As a frontend lead comfortable with both of these areas it pains me to admit these need to be seperated in many organisations. While front-end development had grown in complexity, many user experience teams are recognising the benefits of designing in code and it often helps to have web development specialists working on the earlier stages of design.
With all that said, I think describing them as two professions is too strong, frontend requires a spectrum of skills from UX and software engineering. I'd encourage an organisation to split these into seperate jobs but also to recognise that these are roles people should be able to move between in order to develop themselves as they progress throughout their career. In a large organisation I believe splitting these roles out but having them managed as one might be the right balance.
I had same the concerns when web design was split into UX, UI and front-end development, but given how huge those areas have become today, those concerns were unjustified. The reason this occupation was interesting to me was because of the interactive DESIGN and using HTML, CSS and JS to deliver that designs. Not because of JS development and backend services.
There is no benefit in pushing creative people into development. What would be the point of that? What would happen if we pushed back-end developers into art classes or design?
As usual a lot of this depends on you experience of different team structures. A lot of interaction designers already make use of HTML and CSS.
Also pushing people into roles is the complete opposite of what I meant. People should be able to find the roles where they can be happy and effective, artificially splitting jobs up can prevent this. The existing split can hurt companies who don't encourage collaboration enough.
I we don't make clear distinction between these two, problem in large companies will remain. Startups will adapt fast because they have to work with whom they have, but huge systems will not.
I've seen it all first hand.
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