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Is front-end web development dying?
#1
Is front-end web development dying?
Another skill and piece of IT is threatened -in my humble opinion- by both time and the certain bitter-sweet huge advance in technology: it's the skill of front-end web development.

Web development is cut into three main categories:
1-Front End
2-Middle End
3-Back End

Front-end developers worry about the design of a website only, and how it looks like. In more details, they only interact with HTML, CSS, Javascript.

Now, there are services like (WIX) that allow you to build websites on-the-fly ; dragging and dropping components instead of writing them.

I'm so scared because I can't find an answer for this question: are front-end developers useless now, with the rise of services like WIX and GODADDY's website builders?
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#2
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
.I handle all parts of design for my site, including writing Android apps to expose audio recognition to the browser. At the risk of seeming immodest, I know a lot about web design.

The short answer to your question is this: if you specialize, you can expect your specialty to become obsolete. You are unlikely, for example, to be paid money for writing code in Pascal. If you have general abilities (like an understanding of how to lay things out in a visually appealing way, or a good feeling for how nested logic works), then you can pick up the next wave and move forward.

The long answer requires you to please understand what a browser DOES: it takes a markup script, and then interprets it and renders it to the screen. It monitors interactions, and sends information back to a server.

This basic interplay, between a centralized data provider, and an individual consumer which renders the results of specific data calls in a way appropriate to a user's device, is probably eternal. It's probably intrinsic to the nature of data, and data consumption, itself.

HTML will die, replaced by a new standard driven by new technology, or it will evolve. CSS will die or evolve, and Javascript. They will all be unrecognizable in ten years. But that doesn't matter, because the underlying PROCESS will be the same: you'll have to decide how to present data on different media.

The reason WIX and GODADDY's builders work is that they are templated: the basic navigation system and so on will be pretty much okay for most users. But if you tried to do almost ANY of the things that I do on my site, you'd realize the problem with automation-- it makes custom solutions or innovative ideas almost impossible to carry out. For anything but the most basic functions, those builders are pretty useless.

I'll give you an example. I've written an Android app that loads up my homepage, and listens for Javascript that triggers Android functions-- especially voice recording. The Android app then converts the audio to an .mp4 format and uploads it to the homepage, where it serves as the audio track to a slide show made by customers.

It relies very heavily on specialized Javascript routines that I had to write myself-- they time the clicks between slides for images and subtitles and so on. Then it sends that data to the server, which reprocesses the audio, and sends out SMS messages to customers with a link to their new slide show.

Ask me if I could use an auto-designed site for any of that.
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#3
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
I didn’t do it.

I don’t know the person.

Never did.

Wouldn’t admit it if I did!

🤫
Sanity adjacent.


Angel





IMGUR 
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#4
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
I've been amazed just how long front end development has continued in the state that it has. When you're faced with a mess of code filled with HTML, Javascript, JQuery, Spring, Java and whatever other library or framework someone has chosen to use, it's all a complete mess. And what does it all do? Essentially just inputs, queries and retrieves data from a database and then displays it. In terms of structured software engineering it's the web development equivalent to writing a word processor in assembler. And what do people do? They create yet another framework to use alongside existing technologies and make it even more difficult than it needs to be.
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#5
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
(September 6, 2018 at 2:17 am)Mathilda Wrote: I've been amazed just how long front end development has continued in the state that it has. When you're faced with a mess of code filled with HTML, Javascript, JQuery, Spring, Java and whatever other library or framework someone has chosen to use, it's all a complete mess. And what does it all do? Essentially just inputs, queries and retrieves data from a database and then displays it. In terms of structured software engineering it's the web development equivalent to writing a word processor in assembler. And what do people do? They create yet another framework to use alongside existing technologies and make it even more difficult than it needs to be.

Couldn't agree more. I basically lost a (junior) job in Web Development because after being thrown in at the deep end... I sunk; just surrounded by HTML, Javascript, CSS etc with no idea how it all fit together, and no instruction other than to work it out for myself.

And I agree also that it seems so much for so little... and from that perspective I don't like app development either because most of the programming involved is about appearance. In other words give me behind the scenes programming, that actually does something interesting, any day.
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#6
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
No.

It’s getting more complicated but it’s not going away. There’s only so much stuff you can automate or use a library for.
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#7
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
Like benny said, Wix, GoDaddy, and other sites as a platform providers generally only offer template-based solutions.  One-size fits most, cookie cutter, simplistic (simple blog, maybe a widget to plug into your Twitter feed, etc.) solutions.  But, it's not like this is some new thing.  WYSIWYG editors provided by hosts has been a thing for at least 15 years.  I remember farting around with Homestead's editor in the early 2000's.

Here's the thing: none of those tools make someone a good, or even competent designer.  They're marketed towards people who don't want to pay a professional for a professional site.  The kind of people who think they can knock out a good-enough looking site after a few hours of farting around on a weekend.  And, of course, the ads make it look easy.  Select this thing, move or stretch this other thing, pick complimentary colors and/or fonts and boom, you have a good looking site that you didn't have to pay a premium for.  

In reality, most of these people pick garish color combinations (or, on the flip side, drab colors... gray is on its way out, people).  They choose Comic Sans as their primary font because they think it looks 'cute'.  They emphasize the wrong things by having shitty element/widget placement, or otherwise simply not really knowing how to organize what products/services they offer in a way that makes sense to others (this happens a lot... what's simple/easy/clear for someone in a particular domain isn't necessarily the same for those outside it).

