One thing I occasionally come across in the developer community, and which really bother me, is that, we developers sometimes look down on each other. We think less of our colleagues who's work are different than ours. We think their work is insignificant. That’s is to say, we think less of developers who maybe of a different kind than ours.

Front-end developers for example, think less of UI/UX designers. Who needs someone to design when we can easily do it in HTML and CSS ourselves? Back-end developers think less of Front-end developers. HTML and CSS is easy stuff, we could have done it ourselves, they say. The cycle continues, each deeming the work of the other as insignificant.

The bedrock of this mentality–of looking down upon each other–boils down to this one simple point: Their works is easy and doesn’t require a specialist to carry them out. But is the reality so?

Front-end developers look down on UI/UX designers, thinking that designing stuff is easy. The process of designing a good product, however, is a matter involving much complexity than what front-end developers imagine. It takes considerable amount of research to design a good product. From the usability concerns to identify the user’s psychology and behavior, to meeting business goals; designing is much more than drag-and-dropping shapes and filling it with fancy colors.

And front-end development isn’t just about creating simple HTML tags and sprinkling it with a bit of CSS, as flimsy imaginations of back-end developers might make them believe. They think HTML and CSS (and JavaScript not excluded) is easy, so much so that they could have done it right straight away, without any prior experience. Such a fantasy might be true back in the simple days of the web. But today, it’s nothing more than whimsical imaginations, which they will realize only after when they sit down to actually try it.

Front-end development and web in particular, has grown exponentially since its founding. It’s no longer simple HTML tags coupled with few CSS. There are other things you have to deal with, semantics, creating layout (with flexbox), dealing with animations, browser inconsistencies, etc... You have to consider the adaptability of the website across devices and screen sizes. More recently, it has seen the rise of new frameworks such as React, Vue and Angular, that lead to the birth of Single Page Application or SPA, which in turn redefined the whole web experience. Also to mention are accessibility concerns and speed optimizations. These doesn't sound “very simple” to you, does it?

The main reason, I think, that we look down on each other is that we don’t fully grasp the nature of the work done by the other. We are simply clueless when it comes to their actual work and what it involves. So we simply base it on our imaginations and assumptions. (Not that the case is such in all circumstances)

We should remember that the developer community is made up of developers of various backgrounds, collaborating and working together as a team. UI/UX designer, front-end developers, back-end developers, database developers...python developers, PHP developers..., they all work side-by-side. Developing isn’t a one man’s show, hardly anything is. And in that, everyone's work is significant and important.