Inconvenient truth of a Front End Developer

It is a common misconception to believe that a Java developer can also write Javascript, nothing could be further from the truth. Believing that Javascript and Java are the same is almost like believing that a carpenter and a plumber are the same. Yes, there are commonalities between them such as, they both work with their hands, but thats about it. The truth is that a FrontEnd developer and a BackEnd developer are very different people, each fulfills an unique role. We don’t expect BackEnd developers to know CSS and although it appears easy it is more of a art than a science, which drives them crazy since they don’t have the patience not the artistic skill. Same principal applies to  FrontEnd developers, they are horrible at writing Java, unit tests or for that matter doing a set of tasks which may include following a rigid set of practices. The only commonality between FrontEnd and BackEnd developers is the browser, thats about it.

Can these two distinct breeds coexist? One may ask. And the real answer is YES, as long as there is respect for the opposite trade and each part understand than they need the other half, then yes, it is possible.

Is like the movie the Matrix, where at the end Neo understands that in order for both parts to exist they must coexist, one can’t live without the other. This is also the case for most companies today where they now employee both, FrontEnd or and BackEnd developers. FrontEnd developers have come a long way, no doubt about it,  now it is important for FrontEnd developers not to get cocky and drink too much of the Kool Aid while savoring this big accomplishment.

The reality is simple, the browser rules the world through the User Experience (UX), sorry BackEnd guys but this is the truth. When the user engages with the site through the browser it is ALL client side technology at that point, this is why it’s vital that client side technologies are always in perfect harmony (Javascript, CSS and HTML), since at that point nothing else matters.

The first few seconds of any UX is all FrontEnd. With that said ,some may argue, claiming that there will not even be a page if it wasn’t for the server playing a role on this interaction but the reality is, the only credit that should be given for serving content should be given to the network not the BackEnd. Why? simply because anyone can serve static content,  in fact, does it all the time in order to serve quickly and get the user engaged, they truly understand the value of getting the user engaged with the site.

Am not trying to be bias but the truth  sometimes  hurts a bit. BackEnd will do very little without a strong FrontEnd specially now that we are all about responsive design which is not done using Java or .NET by the way (wink, wink). So give FrontEnd developers some credit for such amazing job.

I guess the message am trying to convey with article is to always remember to play nice with each other. Ask for help every now and then. Asking for help doesn’t make you any less senior or expert, is not degrading in any way shape or form. If you ever wonder how to style something or need help trying to figure out how to calculate the MOD, just ask your FrontEnd developer if you are a BackEnd developer  and vise versa, you will be surprised how effective this method is.

Until next time.
FrontEnd developer