Front-End Web Developer vs. Traditional Developer

picture of backend vs frontend

What is the difference Frontend and Traditional Web Development?

One of the fundamental differences between the front-end web developer and the traditional develop is the focus of each discipline. Both are concerned with whether or not the application works. It is in how they define “works” where this fundamental difference in focus is found. For the front-end web developer, the focus is on whether the interactions, process, flow, and overall experience of the application works for the end user. Is the application intuitive, simple (not simplistic) and, most importantly, does it meet the user’s goals? Of course, the traditional developer is also concerned with whether or not the application works. However, for the traditional developer the application works if it executes all of the items listed in the functional specs. The focus of the traditional developer is centered on tasks rather than goals.

Another difference lies in the skill set of each type of developer. Obviously this will vary from individual to individual, but in general, a traditional developer is likely to have more of a, well, traditional background. They’ve probably got some sort of degree in computer science, have mastered a heavy duty back-end language such as Java and are familiar with all of the best practices and design patterns that are out there. A front-end web developer, on the other hand, probably doesn’t have a computer science degree. Maybe something in the design realm or even a completely unrelated field. In addition, they’ve likely studied a variety of front-end development technologies.

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