The great divide | Chris Coyier

The infamous frontend divide, the feeling that JavaScript-everywhere has caused a schism in what a frontend developer is. Should they be split into JavaScript Engineer and UI Engineer? CSS, accessibility, design patterns, semantics, UX engineering are all still skills that are needed but they don't necessarily align with JS needs or wants. It's two different brain states (or is it?). Some people will bridge that divide, but should we be requiring it?

Two “front-end web developers” can be standing right next to each other and have little, if any, skill sets in common. That’s downright bizarre to me for a job title so specific and ubiquitous.

I love this sentiment on using complex toolchains to reduce overall system complexity:

Sometimes it feels like releasing cougars into the forest to handle your snake problem. Now you have a cougar problem.

And there are some clear benefits to JavaScript "getting big" and being used everywhere.

A front-end developer with a strong JavaScript skill set is wildly empowered these days.

Or is the divide actually between frontend developers who give a crap about users and those who don't, regardless of tool stack? Some people prefer working on code than working with people, and that's okay, but when you're job is building stuff for people it leads to what I'd consider a poor work ethic (or at least a poor job fit). Right now, the industry seems okay with that, but perhaps it shouldn't be. As frontend becomes more focused on traditional engineering concepts, are we losing sight of its purpose: positive user experience.

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  • The infamous <em>frontend divide</em>, the feeling that JavaScript-everywhere has caused a schism in what a frontend developer&nbsp;<em>is</em>. Should they be split into JavaScript Engineer and UI [&#8230;]
  • Murray Adcock.
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