In fact, you might say that none of us has an exactly perfect job title and the industry at large has trouble agreeing on a set of job titles.
Lara created a repo with the intent to think all this out and discuss it.
If there is already a spectrum between design and backend development, and front-end development is that place in between, perhaps front-end development, if we zoom in, is a spectrum as well:
This could probably be fixed with some different dataviz (perhaps the size of the dot), or, heaven forbid, skill-level bars.
More importantly, if you’re really interested in the discussion around all this, Lara has used the issues area to open that up.
Last year, Geoff also started thinking about all our web jobs as a spectrum. We can break up our jobs into parts and map them onto those parts in differnet ways:
That can certainly help us understand our world a little bit, but doesn’t quite help with the job titles thing. It’s unlikely we’ll get people to write job descriptions that include a data visualization of what they are looking for.
Jeff Pelletier took a crack at job titles and narrowed it down to three:
Front-end Implementation (responsive web design, modular/scalable CSS, UI frameworks, living style guides, progressive enhancement & accessibility, animation and front-end performance).
Front-end Operations (build tools, deployment, speed: (app, tests, builds, deploys), monitoring errors/logs, and stability).
Although those don’t quite feel like titles to me and converting them into something like “Front-end implementation developer” doesn’t seem like something that will catch on.
Cody Lindley’s Front-End Developer Handbook has a section on job titles. I won’t quote it in full, but they are:
- Front-End Developer
- CSS/HTML Developer
- Front-End Web Designer
- Web/Front-End User Interface (aka UI) Developer/Engineer
- Mobile/Tablet Front-End Developer
- Front-End SEO Expert
- Front-End Accessibility Expert
- Front-End Dev. Ops
- Front-End Testing/QA
Note the contentious “full stack” title, in which Brad Frost says:
In my experience, “full-stack developers” always translates to “programmers who can do frontend code because they have to and it’s ‘easy’.” It’s never the other way around.
Still, these largely feel pretty good to me. And yet weirdly, almost like there is both too many and too few. As in, while there is good coverage here, but if you are going to cover specialties, you might as well add in performance, copywriting, analytics, and more as well. The more you add, the further away we are to locking things down. Not to mention the harder it becomes when people crossover these disciplines, like they almost always do.