Ultra Niche: the future of front end

June 23, 2013 - By

At the end of 2011 I thought I went niche. For many years leading up to that moment I’d worked as a designer / developer. Being a Jack-of-all-trades is fun in that you’re always trying new things, but frustrating as your skills become broader than they are strong. I found myself often thinking of the “man chasing two rabbits” metaphor (spoiler: he catches neither), and longed to become an expert in one area. And so, with tremendous relief I decided to focus on front end development.

It wasn’t long after finding this focus that I realized I was still very much at the mercy of Jack, and all of his trades.

Every single day innovations are made in every area of front end development. I break down “front end work” into four main categories:

  1. HTML
  2. CSS
  3. JavaScript
  4. Assets

These break down sensibly into sub categories; for example jQuery and JSON falling under the JavaScript category, Photoshop skills under Assets etc. Each category is itself a vast discipline.

There is more to Photoshop today than I could ever fit into my brain. The subject of just jQuery goes well beyond what I personally could ever comfortably understand. I quickly realized that my new niche was helping me focus, but only to a point. Front end as a discipline also carries with it a lot of rabbits worthy of chasing!

My prediction for the future: Front end developers will need to find their niche in one of the categories above, or possibly even down into a sub-category! For the time being I’m going to try to maintain my handy status in all of these as best I can, while really focussing on CSS.

If you had to pick now, do you know what your ultra niche would be?!

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This post was written by ArleyM