Front-End Integration with Back End

February 2nd 2016

Computers are easy, people are hard. Computers are binary, yes or no, people not so much, they are complicated, interesting and require patience. Ultimately more rewarding to engage with.

Low Hanging Fruit

I am going to approach this writing the same way I do a project, tackle the low hanging fruit first. As I said computers are easy, so that's the low hanging fruit. How do we address integration on the technology side? The simple answer is do what we do to the best of our ability. Create as bullet proof HTML, CSS and JavaScript as possible. Research, test and retest. Use what we know will solve the problem not always the latest thing all the cool kids are playing with. I am not saying we use image replacement, flash or any other out dated technique. But, sometimes we have to do what works not always what is the cutting edge or flavor of week. When the tried and true won't work or its just time to move on: research. Compare the information gathered to the usage stats from the sites analytics. If for example you want to use CSS3 column layout, and your stats have less than 2% usage of IE9, first see if the client is ok with the content in one column for IE9. If not, come up with a plan to use column layout and a IE9 fall back.

Computers are Easy People are Hard

People are hard

Hard to understand, hard to agree with on everything. But we often understand and agree on many things or even a few things. Start there, with commonalities. We are all people and we are all trying to the deliver a finished product that works and that we all can be proud of.

The most important part of dealing with people is communication. Communication, is the key to trust, understanding and productivity.

How best to communicate: A common language is important, at the start of a project create a simple glossary of words. For example what is a competent? Define what “component” means to each team member and come to common understanding then use the word within that definition moving forward.

When you have spoken to a person, follow up that discussion with written summary of what was agreed to. If there isn’t time for conversation a well thought email is fine. I personally feel talking to someone is the best rout as it reminds us all that we are dealing with people and not just a screen and keyboard.

Patience and Perseverance

We have spent thousands of hours honing our skills, its second nature to us, we know our stuff. The backend developers have done the same in their area. It will be frustrating at times, we have to remain vigilant, focused and determined to deliver the best product we can.