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WTF is a Front-End-Dev

November, 08, 2015 | Articles,The Curve

WTF is a Front-End-Dev, is perhaps the most ambiguous and complex question in the world of web design and development. If you ask 10 people, you will most likely get different answers or the same answer, which is “I have no idea”. Several years earlier, the turn off phrase was “web designer”. This title became synonymous with words and makeshift titles like novice, graphic guy, and non-programming idiot. How comforting is it to know that your occupation is not easily defined like a carpenter, or an attorney?

I had the pleasure of watching a video from A List Apart titled “The State of Front-End-Dev”. It’s moderated by the guy from CSS – Tricks with four panelists that are very good at what they do I suppose. Each one of them seemed to have a different opinion of the title, which leads to more confusion. Would it shock you to know that I avoid talking about my occupation to people that are not DIRECTLY involved in the field of web design or development. This goes double for recruiters. The last time I met with a recruiter that was somewhat prepared, was a big relief for me. She was accompanied by a front-end guy that knew his sh*t. Unfortunately he’s a Zurb Foundation guy that uses NodeJs and Grunt. I was still using CodeKit (because I work alone), and LESS. Besides, being Black in some of these environments is never a healthy situation.

The word “developer” is the trigger and what I believe leads to the confusion. A while ago, some disgruntle woman tried to “get at me” simply because my old website had the tile “Frontend Developer”.


She tried to taunt because I could not answer a Visual Basic question. I never claimed to know anything about Visual Basic, and nothing on my old websites pointed to any claim of that nature. However, she kept repeating, “you’re suppose to be a developer”. No good deed goes unpunished. I use to like helping people, now I look and keep it moving. Everyone tends to carry a certain level of baggage I suppose. This dead weight has an effect on how we interpret everything we come in contact with. Maybe I should not use dead weight, but if your baggage leans more towards the descriptive terms of an anus and feces – well you know what that means.

Putting too much emphasis on a title can complicate, no – really complicate a situation and hinder progress. Who am I, and what qualifies me to give you or anyone else advice. Technically, I’m nobody. However, I’ve been around for four decades plus and I can assure you that jumping to conclusions or “pre” – “judging” people is never a good outcome…