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Front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end web development (by Brad Frost)

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The Great Divide between so-called front-end developers is real! Here, Brad Frost proposes some modern role definitions.

A front-of-the-front-end developer is a web developer who specializes in writing HTML, CSS, and presentational JavaScript code.

A back-of-the-front-end developer is a web developer who specializes in writing JavaScript code necessary to make a web application function properly.

Brad also offers:

A succinct way I’ve framed the split is that a front-of-the-front-end developer determines the look and feel of a button, while a back-of-the-front-end developer determines what happens when that button is clicked.

I’m not sure I completely agree with his definitions—I see a bit more nuance in it. Then again, maybe I’m biased by my own career experience. I’m sort-of a FOTFE developer, but one who has also always done both BOTFE and “actual” back-end work (building Laravel applications, or working in Ruby on Rails etc).

I like the fact that we are having this discussion, though. The expectations on developers are too great and employers and other tech people need to realise that.

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