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Being a front-end developer

Some thoughts on working on the front-end of the web.

To work on the front-end of the web is to plan, construct, connect and balance hundreds of moving parts, in a way that is functional, accessible and aesthetically beautiful. There isn't a fixed way of working as a front-end developer, nor is there a universally accepted method of achieving a given result. The front-end developer must choose a path, and at times convince others to join them on that path.

Front-end developers rarely work alone, more often than not they are placed in a pivotal position that forms a bridge between more technical developers, strategic researchers/planners, and less technical operators (project managers, clients). To work effectively across this sphere, the FE developer must be conscious of and nurture their communication skills and processes.

The other skill of the front-end developer is patience. For the most part FE developers rely on web browsers to output their work, and the tools used by FE devs must be progressively accepted and supported by these browsers in order to be universally useful. It is often the case that employing the most bleeding-edge toolkit will present a sub-standard experience for many, if not the majority of users.

Ian Jones

Ian Jones is a designer and developer based in the UK. Currently working as a freelancer, he also dedicates time to independent and personal projects, as well as mentoring and teaching.