#169: How to Think Like a Front-End Developer

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This is a video from my talk at WordCamp US.

Let’s take a peek at what front-end development has become these days. Starting from what the role is, where we sit, and the expectations of us. Then we’ll get into the problems we face, how to approach them, and the tools we have at our disposal. We’ll look at how Gutenberg might fit into our lives as front-end developers.

It’s my first time giving this talk, and I will be giving it again hopefully many more times, evolving it as time goes to include a deeper understanding of the front-end development landscape. Part of the research for this is what turned into The Great Divide essay.

I spoke with loads of front-end developers for this:

And of course, I also read through a lot of thoughts that developers have shared with me. The journey in this talk begins by thinking about what front-end development even is — from the early days to today — while trying to make sense of where we are as a profession. The field has broadened significantly. It’s pretty cool because there are so many paths, so many specialties, so many ways to contribute, and so many opportunities to be powerful. My suspicion is that there is a divide between an awful lot of people who know an awful lot about front-end developer, but aren’t particularly JavaScript-focused, and another large group of people who also know an awful lot, but tend to do work that is immersed in JavaScript.

To get a glimpse into how different front-end developers think, we spend the end of the talk looking at Dribbble designs and seeing how a variety of different developers react to them.