Bitnoise_ build solid products
Published on 25 Aug 2020

How to find and hire front-end engineers?

Łukasz

# 1: Front-end evolution, from ajax and prototype, through jquery and MooTools, to AngularJs and React.

lista logotypów technologii

The internet we don’t remember anymore

Bitnoise as a software house took off in a different era of the internet, and over the years technologies have turned upside down at least several times. In 2008/2009, the separate role of the front-end developer practically has not existed, and each developer in our growing team approached problems comprehensively.

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Most people, who have been with us since then, remember that tasks or user stories were not split up because of the front-end/back-end but because of the context. The developer creating a specific functional module was responsible for the preparation of data structures in the database, preparation of business logic on the server-side and for sending an adequately formatted HTML template straight from the server.

These were the years of frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Symfony 1.x, CakePHP or Django. We were pursuing clean code, good software development patterns and creating projects that can be maintained for years. On the one hand, it resulted in excellent quality projects as a whole, and on the other hand, a growing distaste and frustration for the lack of neat structures in JavaScript.

It was the time of the domination of the idea to display the first view directly from the server and rebuild all smaller or larger changes within the available view using the AJAX protocol. We also very quickly made friends with the popularising Prototype library.

Browsers are booming

The growing possibilities of web browsers and the overwhelming customer requirements regarding application dynamics, animation and smooth interfaces forced us to look for new solutions. We got stuck in a moment where we had great quality code on the server-side, covered with tests, written in line with the domain-driven design idea, and spaghetti-code in JavaScript.

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In our search, we followed the path of jQuery fascination — we quickly saw an opportunity to write plugins that gave some form of modularization and tried to bring a substitute for the DRY idea to the UI layer. We also worked on large and heavy projects based on MooTools, in which the idea of ​​classes analogous to the known back-end code was easy to adapt and allowed us to bring known and liked patterns from the back-end to the front-end.

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A milestone in our organization was the appearance of Backbone and Marionette — these were the first moments when we began to efficiently transfer the burden of business logic to the front-end in a structured way. It was the moment in the team when people specialized in front-end, and JavaScript has started to emerge naturally. Our UI code has finally begun to bear the hallmarks of quality.

Finally, we are ready for a front-end engineer!

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Next, there was an avalanche of events. The popularization of mobile devices forced us to change our thinking about CSS styles. In no time we’ve adopted LESS, then SASS and the modularization of styles. The growing need to separate front-end from the back-end has caused a change in thinking about applications as a monolith. New projects began to emerge in the form of a separate API and one or more front-end applications.

Our first jump in SPA was Angularjs 1. * you can say many things about it, but this framework showed us how good quality code can be written in javascript and how to create large and easy-to-maintain applications based 100% on the idea of ​​a full-fledged application in the browser, which only asks the server as needed.

This is also a moment in our history when a new role grows in Bitnoise: front-end developer or JavaScript developer. We were at a time when one person was no longer able to maintain and develop applications on both: the server-side and the browser/smartphone side. Interestingly, our teams still have people with full-stack competencies, and each of them has walked with us from the server to the browser.

Where are we currently with our technology stack?

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Over the years, we have managed to develop patterns and standards, drawing handfuls from our experience on the server-side. It’s hard to talk about the finished process because browsers and devices change so rapidly that we have to keep our finger on the pulse and analyze trends all the time.

next time:

So what is our difficulty in employing a good front-end developer in 2020? Case is simple if the team is joined by a person who has encountered other technologies in his work so far, who worked in the full spectrum of application development. The problem began when we’re talking with a programmer whose tech stack is only JavaScript or even worse — on a specific framework such as React or Angular, but I will talk about it in the next part.

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