front-of-the-front-end / back-of-the-front-end

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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.

  • 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.

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.

front-of-the-front-end and back-of-the-front-end web development →

Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium, working as a Chrome Developer Relations Engineer at Google. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

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