Showing all articles matching development

The portfolio problem

If I'm looking to hire a front end web developer, I want a candidate that fulfils two key requirements. Firstly that they can build a site that looks right and secondly that they have built it well. Some people don't worry so much about the second requirement but writing clean, elegant and above all flexible code is an aspect of web development that I consider a vital part of efficiently maintaining a website in the long term.

With that in mind, the first thing I look for on a candidate's CV is a list of what sites they have built. Thanks to the way the internet works it's possible to examine any website in detail to assess the person who built it in terms of both of my requirements - appearance and coding skill. I'm not so interested in someone's work history, education or interests - what I care about most is whether their website's code is built correctly, cleanly and efficiently. There's not a lot of jobs where it's possible to assess someone in such detail like this.

A portfolio of work is therefore hugely important if you're a front end web developer. Building one, however, can be problematic.

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Working with external agencies

Web design in my office is normally done in-house. If I have a question I can just ask the designer about it in person. Recently I worked on a project where the design was done by an external agency at the request of the client. The sudden gap between myself and the designer resulted in a number of issues, some of which were overcome and some of which were not.

Here's some post-project unpacking of working with an external third party on a project.

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Dealing with bad front end code

I've worked on a lot of websites and seen a lot of front end code. Some good, some bad. Some... really bad.

More often than I'd like, I encounter the same patterns of badness. Here's a few examples of the kind of things that some front end developers do that drive me to despair. Warning: this is going to get technical.

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Website features to consider carefully

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Under_construction_icon-orange.svg

I've had to do a lot of web browsing recently outside of my normal areas of web usage. A lot of the sites I've found have implemented some commonly used website features that I think would benefit from a bit of closer scrutiny. If you're thinking of getting a website built for you, or are just interested in user experience stuff, read on.

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A guide for backend developers writing front end

Developers, developers, developer

It's not easy being a backend developer. Not only do you have to code massive websites, you also end up being responsible for maintaining things like build scripts and database migrations, and being called on every five minutes to fix the dev system of the front end developer working on your project, who probably caused their problem in the first place. On top of that, you often have to wait for that same front end developer to get on and give you some front end before you can properly check that your website is working correctly.

As a front end developer, I genuinely sympathise, so here's my thoughts on the best way to work on front end when the front end isn't ready yet.

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