Medium.com posted “Why is it so hard to find a front end developer?” Its a short read and on the money:
“Not only that, a good front end developer also needs to have an understanding of marketing. That means knowing the psychology of the consumer, prioritizing the accessibility and usability of the product, and maintaining strong SEO. It also means having a basic understanding of design theory, and occasionally, working with graphic designs that are nearly impossible to implement.”
Medium almost puts their finger on the pulse that makes front end development flow: tacit skills.
I’m a bit curious how we will ramp up Front End Developers in the future. A room full of Front End Developers tends to be a group of 30 to 40 somethings: mostly from various walks of life that fell into it. There’s the once-musicians, designers who dabbled in code, the former “webmasters”, the-lady-who-was-the-only-one-who-knew-how-to-update-her-once-employers-website and even the lone ex-flash developer. The unifying trait between all these people is experience. Experience from mistakes. Experience from edge cases. Experience from simply engaging.
Most of us had the benefit of learning when the internet was young and simple. We grew as the internet did. A lot of us went from frames, to tables, to css, to css grids, to responsive, and to HTML5/CSS3. We remember the curse of IE6, and know without looking at a chart that SVGs won’t render in IE8. We all remember the days before stackoverflow, and codepen, the days before angular, ember, backbone and react…. and that’s the problem. You can’t replicate a decade of experience and we haven’t figured out a way to teach it either.
The only answer I see is a fracturing of front end development into multiple trades based on specialization as a front end developer that is a master of all is becoming as much of a unicorn as a full stack developer.