ClojureScript and its multiparadigm approach (with an emphasis on functional programming) may sound esoteric to some front-end developers. But it’s amazing to work with, and getting started with it is far simpler than one might imagine. In this tutorial, Toptal Freelance Clojure Developer Luke Tomlin shows off some key features, getting straight into a React demo using Reagent and the Hiccup syntax.Continue reading →
There’s no question that user experience is impacted by perceived load times. With today’s heavier front ends, client-side rendering doesn’t feel very fast. In this article, Toptal Freelance Front-end Developer Guillaume Breux compares client-side, server-side, and pre-rendering strategies to help you choose the best option for your own app.Continue reading →
Elm is a purely functional, strongly typed, reactive, and event-driven web client language. It takes a step back from the norms and really changes the way you reason about and program web application front-ends.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Vuk Djapic takes you through the exotic concepts of Elm and its pros and cons in real world use.Continue reading →
When it comes to theming; that is, changing the look and feel of your website while maintaining the same layout, Sass’ features—like mixins or functions—can feel like taking a plane instead of walking! In this tutorial on SCSS, we’re going to create a minimal theme and use SCSS to give our CSS programming some superpowers.Continue reading →
The goal of this article is to introduce you to the underlying principles of accessibility and help you flawlessly implement web accessibility guidelines and standards on your next project. Even minor improvements can help your content rank better, reach more people, and improve the overall user experience.Continue reading →
If there is something every front-end developer wants, it is proper support for variables in CSS. For years, to work around this missing feature, developers have resorted to CSS preprocessors. However, all that changes with the introduction of CSS custom properties.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Nicolás J. Engler walks us through CSS custom properties and shows us how they can be used to make better, more dynamic stylesheets.Continue reading →
Internationalizing modern apps, where the front-end and the back-end are distinctly separate from one another, can be a little tricky. AngularJS, with the help of a few tools, makes internationalizing your app a breeze.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Mehmet Bajin gives us a step-by-step tutorial to internationalizing and localizing AngularJS apps.Continue reading →
PostCSS is the hot new tool that’s making the rounds on the front-end side of web development. It has been quickly and widely adopted, and possibly will have a significant impact on how we base our present-day CSS.
In this article, Toptal Software Engineer Nicolás J. Engler introduces us and guides us on how to start using this tool, expand it with plugins, or integrate with other CSS processors, task runners, or bundlers.Continue reading →
If you’ve spent your fair share of time developing web front-ends, you know that no amount of libraries and plugins are sufficient enough to make the development experience pleasant. Unpredictable event chains, complex data binding, and lack of structured data modeling only makes things worse.
Elm, a programming language built for front-end development, cuts to the root of all these problems and solves them there.
In this post, Toptal Software Engineer Stanislav Davydov provides a detailed guide to Elm and shows us how The Elm Architecture solves some of the most fundamental challenges of front-end development.Continue reading →
If you’re a veteran frontender, you’ve probably had some not-so-great experiences with designers, and chances are some designers have had an equally bad experience working with you. How can you make sure you get exactly what you need from your designer, without placing an undue burden on them?
It’s a tall order, but in this article Freelance Software Engineer Vedran Aberle Tokic outlines and addresses a number of potential issues that may become roadblocks for your execution. Implementing these suggestions may result in overhead for designers, but they can save enormous amounts of time and headache elsewhere.Continue reading →
In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Eric Grosse shows us how various combinations of the popular tools Webpack, Browserify, Gulp and Npm can benefit us by enhancing our development environment and allowing us to focus on writing the app itself.Continue reading →
Meet Web Audio API, a powerful programming interface for controlling audio on the web. Gone are the days when the web browser could rarely play a sound file correctly. With this API, you can now load sound from different sources, apply effects, create visualizations, and do much more.
In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Joaquín Aldunate shows us how to unleash our inner musician using Web Audio API with the Tone.js framework by giving us a brief overview of what this API has to offer and how it can be used to manipulate audio on the web.Continue reading →
Truly understanding design is easier said than done. Coding and aesthetic design require very different skill sets, which is why some front-end developers aren’t as proficient in design as they could be, and the quality of their work suffers for it.
