Web developers reveal what they really hate about their jobs

One browser in particular is still causing headaches for web developers.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Web developers working in enterprise, it seems, have had enough of dealing with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11, according to the results of a survey by Firefox maker, Mozilla. 

Developers from around the world have rated having to support IE11 as the most frustrating aspect of their work, above 27 other complaints ranging from outdated software libraries to complying with laws and regulations about data management. 

Microsoft eventually will phase out IE11 as it transitions to its Edge browser to Chromium technology, but in the meantime IE11 is the bane of many web developers' existence, according to Mozilla's international survey of 76,188 web developers

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Web developers in Brazil, China, France, India, Japan, Russia and the US unanimously rated supporting IE11 as the most frustrating part of their work. 

Mozilla found that IE11 "continues to be a large source of frustration to developers due to being over-represented in enterprises, legacy line-of-business apps, and certain industries." 

Troublingly, even Microsoft can't control how widely IE11 is used but the company has implored businesses to stop using IE as the default browser and now considers it as an enterprise "compatibility solution" rather than a modern web standards-based browser like Chrome.

"The prevalence of users accessing the web through IE is beyond both web developers' control and Microsoft's. In some cases, it's the management of a company that dictates what browsers should be supported, ignoring data that suggests users are accessing a site through browsers other than those mandated," wrote Mozilla.

Developers reported that the need to support IE11 was "tragic" and a "curse". 

"I don't know why people still use IE. I find [browser compatibility] very frustrating, especially as a front end designer. IE is such a curse my god, why do people use it?," wrote one web developer.

"Browser compatibility, by and large, shouldn't be an issue and for us specifically is a nightmare...we have so many people accessing our application from their office, which means they are running IE11. Which is something that I don't care about, except I needed to code for it to keep my job. It's just a hair-pulling frustration...it is tragic," wrote another. 

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But IE11 was also not the only devil in the works for developers when it came to compatibility testing, with many reporting problems with Chrome and Safari too. The end result is that web applications may not be accessed by users, which in the end has implications for business productivity. 

Mozilla also offered a different snapshot of browser marketshare than usage by consumers, which typically show that Google Chrome rules by a long mile. 

Mozilla's survey instead looks at browsers that developers support. Chrome is still the lead browser, with 97.5% of developers supporting it, but it's followed by Firefox, supported by 88.6% of developers, and then Safari with 59.6% of support. 

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