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Front-End Disciplines

What is front end?

The Front-End Guild did a series of exercises to determine the fundamental differences between the front-end design and front-end developer roles at 18F. Using some of our own research methods, the Front-End Guild came up with the following recommendations on knowing the difference between the two disciplines:

Front-end designers design, write, and implement the presentational code base for websites and applications. They should have a clear understanding of design fundamentals and systems, such as interface style guides, responsive design, grid systems, front-end frameworks, and accessibility best practices. Front-end designers should feel comfortable creating and implementing design systems using semantic HTML5, CSS/Sass and be able to assist in debugging this aspect of the code base.

Front-end developers architect, write, and implement the functional code base for websites and applications. They should have a clear understanding of client-side render and response, such as HTTP methods, API consumption, the browser loading/rendering pipeline, and accessibility best practices. Front-end developers should feel comfortable developing and implementing client-side interactions and frameworks using semantic HTML5 and JavaScript, and should be able to help with debugging, testing, and performance optimization of the code base.