In this post, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Bryan Grezeszak explains why good front-end developers have to follow essential design principles down to the pixel, and should regularly seek out advice and feedback from their designers.Continue reading →
When working on big web applications as a team with other developers, code needs to be scalable and readable. This can be a challenging process when it comes to CSS, although preprocessors like Sass are available. But only using preprocessors will only get you so far. In this article, Toptal engineer Matias Hernandez presents a style guide with advice on how to improve the way you write your code.Continue reading →
CSS preprocessors have been around for quite a while now. These tools, among many things, promise convenience in writing style sheets for the web. However, not everyone is taking advantage of these utilities, and is still resorting to writing vanilla CSS. In this article, Toptal engineer Marcelo Mazza discusses some of the reasons why he thinks Sass is the way to go and why you should be using it in your projects.Continue reading →
Testing back-ends is easy. But testing front-end code is kinda hard. In the ten years I’ve been a developer, I hadn’t found a decent way to test user interaction and view rendering until I started poking at React.Continue reading →
In this article, I’ll go through some of the interesting features and libraries that are available to use with React. Even if you don’t plan on using React, taking a look at its ecosystem is inspiring. You may want to simplify your build system using the powerful, yet comparatively easy to configure, module bundler Webpack, or start writing ECMAScript 6 and even ECMAScript 7 today with the Babel compiler. So, let’s explore the React ecosystem!Continue reading →
Ember.js is a comprehensive framework for building complex client-side applications. But, as with any advanced framework, there are still pitfalls Ember developers may fall into. With the following post, I hope to provide a map to evade these. Let’s jump right in!!Continue reading →
Bootstrap is a powerful toolkit. It comes bundled with basic HTML and CSS design templates that include many common UI components. Most of the important pitfalls are mentioned in the Bootstrap documentation, but still some mistakes are pretty subtle, or have ambiguous causes. This article outlines some of the most common mistakes, problems, and misconceptions when using Bootstrap.Continue reading →
This article provides the overview of pain points caused by AngularJS and reasons for switching to React.Continue reading →
Backbone.js equips the developer with an array of tools that are minimal but extremely flexible. This gives developers the option to design the applications the way they want, but also introduces a number of way things can go wrong. This article outlines a few common mistakes that Backbone.js developers can make, and how they may avoid them.Continue reading →
AngularJS is a very powerful framework. It is the third most starred repository on GitHub. It is not difficult to start using, but the goals that it is intended to accomplish demand comprehension. No longer can we ignore memory consumption, because it will not reset on navigation anymore. This is the vanguard of web development. Let’s embrace it!Continue reading →
Java, a sophisticated programming language, has been dominating a number of ecosystems for quite a while. Portability, automated garbage collection, and its gentle learning curve are some of the things that make it a great choice in software development. However, like any other programming language, it is still susceptible to developer mistakes.
This article explores the top 10 common mistakes Java developers make and some ways of avoiding them.Continue reading →
As mobile and tablet devices come closer to achieving final world domination, web technology is in a race to accommodate the ever-growing number screen sizes. However, devising tools to meet the challenges of this phenomenon brings a whole new set of problems, with one of the latest buzzwords to emerge being “responsive web”.Continue reading →
It’s been over 20 years since Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau specified HTML, which became the standard markup language used to build the Internet.
HTML5 was supposed to finally solve our problems and become “one standard to rule them all (browsers)”. This was probably one of the most anticipated technologies since creation of the World Wide Web.Continue reading →
React.js is a fantastic library. It is only one part of a front-end application stack, however. It doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to managing data and state. Facebook, the makers of React, have offered some guidance there in the form of Flux. I’ll introduce basic Flux control flow, discuss what’s missing for Stores, and how to use Backbone Models and Collections to fill the gap in a “Flux-compliant” way.Continue reading →
Today we have thousands of digital and printed resources that provide step-by-step instructions about developing all kinds of different web applications. Development environments are “smart” enough to catch and fix many mistakes that early developers battled with regularly. There are even many different development platforms that easily turn simple static HTML pages into highly interactive applications.
All of these development patterns, practices, and platforms share common ground, and they are all prone to similar mistakes caused by the very nature of web applications.Continue reading →
Hoodie is a progressive new library for front-end developers that adopts some remarkable new philosophies. Hoodie puts the control over app design completely in the hands of the front-end developers and user-experience experts, and frees users from the bonds of un-interruptible connectivity.Continue reading →
In this follow-up to his first highly popular AngularJS tutorial, Toptal engineer Raoni Boaventura guides you through the steps of setting up your project, including scaffolding, dependency management, and preparing it for testing.Continue reading →
A year after Google’s launch of Polymer, Toptal engineer Alejandro Hernandez takes it out for a test drive to see if it’s yet ready for prime time. This post explores the maturity and stability of Polymer.js as a foundation for large-scale application development. The results and conclusions from this analysis are provided, along with an introductory overview of the technology.Continue reading →
With the increasingly ubiquitous nature of mobile devices and applications, if you’re not already thinking about mobile apps, you probably should be. This post focuses on methodologies and tools to employ, and pitfalls to avoid, in the development of highly functional, intuitive, and easy-to-use mobile web apps.Continue reading →
Nowadays, your website will be visited by a wide variety of devices: desktops with large monitors, mid-sized laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more.
To achieve an optimal user experience, your site should be adjusting its layout in response to these varied devices (i.e., to their varied screen resolutions and dimensions). The process of responding to the form of the user’s device is referred to as (you guessed it) responsive web design (RWD).Continue reading →
Demand within the web design scene today has changed over the past few years: designers with front-end skills, and front-end developers with design skills, are more and more in demand. Yes, you could argue that the jobs are completely different—and maybe you straight-up don’t like one of them—but truth be told, in my six years as a freelance web developer and twelve years as a designer, I’ve learned that it’s much harder to get by as just a web designer or just a front-end developer.
Wearing both hats has a lot of advantages: from a professional perspective alone, you can find work more easily and charge a higher rate because you’re bringing more to the table.Continue reading →