For me, a front-end developer fulfills the role of the "glue" between the
designer and the back-end developer.

Accordingly, the FE developer needs a high-level understanding of both the
designer and BE developer's skills.

In the real world the FE developer may get his/her hands dirty with a bit of
both as well as FE stuff.

According to Mike Davies (front-end developer at Yahoo! and Ex technical
lead developer for Legal & General) at the WSG London meeting in February
explained that the poor performance of L&G's site in no small part stemmed
from developers wanting to move on up the ladder from FE development to the
"serious stuff" of BE development. Consequently, no one was an expert in FE
development (web standards and accessibility) and as a result their
website's economic performance suffered greatly.

The point he made was that developers, in general, don't want to specialise
in FE development, because they can earn more doing the BE stuff.

What L&G discovered was that by doing a decent FE job it greatly improved
their ROI.

Listen to his account of the L&G process here:

Mike said after the L&G project he made a deliberate decision to specialise
in FE development, and took on the Yahoo job to do just that.

Personally, I think designers, FE and BE developers need to accept and
appreciate the other disciplines and stop being so precious about their own
set of skills - team work guys. :)

On a practical note, general qualifications can give a broad knowledge of
the different areas, but we all need to specialise, which is where CPD comes
into play.

And that's where I see the dutch having made a bold/couragous move in doing
what they've started. Let's observe and learn.

Richard Williams

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