That title is from the opening tweet of a thread from Benjamin De Cock. I wouldn’t go that far, myself. What I like about the term is that ‘Front-End’ literally means the browser, and while the job has been changing quite a lot — and is perhaps fracturing before our eyes — the fact that the job is about doing browser work is still true. We’re browser people. This was a point I tried to make in my “Ooooops I guess we’re full-stack developers now” talk.
I really like Benjamin’s sentiment though. There is a scourge of implementations of things on the web that are both heavier and worse because they re-implement something that the browser offers better and “for free.” Think sliders: scrolling behavior, snap points, fixed/sticky positioning, form controls, animation, etc.
Our industry seems to have acknowledged that backend and frontend developers require very different skills (even though they often use the exact same language), and yet it’s struggling to see there’s too much bundled into the term “front-end developer”.
The modern frontend developer is most often than not a “Jack of all trades” mastering JS (or even just a framework) and barely tolerating HTML/CSS as a necessary evil. That’s understandable. I strongly think it’s a different specialization, and it’s too much for a single person.
Very funny from the frontend master
Thank-you. Now, what about the Full-Stack Developer?
Email I just got:
So I want to ask: am I a front-end developer, or something else?
Yes you are. Because you are working on the front side.
I think he’s a User Interface Developer.
My name is Igor, I’m from Brazil!
In my opinion:
He wrote about knowledge “effects”. I have currently seen the title of “Creative Front-end Developer”.
There is a 2012/2013 chart if I’m not mistaken, which I take as a basis.
A post of yours from 2017 (https://css-tricks.com/getting-nowhere-job-titles/) that I really like and it makes sense too.
I honestly don’t like the “full stack” title, but it has to be used, in the way that Brad Frost describes it.
I feel like we’re in the wild west of building UIs on the web. I like one of the responses to Benjamin’s tweet:
Just take a look at how much code a simple expand and collapse menu requires (article / demo / code). If every custom UI element has to be built from scratch, no wonder it’s not performant or accessible. The increase in complexity when going from a standard html element (like a select) to a custom implementation of select is staggering.
This is a bit of a rant, but the fancy new CSS isn’t always easy to implement if you need to support IE11, so many devs fall back to less than ideal js implementations. Web devs, who are paid much less than “software engineers”, are asked to quickly build increasingly complex UIs and you can’t say no because they can always show you an example of a website that uses a bunch of 2011 jQuery plugins that do what they want.
Yes, I totally agree to it and from my point of view, I also think the HTML/CSS and a little bit of JS part are shifting from “frontend” towards the “designers”. Which we have in the industry right now.
I also believe that in the coming 5 years the industry will expect designers to have minimum HTML/CSS & little JS skills. And that will be the norm. What you all think on that?
CSS and HTML can, most times, be relegated to an internal or 3rd party library and re-used ad infinitum. This is especially true for enterprise, when designs tend to strictly abide a styleguide across multiple sites and pages and the design isn’t going to be all that radical.
Because of this, it’s virtually an afterthought at this point. We created our own styleguide and css library years ago and don’t need to update it. So somewhere around 98% of my time is spent in Typescript.
THANK YOU! I resonate with this so much.