Why startups hire for the post of web designer, not front-end developer? What does a web designer actually do and how this job role differs from a front-end developer job role in other major organizations? All these differences result in various myths that employers and employees do have for the job roles. And, in this article, I’m going to share what I have learnt and studied from the people working in the industry and my personal experience.
First of all, I would describe a little the job description for each role. A web designer designs mockups, convert these into static HTML version of website. He/She designs related graphics for website. It may include ad-banners, or working on UI-related images or graphics. He uses jQuery plugins from different sources like GitHub, CodeCanyon, etc. He doesn’t have or have a little knowledge of core jQuery library functions. However, skills may vary depending upon candidate’s interest or level of knowledge. While a front-end developer do have sound knowledge of jQuery library functions. However, it doesn’t mandates that he/she’ll write jQuery plugins/functions for each task to be performed, but they do have sound knowledge so they may customize available plugins as per their requirement or can write their own too. And, they don’t do any wireframing or mockup design. They just converts designs into HTML version of website and defines animation, effects, etc. for the website or application. The front-end developers are expert in their work. They understand core details of animation and effects to be defined to keep user engaging by providing them a better experience and ease to use application interface. Clear understanding of detailing and clean n short code makes a front-end developer different from others. Expert front-end developers may design and share with others new themes for different open source platforms, e.g. WordPress, Drupal, Magento, OpenCart, etc. They believe in optimized code with better user engagement methodologies followed.
All these factors make a front-end developer costlier to hire for startups and/or small organizations. On the other hand, web designers are in their budget and can do a lot of work for them including designing mockups, HTML coding, and graphics designing. Since they are not expert in any single activity so they do not care for extreme detailing while front-end developers do.