So, while there's more user-friendly tools than ever before, that only means that there's more opportunities for front end developers to come in and save the day once a small business owner tries and fails doing it on the cheap.  That's how I got my current client.  She's more or less technologically illiterate, and payed some idiot $500 for a WordPress site.  It wasn't even half finished by the time she had enough and needed help.  I came in and saved the day.  Now, I'm a bit more than halfway through turning what was essentially an online brochure into an e-commerce site powered by Stripe.

The moral of the story: consumer grade innovations don't automatically mean the end of professional work in the same domain.  In many ways, it can actually increase opportunity.

(September 6, 2018 at 8:38 am)emjay Wrote:
(September 6, 2018 at 2:17 am)Mathilda Wrote: I've been amazed just how long front end development has continued in the state that it has. When you're faced with a mess of code filled with HTML, Javascript, JQuery, Spring, Java and whatever other library or framework someone has chosen to use, it's all a complete mess. And what does it all do? Essentially just inputs, queries and retrieves data from a database and then displays it. In terms of structured software engineering it's the web development equivalent to writing a word processor in assembler. And what do people do? They create yet another framework to use alongside existing technologies and make it even more difficult than it needs to be.

Couldn't agree more. I basically lost a (junior) job in Web Development because after being thrown in at the deep end... I sunk; just surrounded by HTML, Javascript, CSS etc with no idea how it all fit together, and no instruction other than to work it out for myself.

And I agree also that it seems so much for so little... and from that perspective I don't like app development either because most of the programming involved is about appearance. In other words give me behind the scenes programming, that actually does something interesting, any day.

I prefer the back end (/Vorls) for that very reason. It's essentially the brains of the entire thing. Code that actually fulfills a purpose. Plus, I'm not very artistic. I can sort of feel my way through a design, and make something mostly competent, but I'll never be able to make something more than pleasantly functional.
"I was thirsty for everything, but blood wasn't my style" - Live, "Voodoo Lady"
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#8
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
I test web apps for the living. I see plenty of common things, like jQuery and Bootstrap (to an extent), but none of the sites I test could be created in Wix or whatever crap GoDaddy produced. The thing about the front-end is that is has to talk to the back-end. No sensible company is going to design a front-end in Wix and then somehow try to jerry-rig it to their back-end servers.
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#9
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
(September 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm)KevinM1 Wrote:
(September 6, 2018 at 8:38 am)emjay Wrote: Couldn't agree more. I basically lost a (junior) job in Web Development because after being thrown in at the deep end... I sunk; just surrounded by HTML, Javascript, CSS etc with no idea how it all fit together, and no instruction other than to work it out for myself.

And I agree also that it seems so much for so little... and from that perspective I don't like app development either because most of the programming involved is about appearance. In other words give me behind the scenes programming, that actually does something interesting, any day.

I prefer the back end (/Vorls) for that very reason. It's essentially the brains of the entire thing. Code that actually fulfills a purpose. Plus, I'm not very artistic. I can sort of feel my way through a design, and make something mostly competent, but I'll never be able to make something more than pleasantly functional.

I've no idea what /Vorls is, cos I don't keep up to date with technologies... and that's another reason I would never have faired well as a web developer; because everything's always changing and I can't keep up... I'm a slow learner like that. So it's basically only VB, Gambas (essentially a Linux version of VB), PHP, and more recently, Java through app programming, and Javascript through the Mafia programs I've written here, that I know or use. But I'm happy and proud that I was able to learn enough HTML, CSS, and Javascript together to make those two mafia programs... but both are still more about function than form. But that's as far as it goes with them, I still have no clue whatsoever how you'd go about making a modern site with them, especially the CSS aspect, and tbh I don't like using too modern sites, since the more flashy they are the slower they tend to load for me. So yeah, I'm not very artistic either... I prefer simple but functional designs.
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#10
RE: Is front-end web development dying?
(September 6, 2018 at 4:57 pm)emjay Wrote:
(September 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm)KevinM1 Wrote: I prefer the back end (/Vorls) for that very reason.  It's essentially the brains of the entire thing.  Code that actually fulfills a purpose.  Plus, I'm not very artistic.  I can sort of feel my way through a design, and make something mostly competent, but I'll never be able to make something more than pleasantly functional.

I've no idea what /Vorls is, cos I don't keep up to date with technologies... and that's another reason I would never have faired well as a web developer; because everything's always changing and I can't keep up... I'm a slow learner like that. So it's basically only VB, Gambas (essentially a Linux version of VB), PHP, and more recently, Java through app programming, and Javascript through the Mafia programs I've written here, that I know or use. But I'm happy and proud that I was able to learn enough HTML, CSS, and Javascript together to make those two mafia programs... but both are still more about function than form. But that's as far as it goes with them, I still have no clue whatsoever how you'd go about making a modern site with them, especially the CSS aspect, and tbh I don't like using too modern sites, since the more flashy they are the slower they tend to load for me. So yeah, I'm not very artistic either... I prefer simple but functional designs.

Vorls...as in Vorlon. Because I said I preferred the back end.

I mean, I know it was a lame joke, but c'mon, man Tongue
"I was thirsty for everything, but blood wasn't my style" - Live, "Voodoo Lady"
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