Looking at Software Engineering jobs, I started to question myself on what path I really wanted to take. There have been moments where I have thought to only go front-end, and there have been many times where I have been wanting to just stay in the back end.
These are my thought processes as I continue to look through the job postings!
Having to only worry about what is happening on a visual level sound like an easy thing to handle since there is the design aspect that I have always enjoying doing when creating not only applications, but other projects outside of this, such as interior decorations, banners, logos, etc. It seemed straight forward, and everyone would give me credit for creating something that looks really appealing to the eyes.
What I realized:
Having an attractive user interface is what will keep the customer engaged in viewing the page, especially since the average attention span for a user looking at website is about 8 seconds. I can relate to this, especially when I am looking for specific information.
It is the front-end developer’s responsibility to not only communicate with the back end, but also get the user’s attention within that eight second time frame. This is important if you are working for a company that wants to market a product to the consumer. If they are not happy with the way the application looks, they are going to move on to find something that looks more appealing.
You need to find the balance between creating a functional product and an aesthetically pleasing website. You need to make sure it is compatible to display on all devices and is optimized with accessibility in case you come across someone who cannot read the smaller text in some places or if their computer cannot render the image.
There are also the frameworks that make it easier to create an application, such as React and Angular. At first, they seem intimidating because they are something that needs to be learned again. After going through a bootcamp and learning everything that I have, I feel like I can learn anything at this point.
In the end, I concluded that despite the stress that comes from knowing that other people are going to see what you create, that physical product will always be there and
I had mixed feelings for the back-end because I was not going to be able to make anything look attractive. I was used to seeing everything while I was making it. I thought I was going to become frustrated at the idea of working in the back-end. I also thought no one was going to pay attention to how I am manipulating the data in the back-end to send to the front end except for other programmers and the people who requested the application.
What I realized:
The back-end gave me the ability to manipulate the data that I wanted, and when I was introduced to rails, my inner thoughts timed out for a little bit based on the processing I was doing on how easy everything had become in not just the back-end, but also the front-end. I still got to see it after the data was sent up. The front-end was also sending information back into the database, so it was important for me to make sure my actions worked correctly for the CRUD.
The main thing that got me hooked onto the back-end was the ability to choose what data I was going to send to the front end. The way it was handled in the front end when I had no idea how the back-end worked was a very irritating experience (that is me being nice), especially pulling from the external APIs. I can say am I that person that will continuously get excited when I see the front-end send data to the back-end and have it posted in the database.
After working with both the front-end and back-end, I have realized how fun it is to be able to create the back-end, and then move to the front end to see what I created come to life. I also enjoy seeing things that once were taken care of only in the front-end when I was just beginning, to be now taken care of in the back-end and taking the load off of the front end. It can now be focused on how things will look for the user.
Since I have the knowledge to be full-stack, I might as well go full-stack. At least, that is how I am thinking it…
I think I’m more valuable to the market since I know both ends as opposed to one end. Money is great and all but knowing that I can always go from one to the other makes me feel like I will be able to be as involved in a project as possible. Not only that, I think I would be able to help others out more who are just back-end or just front-end. That might be me living in a fantasy world, but I will never know until I find out or someone tells me otherwise!