Technology is indeed moving at a very fast pace, perhaps faster than we had imagined! And we all eagerly wish to remain updated with everything that’s happening around us. Be it learning new frameworks or contemplating on the way we can improvise on the code we had written a year back.
Learning new techs surely is good, rather I will say it is great.
But there are certain things which remains pretty much constant, rather you can say that they serve as a core above which new techs are built. Having a strong basis in these stuffs will not only help to maintain the existing code base but also help in picking up good habits - like writing clean code for an instance.
Also, one needs to keep an eye open for the changes which will perhaps come sooner or later and prepare oneself accordingly.
At AirCTO, we have done over 600+ frontend interviews. Based on the candidate performance and the interviewer feedback, let me list down some of the factors which every frontend developer should concentrate on
Keep updating your knowledge - Follow the influencers
It’s not possible for you to single-handedly manage to gorge on all the relevant pieces of information and trends. This is where the influencers come to the sweet rescue.
Each industry and technology has its own thought leaders, the best way is to follow their twitter handles to stay updated on the latest trends.
You can find all their details from here.
Just go ahead and follow on!!
Focus on development but DON’T you ignore design
With the commence of the inbound business model, the focus on users is more important than it has ever been. Your product needs to have a story and purpose which should be evident in everything that you do.
In this digital era, the first interaction between you and your prospects happens through your website. All your offerings should be directed towards providing the user with a delightful experience.
So, now we have moved from the isolated designs in photoshop to collaborative designer-developer platforms like Zeplin, where the product design workflow is seamless and the prototypes can be tested and verified even before writing a single line of code.
So, how is this changing the job of a Frontend Developer?
The emergence of the UI/UX Developer and the Creative Technologists.
“Product Design” and “Frontend Development” are no longer delineated from each other, thanks to the design prototyping tools like Squarespace, Webflow or Atomic. The day is not very far when design and prototyping tools will replace front-end development altogether, seamlessly producing a high-quality front-end code base for your framework of choice (React, Node or other).
Maybe not now, but very soon, we won’t be associating the word coding with frontend development. The focus will be more on developing deep software development expertise.
What will be the action item for a frontend developer in this case?
Learn Design basics.
If the designer has to verify everything that you are putting on the screen, well, it’s time to look back and gear up.
Here are some great resources on learning basic designing principles:
- Design for Hackers: a book and a free course by David Kadavy.
- Design for Non-Designers talk by Tracy Osborn.
- Design of Web Applications by Nathan Barry.
Adopt best coding practices
A major portion of the time of a frontend developer goes not in writing new code but in maintaining the existing codebase. So, it’s time to embrace the best coding practices and optimize it for the next programmer.
Some of the HTML best practices can be:
- Avoiding closing of tags
- Including external CSS inside the HEAD tag
- Using lowercase in tags
And plenty more.
If you want to really focus on writing clean code, here is a great book that you can read Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin.
And a pinch of SEO
The primary reason for having a website is not only to have an online presence for namesake but also to rank in Google SERPs. It really hurts to see that many of the SEO specialists do not even have the working knowledge of SEO standards like - how to build SEO friendly websites, tagging, metadata, and canonicals.
Some people entirely choose to nullify the complexity of SEO and take it for granted; which can indeed be a nightmare in the long run.
One fun fact - Google is reported to change its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year.
Same goes for Bing…
A web developer or a SEO specialist should not only experiment with the best SEO practices but also should track and analyze each one of them. Another mistake some of us does is postponing all the SEO related activities till the very end thus ending up with mishaps like duplicate content, not having a crawlable site architecture, slow load times, no backlinking, etc.
All about MVP and totally ignoring Scalability
In the era of startups and fast-paced ideas, we do need MVP(Minimum Viable Product) for fast progression and global reach.
Amongst all this speed, development teams often ignore the importance of scalability. If one fails to define the processes necessary to identify scalability bottlenecks—that’s a major failure. Because no one is identifying bottlenecks or chokepoints in the architecture, the user count or transaction volume exceeds a certain threshold and thus the end result—the entire product fails.
One good practice is to follow MVC hierarchy where you separate content, views, and backend code into alternate directories. You can improvise according to your specific requirements. But it’s a nice idea to have your backend logic separated from your frontend code views.
Another food for thought, suppose you are building a web page where you have to upload the images of all the clients for the feedback section. Do you directly upload them to the web server or use a shared file storage location?
So, what do you think? Any other practices you would want to add? Feel free to comment!
P.S - if you are looking for an awesome job in the frontend domain, you must visit our jobs page. Happy coding!