Chris Coyier, creator of CSS-Tricks, shares his thoughts on what tools in the JAMstack ecosystem have him excited and what he thinks we'll see in 2020.
2019 definitely seemed to be a pivotal year for the JAMstack. New companies cropped up (yep, us included), JAMstack_conf_sf was the biggest event yet and lots of new tools seemed to gain momentum daily. In this series of posts, we're asking some well-known members of the JAMstack community what they thought about this past year and what they think you can expect for the year to come. This edition features Chris Coyier, creator of CSS-Tricks and cofounder of Codepen.
Tell us about yourself and what you do? Does JAMstack play a role in your day-to-day work?
Hi! I write about the web at CSS-Tricks, talk about the web at conferences around the world and on my podcast ShopTalk, and am a co-founder of the social development environment CodePen.
I have a couple of projects using the JAMstack approach, like my site about upcoming front-end focused conferences and site about serverless technology, but nothing super major just yet. I'd say it factors into my day-to-day work in the sense that I'm always looking for ways to use it more and move things to it, because I think it's the best approach to web development these days. The good news is that there are lots of ways to baby step into it. Statically render a page here and there. Use cloud functions when you can. These are beneficial steps whether or not you made a final leap to being entirely JAMstack or not.
What is your current JAMstack stack? What tool(s) have you most excited?
I don't think it's any surprise that Netlify is doing the most for developers in this space. I think it's fair to say they can handle the whole "stack" in most cases, since they are not only the file host, but the deployment method, the form processor, the auth, the cloud functions, and even the customized build process. It's an exciting company to watch. But the space is so hot, it's exciting to watch the whole landscape evolve. I've only recently seen some companies pop up to try to replicated some of what Netlify is doing, like Pancake.
I'm sure you're more than aware, but Stackbit is interesting too, making a number of things easier, like piecing together different parts to get started.
What changes did you see, for better or worse, in 2019 related to the JAMstack ecosystem?
It's so new still I'm not sure it's been around long enough to see fluctuation in things. I think it's fairly certain we'll see the space get bigger, and with that more competition, and then we'll start seeing the flux. My hope is that we'll see pricing stay super low. That's a big part of the appeal and a thing that opens doors to developers new and old around the world.
What changes in 2020 do you see forthcoming that will have an impact on adoption of or day-to-day development using the JAMstack?
Perhaps the #1 thing I'm interested in seeing evolve, hopefully for the better, is all the CMS tooling in the space. So many sites need strongly-capable CMSs with really custom data models. It would be unfortunate to see that be a limiting factor of JAMstack adoption. The headless CMS market is already pretty hot, but I expect it to get much hotter as more developers and companies see the benefit of decoupled CMSs, so their data and authoring can evolve separately from their front ends.