The Hubris of Front-End Developers

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  1. Your links to the mythical designineer and CSS-only graphics needs some fixing… they have double http:/http:// Enjoyed the article though as it talks to what I’ve experience in my projects here. We’ve had open reqs for FE engineer types open for 2 years, and only just recently filled one, by me switching from being called an engineer into more of a designineer role (like that article and term too)

  2. Hi Allen, I’m the author of the blog post you linked to. Great points here, and I agree with most of them. Your points about most companies not being able to support specialist FE teams is particularly revealing of my biases – as I’ve mostly worked in larger companies myself. From a smaller company’s vantage point, I think it completely makes sense to hire generalists over specialists.
    That being said, I think often times it’s not that FEs don’t want to move out of their sandbox. Rather, it’s just a longing to want to work on stuff they love – and you can’t fault FEs for wanting to work on, well, FE. I think great FEs are well attuned to solving problems while considering the “full stack”, as you allude to here. These are the ones that will be more than happy to learn new tech and new solutions that can somehow enable better user experiences. In my opinion, anybody else who is unwilling to move out of the browser tends to be more of a JS hacker/monkey than a great FE.
    Lastly, I’d just like to mention that even at large companies, it’s almost never the case that FEs begin work only when the comps and designs are done. As with most SDLC, work begins as early as possible regardless of the current state of requirement lockdown. This results in a bit of a back and forth between engineering/product, and this is where you can truly separate the wheat from the chaff. A good FE (as good BEs do) are able to create and design implementations that are flexible enough to accomodate future changes, while making just enough assumptions about the current state of the UX/UI requirements to get the ball rolling. It’s a tricky dance, and something that can really only be gained through experience, IMHO.

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