The definition of the Front-End Developer
The title “Front-End Developer” emerged as a result of the appearance of “rich” or “2.0” or “Single Page Applications” web applications.
Thus, a Front-End Developer is not a designer or an integrator and is reluctant to call himself a Web Developer (or furthermore, a webmaster!).
The Front-End Developer’s roles and missions
Even if he/she is not a designer, the Front-End Developer needs to be sensitive to topics that are close to user interactions and can collaborate on UX and UI design with designated designers.
In this role, the Front-End Developer will also need to ensure consistency of behaviour on all devices used for the benefit of the application or the website he/she develops: responsive, progressive or adaptive. These approaches must be taken into account so that the developed application can be accessed on all browsers (Chrome/ Firefox or IE/ Edge) and on all formats (PC/ tablet or phone).
The Front-End Developers must also interact with Back-End Developers to either orchestrate the calls of the APIs they propose or to express their needs in terms of interactions (for example, by avoiding the step that makes users wait on the Back-End API call).
The skills of a Front-End Developer
Most traditional engineering courses provide the foundation needed to have a minimal understanding regarding the issues of Front-End development. However, engineers will often prefer Back-End development.
How to evaluate the skills of a Front-End Developer?
If you want to know if you are dealing with an HTML integrator who calls himself a Front-End developer, just ask him about the possible use of unit test frameworks such as Jasmine or Karma.
If you want to know if the Front-End Developer you have in front of you has little experience, ask him how he packaged his app (interactions with the team’s DevOps) or how he was confronted with customer-side performance issues.
Simple answer: Front-End Developers are normally paid the same as Back-End Developers.