Website Development: What a Front-End Developer Should Know
When developing any website (both a small online store and a regional information portal), a well-coordinated teamwork is important. Back-end and front-end are two parts of a whole, and the final result of the project depends on their harmonious work. First, let’s understand the general meaning of the concepts of back-end and front-end.
Back-end is the main software and hardware part of the site, or in other words, software functionality and content management (for example, the ability to edit and add products or articles). Front-end is a resource interface with which the user directly interacts. In other words: pictures, buttons and sliders that appear on the monitor screen after entering the site’s domain name in the address bar of the browser.
What should a front-end developer know to create a good website?
Unfortunately, a front-end developer (or, on the contrary, fortunately) is not a key figure in the software development process for online projects. The value of specialists of this kind is in understanding and creating the “external appearance” of the site with which users will interact. It is desirable that all stages of rendering the layout of the future resource occur with the active participation of the front-end developer. Designers need to understand the work of the layout designer (this is what is often called the front-end specialist for short), and that, in turn, may suggest what and how to do better. Unfortunately, here lies the complexity of the interaction in the process of developing websites: a competent front-end specialist must have knowledge of many technologies and processes. The list of such knowledge is very extensive.
- A layout designer should at least have a superficial understanding of the design (good taste will not interfere here). To create a good site, you need to understand how important the compliance of the finished project and the approved layout.
- The specialist must understand the work of the server part. You need to know which arrays of data are transmitted to the server, and which are not. A good layout designer has an idea of the responsibilities of a backend developer. In addition, he understands what language is used on the server and knows exactly what is needed from the server part for the frontend.
- A frontend developer must understand how networks work. You need to know how networks are, how they work, and how quickly and reliably data is transmitted.
- Need to understand the performance. Ten products will be in the online store or ten hundred, the loads are completely different.
- A layout designer should understand that a good website can only be created through content. By itself, the software part is a very important element, without it nothing happens. But even without content, the most competent and correct code will not become a popular resource. The lack of a plan can cause difficulties that cannot be prevented during the development of a website. Administrators and users must be confident in the accuracy and correctness of information.
- Content is stored in a database, and therefore front-end developers must understand this. A good specialist can work correctly with arrays and variables.
- Each typewriter should be a little tester in order to see the problems and shortcomings in time. It is better if this happens in the process of work, and not at the very end, when the “lines are burning” and the deadline is already very close.
- Know about build systems, be able and understand how to use them. There are various collectors, for example, Webpack, Grunt, Gulp. Each of them is good in its own way, so it is better to study several at once.
- Understand the theory and methodology of website development. Each programmer writes and styles the code on his own, therefore it is necessary to adhere to generally accepted canons. It is possible that in the future someone else will have to support the project. Over time, a lot is forgotten, and even personally written code after a while may seem completely incomprehensible. To avoid this, just need to adhere to generally accepted rules. Today there are such methodologies:
- BEM and independent blocks;
- the programming principle of YAGNI is “You aren’t gonna need it” (you don’t need it);
- KISS programming principle – “Keep it simple stupid” (make things easier);
- DRY’s programming principle is “Don’t repeat yourself” (do not repeat yourself).
- Understand the configuration of web servers, because without them there will be no websites
- Analyze, understand, be able to test and improve usability.
- Mobile design is a trend of our time. The number of mobile devices is growing very fast. The developer must understand that his website can be accessed from any device. Big screens, small, tablets and smartphones, outdated devices … The interface should be ready for anything!
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