Leaving front end behind
I’m writing this, whilst watching my wife crafting a chair cover for a customer, with a look of glee and love for the product (and great delight that someone has bought her products), and have this feeling of enviousness.
I had this, once upon a time I use to design and code sites and deliver them to VERY happy clients and I use to get so high off this, I would stroll into the next project feeling like Ritchie Rich when smashes boardroom presentations.
I’m not really Sure when this feeling stopped exactly, but I know what caused it - front-end development changing. Front end development was always my favourite thing to do, I was the “styler”, the person who made the site look and do the swish, basically the lead singer of the band - I loved the adulation I received when it looks and worked great, who wouldn’t? I was the face of the project - on the front line, battling bugs, user feedback and (hopefully) smashing it.
I also designed most sites I worked on, so I had full control, so if the site worked - I did it, if it didn’t - Martin the back end developer did it (just joking!).
I went from going into agencies or companies being known as a designer, then they’d find out I was a front-ender and id end up staying there a lot longer, being that lead singer that I wanted to be.
But, then it all changed - languages came in that I didn’t understand, or processes that I felt, bloated the process and speed (and fun) of doing the work.
Sass? Grunt? Gulp? TERMINAL?!
I had this nagging feeling of being left behind, and I’ve never had this before, throw a new born into this and I didn’t have time to keep up, and I can be honest here - the web community is a scary place when you have fallen behind the curve and trying to knock on the door to be let back in. And just like that - I was done, it wasn’t an easy decision, I lost out on a lot of work, but most of all, I missed it hugely, but then again I’m unsure I do - I get to design properly, I get to do design sprints, and have a process. I now know what the user wants and needs, and can totally polish designs and answers to perfection without the limitation of my own limitation.
This story doesn’t end with a “so I took my fears and losses by the “neck/horns/keyboard” and got back into front end development, it’s more of a “I let it go” to the proper developers.
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