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According to article Front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end, there are two types of front-end developers. Front-of-the-front-end developers focus on look & feel and back-of-the-front-end developers focus on business logic and functionalities.
Let’s take a look at this picture:
Credit and source: The Great Divide, Chris Coyier
Both of these are front-end developers, but do entirely different things and obtain different skill sets. Understanding this division is crucial for shaping your own path as a front-end developer.
In many social situations people often ask us ‘What do you do?’ When answering the question, you would probably say something along the lines ‘I am a developer’ or ‘I build web applications’.
Now instead, you should approach that question with why you do what you do. Take a moment to think of your why. What is something that really sparks joy in you when developing? The answer could be something ‘I love crafting beautiful and accessible online stores to make online shopping a better experience for everyone’.
When you have an answer for yourself about why you do what you do, it becomes easier to categorize you to either side of the front-end development. If your why is more related to visuals or usability, you’re leaning towards front-of-the-front-end, and if your why is more related to logic or systems, you’re leaning on the back-of-the-front-end.
Now that we have explored the two sides of the front-end and took a moment to understand your whys, it’s easier to choose the path to continue on or identify the path you’re currently on.
If what you prefer to write is semantic and accessible HTML, you know CSS/SCSS architecture and build pleasant layouts, you’re probably a look & feel oriented developer who fits in the front-of-the-front-end category.
The line between these two sides varies from developer to developer and you could be a mix of both. Having understanding of the division helps you better categorize yourself which should help shape your path as a developer and progress your set of unique skills.
Sources and credits:
front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end web development by Brad Frost (@brad_frost)
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