to the web.
Next up was that I got bored that I could do that and moved onto doing backend for a new learning experience got decent at that built quite a few things that are somewhere in my archived repos at this point.
and there's quite a few more, point being, I wanted to be the guy who had made an open source alternative to everything that exists. Got bored of that, moved onto learning programming languages. Started with Python, got to Java, then to Kotlin, then back to C, then to Nim Lang and V Lang and parallely built some stuff with Golang.
I thought that learning languages and being able to build things in multiple languages was cool and that'd be my craft. Got bored of that soon. Jason talked to me about building preact native and if that idea was achievable/doable. He was building something similar for internal tooling at Shopify and wished to see at what level could the abstraction exist and so I ended up writing the based abstraction of preact native. Got really excited by low level work and dealing with communications between systems. It felt like this is what I wish to do, deal with system level programming but guess what. Got bored of that too after a bit and react native was moving too fast that it was hard to keep up with their implementation changes while building preact native.
Because of both pragmatic reasons and boredom, I ended up sunsetting that project (still open source) and this led to me getting interested about a tech in frontend called Island, we got to building an abstraction that would allow any bundler and setup to be able to create islands instead of it being tied to just Deno's Fresh or AstroJS and this was done specifically for Preact.
I'm still working on improving it over time and hopefully I don't sunset it before I'm done with at least a feature complete version.
I wish, but trust me, all I'm trying to do here is write down the things I've done while trying to look for "My Craft" which apparently is exactly what I've been doing. I enjoy experimentation, I enjoy researching on tech that amazing developers are building and replicating them by reverse engineering them and seeing if it could be done in a simpler manner. A lot of times these just vanish into my repositories (primary since I create a lot of these repositories).
Some might consider that I'm not a reliable source for any libraries, they might be right in way because I actually have abandoned a lot of cool stuff. I could defend it by saying that the work that did have users is still being maintained and examples of this would be alvu,commitlog,themer, and a few other libs that have at least 1+ user.
Most of what's been abandoned are libs that didn't get any attention or provided any value and that's fine. When you build so much not everything is a valid idea. Sometimes you build it just to get it out of your system. I've been an advocate of that idea for a long time now.
You really think the world needed another Typing test? there's enough out there, or another static site generator?
Nope, I wanted to build my own typing effect, built that and then used it to build a typing app instead. Similary, I randomly thought it would be a nice idea if I could extend a markdown engine based on each project's requirement and built alvu out of that. I've built like 6 markdown to static html generators. Some as scripts and some as proper CLI tools.
They don't really provide value to anyone other than me and so it's my craft. Having a craft just means that you build/make/draw/paint/do things you like. It doesn't have to provide value or be perfect either.
Don't make your craft your career though, what do we even call it? Tech evaluator? Idk, anyone have opening for something like this xD
I'm kidding, also that's all the story telling for now,