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Haunting development mistakes

Things that can haunt front end developers

Ronita Mohan
© Shutterstock / BLXKISS

The lines between front end and back end development are shifting. What are some common mistakes that will cause front end developers headaches, wasted time, and nightmares about untested code? Find out how you can prevent some haunting mistakes in this article by Ronita Mohan.

The line between front end and back end development has begun to blur. But, though the advent of full-stack developers hasn’t wiped out the need for either of these roles, there is no doubt that the landscape is changing.

Companies are beginning to ask more from their designers and programmers, giving them tasks adjacent to their skills, in the hopes of cutting costs by only hiring a small number of people for their development teams, instead of getting specialists.

Additionally, businesses are investing in newer and younger developers, many of whom have limited experience in the field, or only know a handful of skills or tools. For them, being given a myriad of tasks when they are barely getting to grips with what they do know can spell catastrophe.

As a result, some front end developers are finding themselves making the kind of mistakes that will likely haunt them for days, if not months. What are these things that can go wrong and how can you prevent them?

Not testing code

Whether it is CSS, JavaScript, HTML, or more likely, a combination of all three, front end developers are all about code. It is the most basic of skills and most developers will claim to know their website code like the back of their hand.

SEE ALSO: How to become full-stack web developer

But when the client’s deadlines are looming, or worse, passing you by, and your boss is asking you to work on yet another project when you aren’t even done with this one, it isn’t surprising if a developer makes a simple, yet costly mistake like not testing their code. It is also the kind of step that a number of senior managers think of as a waste of time. If the code looks good during the presentation to the team, surely it is good enough to go live?

Not always, as most developers know. While managers are trying to rush through a project and clients are demanding their website go live, developers generally know the importance of unit testing – that is, testing each code separately before integrating it into other functions. Does it take more time? Yes, but it more than makes up for any time that would consequently be lost if you had to test the entire code just before completion, only to find errors.
 


 
Testing and debugging are two of the most essential aspects of coding. One could say that, in many ways, testing is a key component in most kinds of development, whether for websites, apps, or responsive layouts.

This is particularly true of more complex sites with multiple functionalities, such as e-commerce sites. While there are a number of e-commerce website builders that essentially make building a website simple, front end developers still have customizations that they need to make, either according to the client’s or management’s specifications, which need to be tested before the site goes live.

Not testing the code before making it live can result in errors, crashes, and delays, which nobody wants. Though it may be difficult to negotiate, ensuring that you test your code will help save front end developers from having nightmares.

Limited development tools

This is more in the case of junior developers, many of whom may be tasked with using development tools. The biggest mistake that young developers can make is limiting themselves to a handful of tools. A number of companies now use set frameworks for their JavaScript and popular development tools, and for developers trying to join those companies, they will have to learn those tools as additional skills if they want to do a competent job.

Developers have the option of learning these tools on the job but when your company’s main goal is finding new ways to increase website traffic, there is rarely enough time to learn a new skill, let alone execute it professionally. This lack of knowledge and experience will, expectedly, lead to errors.

The best way to avoid such horrifying circumstances is to learn as much as possible about the more popular tools. While there is still room for expertise in certain tools, being knowledgeable about more will open up your prospects, but will also be an asset to the company you work at, ensuring against any grievous errors.

Responsive Layouts

When most companies and clients create a business plan, they want to reach their widest audience possible. And one of the ways to do this is by making their website accessible on anything and everything.

SEE ALSO: Cloud native skills needed! Report claims new cloud “skills crisis”

Users no longer access the internet on a single system. Laptops, tablets, mobile, and even televisions, are tussling against each other for dominance when it comes to web engagement. But, all these platforms have different sizes and functionalities, which makes creating responsive layouts a frustrating experience for front end developers.

More than the look of the website, it is the usability of responsive layouts that causes the most hassle. However, whereas only ten years ago, responsive layouts required developers to create different code for different platforms, it is now much easier to create responsive layouts thanks to tools like JQuery, REST, and APIs.

Most front end developers have used JQuery but the importance of it is largely noticeable in context with mobile web development. Not so long ago, developers would have had to create an entirely new mobile version of an existing site, but thanks to the JQuery library, developers can simply add in their existing JavaScript code and customize for the various platforms.

If tools such as JQuery, REST, and APIs aren’t used correctly, there is a high chance that users will be displeased, or worse, that information can go to the wrong source. Though this is an additional level of work that developers are rarely given time to do, it can enhance the user experience a great deal, and is worth spending time on.

Conclusion

As stressful as it is to implement so many different aspects when developing the front end of a website, with time and effort, most developers can conquer these obstacles and avoid making the kinds of mistakes that will haunt them.

Author

Ronita Mohan

Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita is interested in a variety of topics with regards to digital marketing, visual content, and online engagement, which she enjoys researching and writing about.


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