Front-End Web Developments to Watch in 2016

Front-end Web development is always in flux like most aspects of the tech world. The last few years saw a tidal wave of new technologies and platforms roll in, swallowing up older technologies in its wake.

To get a sense of where the field currently stands, what lies ahead, and what is important to consider for the new year, I asked our our front-end Web team a few key questions.

What’s the state of front-end Web development today?

“It’s very much in a state of (near constant) transition, especially in terms of tools. New JavaScript libraries are getting released on a seemingly weekly basis, which some developers can find overwhelming. It can feel tough to keep up with, but in many ways it’s a reflection that there’s just not a ‘Holy Grail’ library out there that can be all things for all developers.” — John Arnold, Developer

Which front-end Web development technologies are important to pay attention to this year?

“React will continue to gain momentum amongst front-end developers looking for a simple and performant method of DOM manipulation. I also expect we’ll see a resurgence of activity in the Angular community as 2.0 solidifies for release in early 2016.” — Brad Cerasani, Lead Web Designer

What developments can people expect from Angular?

“Angular will likely be talked about a lot in 2016 as version 2.0 nears its official release. Angular has been a widely used MVC all over the Web for a number of years, but v2 has been in extended development and was originally slated to not be backwards compatible. That’s potentially led a lot of people to back off from adopting it in new projects over the past year.” — Arnold

What should front-end Web developers be mindful of this year?

“An increasingly important factor for Web developers to consider in 2016 is the increased use of ad blockers. On both mobile and desktop, these browser plugins not only block display ads, but can also impact JavaScript and other functional elements of Web interfaces. Developers need to consider these impacts and find ways that their apps and sites can degrade gracefully and still remain functional, even when these plugins are in use.” — Tom Carmony, Design Director

What’s your advice for front-end Web developers?

“Definitely try to avoid going all-in on the latest and greatest (trends of the week). It can become an arms race. Especially for younger developers, the urge is always there to leapfrog to whatever is the hot MVC or platform of the moment, sometimes at the expense of really grounding yourself in the basics.” — Carmony

“Make sure you take the time to learn ‘vanilla’ JavaScript, and learn it well, before adding libraries and abstractions on top of it. With a solid foundation in any language you’ll have a much easier time understanding where abstractions add value and where they add complexity, so you can choose the right tool for the job.” — Cerasani

Our partnership with Foundation Capital is an excellent example of what our Web team can do. To learn more about how to leverage the best front-end Web technologies, click here to get in touch.

This article was originally published by Black Pixel. For more insights on Web and mobile development and design, follow Black Pixel on Twitter.

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