“Frontend without pain!” is a guide that aims to help developers learn how to cope with the routine and enjoy their work. It's written in Russian but I have plans on translating it in English too. In this post, I want to share how the idea came about and why this project was important to me.
This guide contains common struggles for frontend developers and my experience of overcoming these issues. I, too, thought that it was very difficult to find a common language with designers, or to explain something to managers, or that it was easier to rewrite the frontend than to talk to the backend. But as time went by I became smarter and realized that it wasn't about the team, but about my attitude to the situation and problems.
I changed my attitude and found solutions to issues. I stopped taking criticism personally—instead, I saw useful comments. I began to improve my negotiating skills and learned how to discuss frontend obstacles in a language other people could understand. And so on.
This seemed not enough, because now I found myself on the other side: I saw other frontend developers had the same problems. I had an experience of how to start working without that stress. I wanted to share it, but I didn't know how.
In February 2017, Konstantin wrote to me with the idea of doing a public talk for developers about understanding designers. We wanted to show that developers often fall down on technology, miss important things and misinterpret designers and vice versa. It would be cool if everyone worked together and understood each other, we thought.
At first we were thinking in terms of a lecture or a public talk, so that the audience could ask questions directly. We started working on that, I outlined the first drafts of the text and slides, but something just wasn't right.
There seemed to be too much material, it was hard to formulate ideas. It was even unclear how to begin the talk. We decided to do a mailing instead. You can edit it as you go along, based on the feedback, and ask in the letters what you would like to talk about next. I started working on the newsletter, and I did the first half of the first letter.
After that, I decided once again to think about the purpose of the idea of reaching out to more developers. Mailing lists, lectures, and public talks are a good tool but not for this. You have to subscribe to the mailing list or go to a conference to listen to the talk. Articles, however, have a potentially larger audience because they are easier to read and distribute. And the greater the reach, the more people they can help.
The guide went viral on social networks, Forweb and Webstandards wrote about it and was discussed in a couple of podcasts. Apparently, the developers liked it too. We even received a few thank you letters, hopefully it really helped someone.