What front-enders don’t have is the simple title like: Architect, Sys Admin, DBA, Java Developer, Graphic Artist, Software Engineer, etc. Even some of these titles are vague in their own right, but for many they are common parlance. The front-ender is a whole new term for something that has been referred to as: Web Master, Web Designer, Web Developer, Designer, UI Developer, etc..
Over the years I have noticed that front-enders come from two directions, design or engineering. Those who come from design feel the need to prove they are just as smart as the engineers. Those who come from the engineering side feel they need to show they have design skills. Basically we have two groups of people working in a common area that want each other to be accepted in an artistic and scientific manner. If that even made sense.
Then there is the other questions: “How do front-enders compare to the back-enders?” “Are the front-enders skilled enough engineers?” “Is the work just as serious as back-enders?” Depends who you ask, and yes there is a bias amongst the old-guard.
So after well over a decade of being a “front-ender” type, who came to the engineering side via design, I have to say “I give up!”
I give up on trying to explain what I do. I don’t have to, you know when you need my skills and if you don’t then we don’t work together. I don’t need to validate my value with a title, I need to continue doing what I have been for many years. Solve the problems of business and user experience through design and/or code. Or more succinctly… SOLVE PROBLEMS.
Call me whatever you want, it doesn’t matter. I’ll call myself a front-ender if it makes you happy, but don’t think that’s all that I am.