The All Powerful Front-End Developer

A few years ago, a front-end developer was someone who worked with HTML and CSS. Maybe some light JavaScript for dropdowns and basic functionality.

That's still true, but the landscape is more nuanced today. You can be a front-end developer specializing entirely in JavaScript architecture. You can be an expert in GraphQL and communicating with API's. Or maybe you're focused entirely on semantic HTML and accessibility. All of these areas are part of the front-end development area. Just like browser testing, performance, UX details, optimizing for different devices, writing serverless functions, etc...

That's a lot of things, and it's hard to be an expert in all of them. Chris Coyier, the founder of CSS-Tricks and Codepen, has done a really remarkable job tackling this identity crisis and covering as many different perspectives as possible. He's written several articles and given talks and I seriously recommend checking them out:

The All Powerful Front-End Developer (talk, 2018)

The Great Divide (article, 2019)

Ooooops, I guess we're full-stack developers now (article, 2020)