Lets be honest, our industry has an amplitude of job titles, ranging from “designer” to “Senior Engineer” to “web ninja(?)”, but the one I keep coming back to (or never leave) is Front-end Developer.
This hasn’t changed for 10 years, unlike my experience and skill-set, which in an industry like “web”, is rather unique.
But how I sell myself in client meetings is a lot different since I last freelanced (or even in job interviews).
From graduating 10 years ago, i’ve seen this role, and my own career change vastly. If you’d of asked me 3-4 years ago (when I first freelanced) to explain what I did, I would of said “Ability to code something from a mock up – including HTML, CSS, jQuery and delivery.”
Now, it has a totally different meaning (and one I think it should mean) “Multi-disciplined Front-end Developer: ability to code something from a mock up – including HTML, CSS, jQuery, compression, basic SEO, delivery and digital design (and implementation).”
The big difference is (lets exclude SEO from this discussion), adding design. For me, it was always there but no one ever asked or wanted. Now, its my main selling point – I can do that website/CMS you want all by my lonely self, and I cannot see a negative in that.
Working in offices for small companies and now, freelancing, companies are wanting more for their buck/pound/euro, with this shift many of us have had to stop being static and grow our skill-sets. Meaning we can be classed as a designer and a front-end developer if needed.
Yes, its cheaper for the company to get the design/code done by the same person, but isn’t it also a lot easier, more satisfactory?
From my point of view, all designers should code and all front-end devs should design. To what level, I’m undecided, I don’t mean to be superstars in design and development, but why not be at the least “decent” in both?