You don't have to be a designer to be a Front End Engineer
A deep dive into the history of Front-End programming and more info about how Turing's Front-End curriculum prepares students for fulfilling careers.
As the world we live in has become increasingly digital, many people have considered shifting their career focus to one with a strong foundation in technology. Individuals have turned to technical code schools, often known as "bootcamps," to gain these skills. At the Turing School, we offer two complete programs, Back End Engineering and Front End Engineering. Both are highly rigorous, technical courses, which prepare students for jobs in the tech industry over seven months.
Lately, we've noticed that while many potential students have a clear understanding of what Back End Engineering is likely to entail, the same cannot be said for Front End Engineering. These misconceptions might lead some students away from a track they would find deeply fulfilling, so keep reading to learn more about the Front End curriculum and career opportunities.
In this early version of the web, there was no concept of Front-End Engineering. What a user ultimately saw when they arrived at a website was either the responsibility of someone behind the scenes (what we now think of as Back End Engineering) or a web designer who had decided to layer on the minimal skills necessary to make their design appear on the webpage. At the time, Front-End Engineering didn't involve enough work to carve out a whole new specialty.
Unfortunately, the conceptions of what building for the web entails have not kept up with the rapid pace of technological change. The widespread assumption is that Front End Engineering is a subset of design and that design is a requisite for being a Front End Engineer. This just isn't true!
All the technological progress over the last 30 years has enabled the ability to build full-featured applications that run exclusively inside the browser. Operations that previously would have required the assistance of some Back End technology can now run on the client's machine via their browser. This leap forward requires engineers capable of leveraging these advancements, and has given rise to the specialization that we think of as Front End Engineering.
Make no mistake; visual web design is still an important job. It's just not one that a Front End Engineer needs to be prepared to do.
In today's world, visually designing web applications is an entirely separate responsibility from actually building those applications and requires a wholly different set of skills.
Front End engineering is the work of crafting intuitive user experiences, and building web applications that solve business challenges.
Additionally, prospective Front End Engineers must be ready to use HTML and CSS to turn visual designs into actual web pages that can dynamically update based on their users' enumerable types of displays.
Eventually, we introduce them to the React framework and testing with Cypress, allowing them to understand how professional Front End Applications are made. As part of their capstone, Front End and Back End students work collaboratively to build projects that leverage the strengths of both application development disciplines. All the while, students learn that everything we are teaching them is merely a starting point for their future careers and that the responsibility to learn and grow is theirs.
Through our many years of experience in the industry, our Front End instructor team understands the demands of being a professional Front End Engineer. While not everyone might understand what is required to be successful in this relatively new discipline, we do, and we can show you how.
Sign up for a Try Coding workshop today and take your first steps into a wider world!
Read stories from Front End program alumni.
This post was a collaborative effort among Will Mitchell, Leta Keane, Kayla Wood, Scott Ertmer, Cassandra Torske, and Nik Seif, all of whom are members of the Front End Engineering team at Turing.