Fostering Better Communication Between Back-End and Front-End Developers
Front-end and back-end devs often work together on projects, but don't always speak the same language. Here are some tips on how to improve your team's communication.
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Back-end developers and front-end designers frequently collaborate on complex web projects. They often encounter communication problems that hinder their ability to work together. It's important to eliminate these communication barriers to ensure the team’s success.
Here are some ways front-end and back-end professionals can interact more effectively.
Use More Well-Rounded Project Manager
The web development profession evolved as developers were pigeonholed into very specialized roles. While there is a strong case for specialized skill sets, this has come at a price. Many professionals are so specialized that they can't communicate clearly with colleagues with other areas of focus.
Many back-end developers have started expanding their competencies to become proficient in front-end development. However, they still focus on a specific discipline.
The most well-rounded developers are best suited for project management roles. They can easily relay information between front-end and back-end and developers since they are fluent in the terminology all web professionals use.
Make Sure the Project Priorities Are Clearly Outlined
Every member of the team has a different role, but they must understand how their tasks contribute to the overall project. All project priorities and goals must be clearly communicated. If a new brand focuses on helping brands buy Instagram views, each member needs to keep that in mind while handling their work. They must redirect their team members if they deviate from project specifications.
Shift to a Component Based Development Process
The easiest way to help developers with different roles communicate is to minimize the need to use terminology specific to their own discipline. Following a component-based development approach is the easiest way to do so.
How does this approach differ from traditional development practices? Rather than having the entire team collaborate on every web page or property, different team members are assigned to focus on creating specific modules. Back-end developers create components that their team members can integrate into other elements of the project.
This curtails the need for front-end and back-end developers to speak each other's language. They can simply reference individual components and their functionality. Back-end developers can recommend the best component for a given problem without having to delve into terminology that is foreign to their front-end counterparts.
Have a Clear Design/Development Framework in Place
Front-end and back-end developers can avoid many otherwise inevitable misunderstandings by establishing a clear design/development framework ahead of time. There are a number of existing web frameworks your team can use as a starting point.
Django is ideal for developers that need to rapidly deploy new solutions. Django proudly brands itself as: “a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Built by experienced developers, it takes care of much of the hassle of Web development, so you can focus on writing your app without needing to reinvent the wheel.”
Balsamiq is another framework that enables developers to quickly create and modify new code. Balsamiq has a very robust user interface library. Open-source developers can easily build on the existing library by adding new modules over time.
Encourage Team Members to Follow Best Coding Practices
All professions have uniform standards to minimize confusion. The development profession is no exception. Programmers have always been encouraged to follow certain coding practices to ensure their colleagues can easily debug, compile, and edit their code.
Following these standards is even more important when exchanging code between front-end and back-end developers. While it is unusual for them to actually modify each other’s code at the top-level, they need to be able to follow it clearly when such situations arise. The most important convention they must get used to is writing extensive, clear comments to make sure other coders follow their thought process.
While delivering a presentation to the team members, project managers can communicate their ideas clearly by using a Work Breakdown Structure diagram. Based in the Divide and Conquer principle, the project milestones can be decomposed into smaller activities and their deliverables. This helps toward organizing the team's work into manageable pieces. Instead of re-inventing the wheel designing a Work Breakdown Structure diagram, there are several useful PowerPoint templates available online for presentations on software development.
Fostering Good Communication Between Developers and Coders is Crucial
Front-end and back-end developers work closely on many projects and often run into communication problems that could be more easily avoided. Finding ways to improve communications between them is imperative.
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