Digital technology is a great tool to make the world a better place. Yet, we are often oblivious about its impacts on the environment or the society. Here, we’d like to share some ideas about how to turn digital technology—especially software creation—into something sustainable rather than something that will drown us faster.
When designing a website, we’re often tempted to use custom webfonts to make it stand out.
Yet, the French collective for a responsible design of digital services provides one simple rule in their referential for web ecodesign:
When I started this website, I wanted my personal illustrations to feel handdrawn.
After two years, those illustrations were a collection of charts and graphs.
There are more precise ways to convey that type of information.
SVG is one of them, with a generally lighter footprint and better accessibility, so I went for it.
Tony asked me about the technological stack behind my website.
It’s a subject I wanted to write about once the website was stable, but I keep tinkering with it.
As such, it’s far from finished and I still have many ideas, but let’s talk about it now nonetheless.
To conclude this series about sustainable IT, I wanted to write a bit about some impacts of software creation that we rarely think about.
We’ve all seen movies where a mad scientist creates something that they think is awesome until it escapes their control and threatens life as we know it.
Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab.
We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.
That’s especially true about us software creators: we innovate, create new technologies for thousands or millions of people.
If we’re not careful about those creations, they may transform the whole society, though not necessarily in the way we assumed they would.
Every project we hear about these days seems to be about data—or artificial intelligence, which is mainly the same.
Data is not something new, but the enthusiasm about it is growing rapidly.
People are not always aware of how much a website or an application is collecting about them, pushing legislators to write laws about what a company can and can’t do with a user’s data.
Why is that the problem of software creators?
Well, the mere amount of data we now collect could never be processed in a lifetime without our digital skills.
That makes us at least partly responsible for what is done with it.
Now, you’re willing to help, but you can’t see how you can make a difference because work on software exclusively and have no say about the hardware that it’ll run on?
This post will give you some hints about how to include these considerations into the design of your application.
Last month, I had the opportunity to talk about a topic I hold dear: how to make our job part of something sustainable.
This is something I’ve planned to share and I thought the period of the new year’s resolutions may be a great time to do it.
So, before going any further, let’s begin with why the idea of sustainable development should even be a question in the digital field.
The end of the year is a good time for assessments.
A good one is, “what have I learned this year?”
IT is a field that keeps moving, and we need to stay up to date if we don’t want to drown.
In our culture, most of our knowledge is stored and shared through writing, so a part of my question becomes, “what have I read that was enlightening this year?”