Late 2019 Brad Frost already pondered about The Great Divide and introduced the terms “front of the frontend” and “back of the frontend”. In a new post he gives the easily-shareable overview that lists the differences between both.
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.
Imo this separation also is present in backend development, where you have the “front-of-the-backend” people and “back-of-the-backend” people. Hear me out:
- A Front-of-the-backend person writes PHP/JS/etc. scripts which perform the required actions such as inserting records into a database, sending off an e-mail, etc.
- A Back-of-the-backend person provisions and maintains the infrastructure.
You might already know these two parties as “backend devs” and “ops”, so nothing new there. Thanks to things like Docker and CI/CD the line between both has become more and more vague, with overlaps in responsibilities between both.