Having been in the industry for so long and now working in web development, I was wondering what are your thoughts about where the web is going to be in 5, 10, 20 years? Will front-end developers, and web developers, in general, still stay in such a high demand? I feel like as the tools get better, it becomes more and more feasible to create websites (simple ones, for now, perhaps complex in the future) with almost no programming experience. I know it's impossible to answer but it would be interesting to hear your take on that.
I'm not sure where I stand on the statement about programming experience. I still think you need quite a bit and will for quite a while in the future. However, with that said, I'm just astonished how much a single person can accomplish in a given unit of time today vs 5, 10, 20 years ago. I am so much more productive and I think others are as well. A hammer is a force multiplier that helps you drive a single nail, but we've moved on to nail-guns and concrete nailers that shoot cartridges). You can go from an idea to a crude vision of a small site in a couple of days if you can devote yourself to it or a couple of weeks if all you have is an hour or two each evening.
What I think you'll see is more and more specialization. At the beginning of my career you were expected to be much more of what we call "full stack" than what is expected today. I'm still full stack on my hobby projects but in my day to day work I focus hard on web development. I hear sometimes about experts who know all about how to integrate Google Maps or Salesforce into a project. AWS is also clearly becoming something of a specialization. So why would that kind of specialization not become part of the front-end as well? Some developers may focus on the communications between the front and back-ends, charting and visualization building, the handling of data on the front-end, the building of components, or just the layout and appearance of the page.
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