Why is it so hard to find a good front end developer?
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illyismCommunity member
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I'm Ilias Ismanalijev. Front-end developer & designer. http://il.ly

Why is it so hard to find a good front end developer?

by Ilias Ismanalijev

Front end development is more complicated than it seems.

Most of the work must be done in HTML and CSS, which leaves limited tools for working around bugs. Javascript helps here and there, but feature detection comes with performance overhead.

More code, more opportunities for that code to fail

CSS is painful to work with once your site starts to grow. It's very static, and you wind up keeping up with a lot of it in your head. The learning curve is steep because it is always changing.

Always something new to learn

Responsive media queries, HTML AppCache, CSS transforms, WebGL, etc. Each of these tools introduces exciting new possibilities, but also changes the way work is done

More to front end than just development

It's about how the code interacts with the consumer. A front end developer needs understanding of web performance (caching, optimizing dns lookup times, minification build scripts, etc.

Also needs to have a sense of marketing

Knowing the psychology of the consumer, prioritizing accessibility and usability of the product, and maintaining strong SEO. Also means having basic understanding of design theory

Important to focus on security of the product

Protecting against CSRF, XSS, DNS pinning, and clickjacking. You may need to dig in to server side code from time to time.

That's right:

A good front end developer needs to be a good back end developer as well.

It means making the product compatible with everything

Every browser, mobile device, and high-end toaster oven under the sun. That can be a lot of work. There are lots of browsers and many versions of each browser too

And then there's each make of smartphone and tablet

Does the service work without a keyboard? Without a mouse? Touch support? Gestures?

"We work with crappy tools on inconsistent platforms....

...run by every kind of device you can imagine...making sure the product works for everyone, no matter what." - Bulat Bochkariov, front end developer

So why is it so hard to find a good front end developer?

Because being a good front end developer is hard.

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2 years agoReply
Rarely and hence most companies build a team as an alternative.

sydneyVerifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
@kar2905 you do so much with recruiting, how often do you come across one of these unicorns? @stephen @stefan @taymoor I know you guys do some front-end dev, thought you might find it interesting :)