Make sure you watch Nate Koechley’s excellent talk on Front-End Engineering (via Chris Heilmann). A lot of executives think it is only about the “Look and Feel”. I hope they will watch this and realize the underlying engineering objective.
From the transcript, Nate nicely defines front-end engineering:
Another way to think about it is that frontend engineers tell browsers what to do. We’d all love it if that were easier, but there’s such a diversity of browsers, and browser capabilities, that figuring out how to instruct them to do what we want, is our job. An even simpler answer might be to say we’re responsible for “view source”. So, regardless of how your organization or your team is structured, the frontend engineer is responsible for everything that gets sent over the wire to the user’s browser. So if you “view source” on any page, everything you see there is the result of decisions made by frontend engineers.
Nate talks about the Web’s history and evolution, and covers everything from to objectives to techniques to technology. So if you are even in the periphery of any Web front-end work, this talk is for you.