story time

During the summer of 2016, I went to the BYU career fair to apply to jobs. It was a fun experience talking to people from different companies. Eventually, I needed a break and I met up with my brother and his friend for lunch.

As we were eating, they went off talking about some computer science stuff. My brother then turned to me to make a comment. He said, “Front end developers are like hippies. They always go ‘Coooool duuuude!’ for the cool new library that gets released.” I paused at the humourous comment. After failing to think of a retort, I conceded the comment. I believed it to be true.

a moment to ponder

Now, I ask the question “Is the front end world hippie?” I do not think the front end world is too hippie. It may be a little though. After about three years of career experience and exposure to the front end world, I have made several observations that I would like to share.

The front end world provides easy access to a career. And because there is easy access to this career, there are so many different types of people. So, my observations are indeed just observations and they do not dictate how things necessarily are. I do hope though my observations are on target.

Since it is easy to start being a web developer, there are some youngsters. These youngsters are typically the ones jumping ship to the “new and shiny” things. That was me once! Then there are very experienced developers that have been around for a while. They have incredible knowledge and practicality to what they are developing. The experienced developers are the ones that will typically stick to one library or framework. And those developers will stick to one library because they realize they need to really understand it. I know that mature developers are the ones to listen too.

The current industry encourages developers to use a great assortment of tools. I believe that those tools are great to use, when used correctly. I have seen several situations that make me cringe. Here are a few. Building a document database with relational data. Why not use a relational database? Using jQuery within Angular. Why not just use Angular features? This next comment might cause an stir. Implement CSS styles in JS. Why not just use CSS straight? There are a lot of good tools, and those tools may have good reasons. They just need to be used right.

JavaScript has come a long way from what it once was. There were significant limitations in JavaScript’s early history. But now JavaScript has advanced with some significant features. These features started with ES6, and at the release of ES6 there was an explosion of JS software. Because there is so much JS software, people believe that web developers switch trends very often. This may be the case, but it is also a little misleading. I have seen that the JS world is starting to mature, and the JS world is deciding where it wants JS to go. And because the JS world is maturing, it really seems like JS software is maturing in certain directions


I may be wrong, because these are observations. However I will state that the front end development world is not as hippie as it sounds. One just needs to jump in and be a part of it! Then one can see where trends are going and which trends are sticking. Enjoy it all as it is! And be smart about it.