Stop Hating IE and Be a Professional (Part 1)

This post is part one of three. Part 2 (Be a Strategist) and Part 3 (Be a Leader) are available as well.

It’s 2013, and it is time for people to get over their hate for Internet Explorer. Yes, IE has had its issues in the past. I know it, you know it, even Microsoft knows it. At the end of the day, developers that whine and complain and about supporting IE are trying to be trendy and fit-in rather than be a professional. Supporting IE isn’t nearly as painful as the complainers make it out to be and that it actually makes the most sense for any web project.

In this post, I ask the IE complainers to put their big boy/girl pants on by being a realist when it comes to being a web professional.

A trending complaint about not supporting IE is that their user base count is dropping. It really depends on where you get get your stats. From my source, it is safe to say even with the numbers dropping, Internet Explorer represents at least 30% of the desktop browsers connecting to the web worldwide. That is about 750 million people, or potential users for your application (based on this).

750 million is a lot of people. I would be amazed to hear a stakeholder in your project say that we want to ignore 30% of the world when it comes to your app. If you really think that you can ignore that many people for your application, by all means go ahead, but I promise you that any business decision maker focusing on making money with your web app is going to disagree with you.

It might be trendy to hate-on IE because of its legacy with IE6 and the pain it has caused in the past, but for the most part, IE support is something that needs to be done to be a professional in the web development world and in all fairness, if you really think supporting IE is such a pain you should probably question whether or not your development skillset is up to par.

A Realistic Exception: China

The exception to the rule is China, where you find the majority of the remaining IE6 users. If you plan on supporting Chinese specific features, then you have some challenges you will need to overcome, but of all the people I hear whining about IE, I never hear them talk about the Chinese specific features they are building are a pain because of IE.


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