Josh Milo // Jan 14 2014
Front End Development is a fairly new concept. Back when “Webmaster” was an actual job title there was no real “development” on the front end. Websites were structured using tables, CHSS and SSP were being joined together to make what eventually would be CSS. The web was still primarily a place for documents, real people were in chat rooms, and life was grand. Even as sites became more flashy (blink element anyone?) and CSS1 came of age, they were still fairly simple.
Things are getting heavy, and I mean that literally. In 2013 page weight went up 32%. That’s up from a 30% increase in 2012! The web is getting bigger, more complex, and does more things. This is a good thing, but it presents some new challenges.
As we’ve grown and expanded, we’ve been taking on larger and larger projects. It’s forced our development team to re-examine how we build things. We found ourselves needing a more modern workflow to deal with all of the complexities of the modern web. Software Engineering principles, REST API’s, and unit testing suddenly became relevant. Separation of concerns became more than just separating HTML and CSS.
Have you ever tried to build a non-trivial AngularJS app? The learning curve is steep and usually requires digging around the source code. The fact that frameworks like AngularJS and Ember.js exist says a lot. Here’s how the dev team here at Portent modernized our workflow:
This list may change as we’re always experimenting with new workflows to make our lives easier and our projects better. Some things on our radar for the future are Docker and Google’s Go and Dart languages. I’ll keep you posted on our workflow and if you have a tool or a workflow that you think is great, we would love to hear about it.
Front End Developer, Book Nerd, and Former Marine. Recent activity: 2nd Place - Startup Weekend Seattle 2013, 3rd Place - AngelHack Seattle 2013. Read More