”The Front-end developer has become more established"

In recent years, the front-end developer has become a more coveted race. And the role itself along with the way it is seen in the industry have gone through big changes. Here, founder of ColdFront Kenneth Auchenberg tells how he has experienced the development of the role, and what new challenges the front-end developer is facing today.

The front-end developer has found its place

In the beginning of November, Kenneth Auchenberg and co. open the doors to ColdFront, Copenhagen’s leading front-end conference, which will – for the fifth year in a row – focus on front-end development. And during the years of the conference’s existence, front-end development and especially the front-end developer role has been under rapid change.  

“The last couple of years, the role as front-end developer has become more established and acknowledged in the industry,” Auchenberg says.  

“Five or seven years ago, most people didn't consider the front-end part as a separate discipline, but more as something you would attend to since you were already developing. That is not how it is anymore.”

Increasing demands for user experience and an understanding of the way services work across devices have naturally upped the demands for front-end developers’ competences. According to Auchenberg, there has been a ripen of the line of business, in which you have become more aware of how to handle specific challenges and deliver noticeable value to the development.

The front-end developer should be technologically agnostic

The modern front-end developer has to be able to build experiences across platforms and devices. Years ago, you were either mobile developer or web developer, but, today, the line between the two is fading – now, you are a front-end developer. And in this fast-paced line of business, new platforms and technologies that you need to keep track of constantly emerge. As a front-end developer, this means that you have to be able to joggle a lot of different platforms and technologies, but, most importantly, make sure you do not devote yourself to one or two specific platforms or technologies.

“New platforms and technologies keep emerging and this also means new possibilities. Therefore, as front-end developers, we cannot be religious in our choice of technology because then we lose track of all the new possibilities that keep coming up,” Kenneth Auchenberg elaborates. 

Ethics for developers

As the new role ripens, new challenges arise and more things are questioned. One of the present tendencies revolves around the ethical responsibility and considerations that you have to have as a developer. Kenneth Auchenberg explains:

“As developers, we have a responsibility in relation to the kind of technology we build, and the way it is used. How do you position yourself in a world that is dominated by Facebook, privacy, GDPR, machine learning, etc. and what ethical choices and considerations do you face?”

According to Auchenberg, this is a discussion and a debate that are gaining ground in the line of business. In the developer circle, there is an increasing consciousness about the effect that new technologies and solutions have on the surroundings and the role you play in the development of these. That is also why ColdFront focusses on this particular topic with two presentations at this year’s conference.  

ColdFront 2018

Since 2014, ColdFront has been the leading front-end conference in Copenhagen. Back in 2014, it was a one-day-conference, but, today, it is three days with speeches from leading influencers, workshops, and much more. ColdFront has a holistic and wide approach to front-end development and a particular focus on exploring future trends, tendencies, and technologies.

You can read more about the conference here.

About Kenneth Auchenberg

Name: Kenneth Auchenberg

Age: 29

Education: Autodidact

Kenneth Auchenberg belongs to the IT world’s self-taught people and is a self-taught developer with focus on front-end. Kenneth is the founder of ColdFront, but work on an everyday basis as Program Manager at Microsoft in Seattle. He is ‘Global Shaper’ for the World Economic Forum and has a background in startups where he is part of several advisory boards. Kenneth is also an experienced speaker.