Modern Front End: React, GraphQL, VR, WebAssembly with Adam Conrad

Ten years ago, there was a distinction between “backend” and “frontend” developers. A backend developer would be managing the business logic and database transactions using Ruby on Rails or Java. A frontend developer would be responsible for implementing designs and arranging buttons using raw HTML and JavaScript.

Today, developers can build entire applications in JavaScript. Developers who spent their early career developing frontend JavaScript skills are finding themselves with a surprising amount of power. With NodeJS providing a backend framework and React, Vue, or Angular on the frontend, a single JavaScript developer can write all the code for a whole application—hence the rise of the “full stack developer”.

At the same time, the cloud infrastructure is becoming easier to use. Backend-as-a-service simplifies the frustrations of deploying your application, and standing up a database. GraphQL improves the relationship between the frontend and the backend. And futuristic technologies like WebAssembly and web virtual reality are promising to make a JavaScript engineer’s life even more interesting.

Adam Conrad is an engineer and a writer for Software Engineering Daily. In recent articles, he has documented the changing nature of the frontend, including JavaScript engines, virtual reality, and how mature corporations are using React and GraphQL. He joins the show to share his perspective on what is changing in the frontend—and how full stack JavaScript engineers can position themselves for future success in a quickly changing market.

Transcript

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