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'Front-end', 'Frontend', or 'Front End' Developer?

over 5 years ago from , Web Dood @ mattsoria.com

Which one do you use or prefer?

Does it differ depending on whether you're referring to someone's title ("I'm a Front-end Developer") or the practice ("I do a lot of front-end development")?

I'm working on a site that is a resource for new front-enders (I prefer front-end) and I want to be consistent in the terminology I use, but I see all three written all over the place.

25 comments

  • Updula LeeUpdula Lee, over 5 years ago

    "Front-end" is accurate.

    22 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 5 years ago

    "Fr0n7-3n|)"

    6 points
  • Katie HarronKatie Harron, over 5 years ago

    I prefer Front-End :)

    6 points
  • Chris Howard, over 5 years ago

    Intriguing.

    Split adjective and noun: "We want you to work on the front end"

    Noun "We want you to work on the frontend"

    Compound adjective: "I got a job as a front-end developer!"

    Adjective "I got a job as a frontend developer!

    Generally words like this start as two, then become hyphenated, then eventually become one word. At this point in time, I don't think "frontend" has reached that conclusive point. It's still in flux.

    If you are using "front end" to describe that part of the system, then you'd use either "front end" or "frontend", but not "front-end"

    If you are using it to describe what type of developer you are... well, all three are ok, but "front-end" is probably the correct usage then.

    The Grammar Handbook says:

    "Rule 1. Generally, hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun they modify and act as a single idea. This is called a compound adjective."

    http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/hyphens.asp

    Eventually though, if the term stays around, "frontend" will become the normal usage both as noun and adjective. (And verb too! We already use backend as a verb.)

    4 points
    • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 5 years ago

      Wow, this is the most thorough and level-headed response I've seen anywhere! Thanks a ton! I think you're right that eventually it will become common use enough that the hyphen gets dropped. Interesting how language works :)

      Thanks a ton Chris!

      0 points
  • Dan RowdenDan Rowden, over 5 years ago

    Language-wise, "front-end" is correct. It is a compound adjective.

    4 points
    • Matt Soria, over 5 years ago

      This was just pointed out to me by someone else, which being in the "front-end" camp makes me happy, though I think at this point it might be more about what is most widely accepted as the "right" one rather than the "correct" one (and even still that seems to be up in the air so ahh whatever, might as well go with the grammatically correct one, right?).

      0 points
      • Dan RowdenDan Rowden, over 5 years ago

        If there is ambiguity, to help ourselves out we should aim for the correct one.

        2 points
        • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 5 years ago

          Yeah, you're probably right. I'm no ace with language, so others have pointed out that the correct way to use it is "Front-end" if used as an adjective (as in to describe the type of developer/ment: "Front-end Developer") and "front end" if used as a noun (as in "I am working on the front end"). It seems to be the way most, or at least as many, people write it, so I'll stick to this. Thanks!

          0 points
  • Stefano FoisStefano Fois, over 5 years ago

    Front-end for me . this question is shared we can make a poll. :)

    2 points
  • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, over 5 years ago

    "Front-end". Multi-word adjectives in English are hyphenated.

    1 point
  • George ChenGeorge Chen, over 5 years ago

    At work, we have "front-end" and "back-end" development teams. Ops (server etc) is the third team.

    1 point
  • Liz TLiz T, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    I made a poll for this question on Show of Hands (Share if you would like) - http://bit.ly/1IWXyhr

    1 point
  • David DarnesDavid Darnes, over 5 years ago

    Asked the same question on Twitter, the resulting answer was "Front-end".

    1 point
  • Marcel Turi, over 5 years ago

    I'd side with Wikipedia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_end_development

    1 point
    • Matt Soria, over 5 years ago

      True, but the source of that is just an article from Treehouse in which they themselves switch back and forth between "front end" and "frontend".

      What I'm finding so far is that it's pretty much all over the board, but any usage is pretty much accepted and understood, so I think I might end up just sticking with my personal flavor of "front-end".

      Someone pointed me to this article which is a pretty darn thorough inspection of each of the uses, and the conclusion is that currently (or at least in 2013) "front end" and "front-end" are both used equally across the web, and both are used more so than "frontend", but it also predicts a rise in the use of "frontend".

      Wow I feel silly for going this in-depth about it. I guess what I found out is that it just doesn't really matter — thanks for the input though! :)

      2 points
  • Rebecca Bennett, over 2 years ago

    The phrase which you were given is looking similar but it is very different. A terminology "I'm a Front-end Developer" it clearly shows that he/she has knowledge about front end web development and still working! Another terminology "I do a lot of front-end development" that showing he/she has done so many works in those particular web development and has a wide experience. https://hireangulardeveloperindia.com

    0 points
  • Travis VocinoTravis Vocino, over 5 years ago

    How about "Programmer?"

    0 points
    • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, over 5 years ago

      Programmer is fine, but I think for my purposes I need something a little more specific since I'm trying to target a specific type of programmer that works with client-side (hey, is it "client-side" or "client side" (jk)) web languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In this case just using the word "programmer" doesn't really explain what the resource will cover well enough.

      0 points
  • Mark Horgan, over 5 years ago

    I think the word front-end has been misappropriated. In n-tier architecture front-end refers to the part of the application that interacts with the user, it can include client-side and server-side code. Back-end refers to the business logic that the front-end application interacts with. You mostly find this architecture in large enterprises. To me client-side is more correct - i.e. code that runs on the client/browser.

    0 points
  • Nick NobleNick Noble, over 5 years ago

    I say front end. It makes sense to me and hyphens can be awkward.

    0 points