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10 “Must-have” skills for Front-End Developers

May 19th, 2009

I try to be a good netizen. Really I do. I know it’s not nice to trash a fellow blogger. However, a recent article by a well-meaning individual, [Update: name and link removed], is driving me crazy! I can’t just let this article go unchallenged.

The title of his article is 10 “Nice-To-Have” Skills for Front-End Developers. He starts out with this:

…since front-end coders are a dime-a-dozen these days, it pays to have experience, or, at least, rudimentary knowledge, in a number of other technologies that often don’t get listed under “mandatory” skills for a front-end position.

He then goes on to name 10 “Nice-To-Have” skills that, in my opinion, are way off base. Each of them is either a “must have” skill or a “dime-a-dozen” skill! One of the commenters hit the proverbial nail on the head:

If you don’t have these [skills], you’re not a “developer”, you’re a rank amateur.

I couldn’t agree more with the commenter. Maybe it’s because he used the term “developer”? If he wrote “UI designer”, I might not disagree. However, he uses both “front-end developer” and “front-end coder”, which to me are only a shade of gray from “front-end engineer” (the most seriously dedicated of the three).

So, anyway, if you’re a front-end engineer/developer/coder and if you’re sincerely interested in elevating your career, salary, and job satisfaction, you’ll heed my advice, not that other blogger’s. Below, I’ve listed each of his points. I’ll explain why he’s dead wrong and which must have skills you should be focusing on instead:
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