The Trends of Front-end Development With Netsells Head of Engineering, Becca Anderton

Scott Batchelor

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Front-end development is one of the most rapidly-evolving disciplines in the tech space.

With an engaged community of developers actively working to build and launch innovative new features regularly, there has never been more options for how businesses operate the client-facing side of their business.

We sat down with Becca Anderton, Netsells’ Head of Engineering, to learn more about the trends governing the space, the importance of an evolving front end, and her role in managing and supporting our internal development talent. 

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What Does a Day in the Life of a Head of Engineering Entail?

As cliché as it sounds, there is no typical day in my role. I think that agility and flexibility are both really important, and I’m lucky that I get to work on exciting client-side projects in addition to my role building and supporting Netsells’ fantastic front-end Department.

We’re growing rapidly, so a lot of my time is currently focused on onboarding new additions to the Netsells team. It’s a really exciting time in the front-end department, and I’m extremely pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.

A solid understanding of the culture that underpins Netsells’ offering is crucial to this. Finding people with the right experience is key, but ensuring that they are a good cultural fit for the business is absolutely crucial.   

What Trends Are We Seeing in Front-end Development?

As the pandemic hit we found a lot of businesses frantically scrambling to update themselves and their processes. This is something that our Sales Director Rob spoke about recently in his digital transformation article, explaining how that knee-jerk reactive process can cause major issues to businesses.

I would also say that we had a big influx of ‘classic traders’ who found a necessity for an online presence very early into the pandemic- even if they had survived without one in the past. The pandemic also forced businesses to ramp up velocity and deliver at speed, as those who didn’t innovate quickly were at risk of failing completely.

In terms of tech-specific trends, we’re seeing frequent Javascript updates that bring new features and security measures to existing frameworks on an almost-daily basis. It’s incredibly exciting to think about the ways that JS will continue to evolve over the coming months and years.

All in all, front-end dev has never been a more exciting discipline to work in. There are lots of things happening and a whole lot more in the pipeline!

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Why is an Evolving Front-end Important?

Back in the old days, front-end development was very simple. HTML, CSS and a few script tags that manage some very vanilla Javascript to create very basic, visually simple websites. 

Times have changed, and we now have frameworks like Vue, which make creating and adding dynamic elements and creating intricate and exciting web applications much easier.

These frameworks have huge community buy-in, which means they evolve rapidly. Dedicated teams work full-time to improve the frameworks, adding new features that improve the existing feature set, security measures and overall flexibility of the platforms.

For example, we now have Vue 3, but we still see sites built using Vue 1, which is inherently out of date because front-end development changes so quickly. 

However, you have to remember that for many businesses the front end is the product from the perspective of the end-user, for e-commerce websites, it is their only way of making money and for P2P applications it is the only way of connecting the two Ps.

Although changes can be frequent, an evolving front-end is absolutely crucial in ensuring that your project stays relevant and competitive amidst a changing web landscape. For this reason, it is important to work with a partner that is able to understand and advise on the state of the front end and will make necessary changes as they arise.

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