Front end development is coming to an end. Right??
Front end developers are not generally a nervous bunch. But there seems to be a sort of existential crisis brewing.
Many front end devs - and particularly those younger and earlier in their career - have been watching the proliferation of AI and no-code tools. From afar, it looks like a do-it-yourself tech cocktail that will make front end development skills much less in demand (if not completely obsolete) in the coming decade or two.
Add to this the hype around tools like GPT-4, and it’s not hard to see why developers on social are rethinking their career plans out loud.
An important conversation to have
But is this really going to be an issue?? Are front end developers really at risk of extinction??
No. Probably not.
But it’s important to have this conversation anyway.
Having these conversations and embracing this tension allows us as an industry to better define the utility of these new tools at our disposal. They will not be replacing front end developers anytime soon, but they can help front end developers immediately if we ask these questions and give more thought as to how they fit into our tech stacks, product, workflows and our ecosystem in general.
Here are two resources you can use to start checking out ideas shared by others in the industry. These are good places to start formulating your own perspectives and joining this important conversation:
- In a recent blog post, Josh Comeau shares a well-written take on this topc. You may or may not agree with his take, but he frames it well and it’s worth a read.
- In our DevX Project (in which we interview dev/tech industry leaders to get their insights into developer experience), one of the questions we always ask is: Some claim that front-end developers will become irrelevant in the future of AI and no-code tools. Do you see this happening? If so, how soon? Our featured guests all have thoughtful, interesting responses. I encourage you to check them out at the bottom of each respective feature.
So what exactly does the future hold for front end developers? Only time will tell. But one thing we can be certain of, is that by embracing new tools and having thoughtful conversations about how to improve developer experience, we’re much more likely to end up in a good place.