Developers in the mist

By Tim Wiffen, Back-end Developer
26/09/2017

Zoologist, Dian Fossey, famously portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, studied the little-known habits of mountain gorillas for 18 years. From the outside looking in, the world of web development can seem just as obscure. Allow me to clear the mist on what we do.

Web development is generally split into two disciplines: front-end and back-end. Picture your perfect car. The design and how you interact with the car is the front-end. The engine and other internal parts are the back-end.

Most of us would agree a website isn’t as exciting and beautiful as a Ferrari LaFerrari but writing great code is an art. Like a sports car, a website needs to look fantastic and of course, go super-fast. Part of a web developer’s job is to deliver a product that meets these criteria.

Speed makes a huge impact on user experience. In a study on website performance, 47% of consumers expected a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% abandoned a website that took more than 3 seconds to load. That means if an e-commerce company is making £10,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could cost them £255,550 in sales a year. Google has weighed in on the issue too. Last year, they decided that page speed will be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index.

One of the main problems facing web developers is making a site fast, whilst still having all the bells and whistles that give the user a pleasing experience. The two are often contrasting factors and a compromise has to be found. There are numerous tricks and tools that can be implemented but the speed at which web technology moves on means that choosing the wrong software can hinder future development, costing time and money. We have to tread very carefully.

Developers are essentially problem-solvers. There are usually many ways to solve a problem. The key is finding the very best solution. Yes, we stare at code all day and it may look very confusing but writing great code has the potential to make or break a company. That’s why we’re all dedicated to the cause.

Let's turn heads steal hearts change minds hold hands raise eyebrows open eyes kick arse dance