Front-end code quality and performance have a massive effect on the user experience. I’m starting to get really fed up seeing machine-generated front-end code being spat out of libraries by back-end developers that would never have passed muster 6 years ago.
I’m not saying libraries are bad, or that back-end teams shouldn’t use them. But front-end development is a valuable skill and it’s vital to good UX that product teams recognise that and recruit accordingly.
If we continue to treat the web as a hobby and assume everybody can do everything with enough time and effort, we massively devalue the expertise we’ve built up over the past 15 years of web standards.
There was a good 5 year period where I thought web standards had become irrelevant. Seeing some of the crap that’s released these days makes me think it’s more important than it has been in a long time.
Smart products teams genuinely value the front end as the the interface with users, and invest accordingly. In fact, one of the most rewarding parts of our job at the moment is working with forward-thinking product teams to ensure their front-end code is as good as it could be, in a time of spiralling bandwidth and library proliferation.
Don't get me wrong: I think it’s great to see back-end developers take an interest in the front end. But please don’t let them learn bad habits from other back-end developers. There’s a wealth of front-end knowledge and talent out there, so use it!
And if you’re struggling with front end code quality, size and performance, I can’t think of no better person to help you than Jeremy and his team.