B1O2 From a Frontend Developer

Frontend Developer
more than just code

At Irish Titan, the term “Business First. Online Second.” looms large over everything we do. It’s more than words on a page; it’s our philosophy and our purpose. But what does “Business First. Online Second.” (or B1O2) actually mean? Well, here’s one way to describe it.


We get to know your business, we get to know you, and most importantly, we work with you to eliminate the mystery typically shrouding the interwebs.


We believe B1O2 is a concept that separates our company from a lot of others. Okay, now that we’ve got that cleared up, what the heck is a frontend developer?


A frontend developer at Irish Titan is somewhat like the glue between a website’s design and the backend business logic part of the site. We take the design and recreate it programmatically using tools such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In other cases, such as when we use content management systems like Drupal or WordPress, we will be the ones that configure it to make managing the site easier for an average computer user. There’s a lot more to our jobs than that, but that’s all you need for this topic.


So how does this affect me, and what I do, as a frontend developer? I’ve thought about this a lot since joining Irish Titan because I’ve never seen an agency use a business model so client-focused. I’ve broken it down into a few ways:


It’s not just a website

The project management and creative teams go through extensive research and planning with the clients to create the best plans for a website. So much that it is no longer just a website, but a key component of the business. In ecommerce, it’s even bigger than that.


When the designs and plans are sent to the development team, we need to have the mindset that every detail counts. Every decision we make and every line of code we write has to reflect the business and the plan that we created. Most developers will admit to how difficult that concept is to uphold, considering we’re writing tens of thousands of lines of code and markup per project. Having an understanding that the business comes before the website while building it will lead to better results every time.


Educating Ourselves

It’s very easy to fall behind in the constant evolution of the technologies we work with. However, in order to offer the best results, we have to continually educate ourselves.


Earlier I mentioned some of the tools and software that we use to do our job. There is no college degree on the planet that can teach the entirety of any of these. The basics, yes, but after that it’s our job to learn. The reason is because, like most things in the world of technology, it’s quickly and constantly evolving. The technology is also expanding beyond its original purpose. For example, JavaScript was made to handle simple web page interactions and has since grown into one of the most powerful languages in the industry. Nobody could have predicted that. CSS was created so that we could change font colors and add design elements to web content. Now it controls the entire look and feel of websites no matter what device you’re using.


The quality of the work that we deliver for these businesses greatly depends on our ability to keep up with all of these technologies and any new ones that come along.


Educating Each Other

Every frontend developer is different -- their education, their style, and their area of focus. As a team, collaboration is extremely important to our overall success. And let’s be honest, the constant education I referred to above would be a lot more intimidating if we had to do it all on our own. At Irish Titan, our Slack channels have a pretty consistent flow of questions, answers and discussions that allow for excellent collaboration. In the office, we have an open layout as well as secondary work areas that make it easy for us to work together. Because of the environment created for us, we’re constantly using our individual strengths to educate and inform each other, and this reflects positively on the work we do.


Educating The Client

Most businesses don’t have anybody on their staff who fully understands web development, which is why they ultimately hire a company like Irish Titan. It’s up to us not only to make sure they remain informed during the elaboration and design phase, but throughout and beyond the construction. Changes are inevitable and while the client understands their business, they don’t always know the best way to implement it into a website. Our obligation isn’t to do whatever the client wants. It’s to listen to what they want and work out the best course of implementation. Most of the time, the client respects this approach, but sometimes it’s not so easy. If we, as developers, add something to a website that goes against the best practices, that is our failure to educate the client.


In conclusion, “Business First” isn’t just relevant at the beginning of our projects, it’s instilled into every line of code we write, every new technology we learn, and every client meeting we’re in.