Being a smart developer means knowing when to handcraft things and when to use existing tools. Twitter Bootstrap, which is used as a basis for this site, offers a great solution for both developers and tech-savvy designers to create simple and fully functional prototypes in a short amount of time. More development focused frameworks like Middleman or Yeoman try to optimise common tasks and to improve daily workflows for developers. I believe to be a skilled web developer it became more important than ever to understand how these tools and other things function in the background. If you are able to make the right decisions at the right time, you can work efficiently with existing solutions and build stuff where it is necessary.
Details make the difference between a good and a great product. Trying to meet deadlines of a project, often times the details are overlooked. However details matter to get the best result possible. It's way too easy to rush a project and to deliver before it's perfected. That applies to both design elements and the implementation of specific features. I love to focus on the details and think about the implications of decisions. If you do a good job in the planning phase of a project, you are able to include fantastic features, even if time is limited. So with a vision in mind that includes fine-tuning your product will be a great success.
It's crucial to have a good knowledge of recent developments in the world of technology. However, to work efficiently it's even more important to exceed your own limits. Trying out new technologies, frameworks and workflows offers a great opportunity to learn and gather experience. Besides my daily work, I try to get involved in open source projects and tech events to improve my professional and personal abilities. Without experimenting, you will never discover new things.
As web development progresses extremely fast, it is essential to keep up-to-date with the ever changing web environment. A good example for this are current browsers, which release several major versions per year. It's a challenge - besides your daily work - to filter all the noise and take in the valuable information. I think it’s one of the best things about my field that there is a great give and take. The result is a worldwide accessible pool of information. I like sharing my knowledge with other people, because I can instantly make a valuable contribution to someone else’s work.
To summarise the above: I love my job and it's important for me to keep up this motivation for the future. A main part achieving this is to be challenged every day. A lot of the issues that you're running into on a daily basis will repeat themselves and you will figure out how to solve them more efficiently after a while. But if you end up doing only the same things over and over again, you will have problems to keep up with the rest of the industry. You have to keep on learning and find a good challenge for yourself. There is nothing better to work with people who are 'better' or are more experienced than yourself. Those people are the most underestimated sources of knowledge and learning opportunities for a developer!