What are your biggest challenges as a front-end web developer?

Becoming a web developer is challenging. Either you’re self-taught or a degree holder both have to endure struggles on reading and understanding theories to apply them. Series of continuous cycles of failure to go through before having a successful page that would satisfy clients.

But the challenges does not stop there. Even if you are the best front-end web developer you think you are, challenges, struggles are still out there. To name some of them, I’ve gathered some answers given by professional web developers around the world.

Here are the following:

  • Coding Javascript in a robust way. Backend software is evolved and it’s relatively easy to create good, maintainable code there, using MVC and mature CMS’s. With Javascript, I wouldn’t say that it’s as easy, since applications haven’t been as Javascript-intense as they are now for more than half a decade. You need to put more effort into making sure all Javascript is working in all browsers and that new code is written and placed in a maintainable way.
  • Keeping a good balance between long term and short term design desitions. Too short, and the code will break apart upon your next change. Too long, your team wont be agile enough.
  • Communicate key design concepts, best practices and library usage throughout the team. With too little freedom, people will get bored and do a bad job. With too much freedom people will create clusters of good code that doesn’t work well together. I don’t want a cathedral nor a bazaar.
  • Balancing automated testing. Test too much, you spend time building tests. Test too little, stuff will break in production.
  • Balancing iteration time between major framework upgrades.
  • Getting people to understand MVC, for all the obvious reasons.
  • Communicating SEO concepts, both to editors and developers.
  • Keeping sites easy to maintain for editors. If the site isn’t easy to maintain for editors, it really doesn’t matter how good your code is. A site needs to be easy and fun to update and keep current.
  • Making sure things look the same across all versions of Internet Explorer as they look in other browsers.
  • Making sure every UI element (button, navigation, link) work as intended whether or not the user has JavaScript or cookies disabled (technology-independant development).
  • Should I choose to use the current web browser standards and technologies (think HTML5 and CSS3), providing negative user experience in older browsers, that haven’t adopted this technology yet, or use images and other “tricky” methods to achieve the same results, sacrificing page loading time and modern standards standards.
  • HTML tables
  • Debugging JavaScript code (for performance or errors, especially if it’s minified)
  • Managing client expectations.
  • Educating the client.
  • Preventing scope creep.
  • Client insecurities/fears.

To know more about current challenges faced by different web developers you can join their conversation at Quora: “What are your biggest challenges as a front-end web developer?”

If you have somethings you want to add on, feel free to comment or send me an email of your biggest challenges as a front-end web develop. Thanks.