4 front-end trends worth following

The reality for the front-end developer changes every day and the development happens with lightning speed. In this article, founder of ColdFront Kenneth Auchenberg points to some of the current trends within front-end development.

The renaissance of the web and ‘Progressive Web Apps’

It is not too long ago that the web and its ability were questioned in a world with apps, smartphones, and tablets. And although the web and the web browser were never completely out in the cold, Kevin Auchenberg believes the web has made a comeback.    

“Three years ago at ColdFront, we covered a new term: ‘Progressive Web Apps’. With this, it was possible to use HTML, JavaScript, and CSS when building web applications. This meant that you could build web applications that acted as ‘Native apps’ on the smartphone”.

And since then, the ‘Progressive Web Apps’ have established themselves and shown that they are here to stay. Both Facebook and Google are among those who have embraced them. The knowledge achieved from working with ‘Native Apps’ has been transferred to the approach that is prevailing when you develop intelligent web applications. This gives a reliable and thorough ‘in-app user experience’ which, among others, allows for push notifications, offline functionality, and many other functions we know from traditional apps.    

“The web has proven to be sufficient for building apps. And you don’t necessarily need to build an iOS or an Android app anymore if you can just build a web application,” Kenneth Auchenberg explains.

So, if you, as a front-end developer, has not yet familiarized yourself with Progressive Web Apps, it is most definitely time to do so. 

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

As front-end developer you should especially be oriented about the development within Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

“Some pretty exciting hardware that is reaching people more broadly has started to surface. This also means that the demands for interfaces that align with the new hardware will increase in the nearest future,” Auchenberg tells.  

This entails some new demands for front-end developers. Both in terms of how you should consider UX and UI, but also how you technologically and in relation to the platform support the new hardware which gives you, as a developer, the opportunity to interact with several new sensors and concepts.      

Machine learning – from sketch to code in seconds

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are on everyone’s lips, and the new wave of robots and intelligent software also bring about new possibilities within front-end development.

“The reality today is that you can already use machine learning if you are a front-end developer. It is possible to integrate machine learning into your front-end solutions,” Auchenberg emphasizes.

Therefore, it is encouraged that you stay updated on this area and the new possibilities it brings. As an example of how machine learning is applicable in front-end development, Kenneth Auchenberg points to the startup company UIzard:

“They have built an algorithm that allows them to give a design, a wireframe, or a drawing to their software which, based on the input, then codes and delivers a product in a very short time. Thus, artificial intelligence that codes for you.”

Obviously, this offers new possibilities, but it also raises some fundamental questions. What are the roles of the front-end developer or software developer in the future if the machines suddenly start to code?

You can meet UIzard at this year’s ColdFront conference.   

The tide is turning for React Native

As the development happens with lightning speed, front-end developers see new technologies and platforms on an everyday basis. And one new tendency seems to be a bit of resistance towards the React Native platform.

“We have seen a little bit of a stir up in the front-end community where some of the bigger companies that have used React Native to build their mobile apps have chosen to move away from the platform.”

According to Auchenberg, several large companies are currently moving away from React Native because they have not gotten the support that they needed from Facebook and the React community. Companies see it as a bad investment to have joined the React Native platform, and this will now have consequences. The future will show what these will be, but we already see a company such as Google going after React Native with its rival product Flutter, which was launched earlier this year.         

You can meet Product Manager at Google Flutter at this year’s ColdFront conference.

ColdFront 2018

Since 2014, ColdFront has been the leading front-end conference in Copenhagen. Back in 2014, it was a one-day-conference, but, today, it is three days with speeches from leading influencers, workshops, and much more. ColdFront has a holistic and wide approach to front-end development and a particular focus on exploring future trends, tendencies, and technologies.     

You can read more about the conference here.

about Kenneth Auchenberg

Name: Kenneth Auchenberg

Age: 29

Education: Autodidact

Kenneth Auchenberg belongs to the IT world’s self-taught people and is a self-taught developer with focus on front-end. Kenneth is the founder of ColdFront, but work on an everyday basis as Program Manager at Microsoft in Seattle. He is ‘Global Shaper’ for the World Economic Forum and has a background in startups where he is part of several advisory boards. Kenneth is also an experienced speaker.