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I'm a senior FE engineer in Singapore, been doing FE since 2000, here's what I think:

1. Job descriptions and interviews now are skewed towards "full-stack" or backend. Most interviews are lacking or outdated due to the fast and volatile nature of FE.

2. Literally no career progression if you're specialised in FE. Most BE or "full-stack" devs will be given a chance to become principal engineers, tech leads, engineering managers, CTOs, etc. I've seen folks with "FE Team Lead" titles but never goes beyond that.

3. FE is a subconsciously looked-down field. Neither a designer nor an engineer. Product/design team won't involve you in meetings (but will treat you like a code monkey). BE/"full-stack"/API engineers will think your job is easy and keep throwing business logic stuff to FE.

I've done backend/systems development work for over a decade.

Front end is a world of pain I want no part of. Regardless of how the system is skewed, I appreciate your specialty.

Do drop me an email if you want some interesting work. We're hiring lots of senior FE in Southeast Asia, and we involve the engineers in design/product meetings :)

I would be interested to have a chat with you about these FE opportunities. My email is pranitsh at gmail

Wouldn't "full-stack" engineers be coding the frontend themselves?

Sounds like some of this strife and frustration and criticisms being levied has more to do with organization / management vs why there aren't as many senior FE developers as compared to other specializations. I doubt the situation at your organization is the same everywhere.

I’m full stack (infra, backend applications, mobile and web ui applications) engineer and I consider myself proficient in all of those things although my infra knowledge would be weakest since I’ve only been doing that in the last year or so.

IME most full stack people only know backend application development well, and the rest is knowing that the UI applications will make requests to the backend applications. Most self proclaimed full stack folks (again, IME) don’t know JavaScript well enough to build something good, and hardly anyone knows native application development. The only reason they call themselves full stack is they maybe used jquery a decade ago or have pressed F12 to see what happened in the network tab. Again, just my experience.

I take anyone who claims to be full stack at face value. More often than not, they’re not as full stack as they imagine they are. UI development is in my opinion much more involved than backend application development. Most paradigms on the backend have not changed in years, and most problems save database seem to be the same and already solved.

Yeah, "full-stack" does front-end too. Though from my observation it's more like 80% BE, 20% FE. Generally they spend more time working on FE tasks than specialised ones as FE becomes so, so complicated.

I've personally seen many (junior) FE engineers decide to switch to BE, "full-stack", data or devops (or even design) because of how messy FE can get.

I know it's a lot of things (organization, management, people issues, expectations, etc) and this is basically just what I observe in Singapore. Could be different in other cities/countries.

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