Front End Career Questions
August 28, 2021
Recently a junior front end engineer at a startup in Singapore reached out to me to ask me how front end development as a career.
My manager told me that currently it's a bit hard to define requirements & expectations for higher tier / higher Individual Contributor (IC) level for FE engineers in the organization. Since you are working at Facebook, I am wondering what are some requirements & expectations for higher IC level there for FE engineers (maybe around IC4, IC5 and above if that's kinda the level you use there)?
Are you still doing a lot of FE-related development work now? Be it in the company or personally? If yes, I am just curious what are the things you often do, and what do you like in particular about FE development?
I'm still doing a lot of FE development for work. Less in a personal capacity ever since I stopped working on Docusaurus as a side project. You can check out my GitHub to see what stuff I've done. At work I'm in-charge of oculus.com and built the infra for it. I built a design system of React components for the content developers to develop the marketing pages.
Personally, do you have any tips on how best to grow as an FE engineer? Are there any particular areas that you'd recommend?
Learn your fundamentals well. There are many UI and CSS libraries out there, but a good FE developer still needs to know how to build a website without them. Peek beneath the abstraction layers and understand the problems these libraries are trying to solve, do not use them blindly. Keep building stuff - try to build a simple version of the libraries you frequently use, build interesting user interfaces and products, etc.
What do you think about developing breadth-wise vs depth-wise? For example, do you think it's important for a software engineer to know more about other fields besides the end he/she is currently working at? In particular, what do you think about an FE engineer that knows BE (i.e. a full-stack developer), or an FE engineer that knows mobile development (with the advent of React Native or Flutter)?
I somewhat answered this in another blog post. Lemme know if your question isn't answered after reading it.