The Many Hats of Senior Front End Developers

Expectations are higher than ever for Senior Front End Developers, Cogs catch-up with our tech team find out more….

Front End Developers

Senior Front End Developers are struggling. There is a huge demand for their expertise but expectations of a broad skill base are sky-high. Cogs talk to James Donovan, a specialist Technical Consultant at Cogs London to discuss this growing issue:

As a frequenter of too many jobs specs to count for the tech industry, I’ve always felt the Senior Front End Developer role is the most demanding for the candidate and recruiter to deliver on. Companies demand the testing combination of broad stack knowledge (often full-stack), commercial experience of new technologies and exceptional people skills coupled with managerial experience.

Technical knowledge expectations are much broader than what they used to be. In 2010 a Senior Full Stack Developer could be expected to have experience of HTML, JavaScript, Linux, MySQL and PHP. In 2016, to quote an actual spec I worked on, the company were looking for a developer with experience of: Sitecore/.Net, Java, PHP, ActionScript, Javascript, Node, Objective-C/Cocoa, and Ruby on Rails. Not to mention a plethora of JS frameworks that dictate the current market.

I wasn’t able to find the right candidate for the role, but I recently saw they filled the position, which lead me to appreciate a) there is always a candidate for the role, and more importantly b) Senior Front End Developers are a vital piece to digital companies that need to be varied in their skills.

Senior Developers themselves have become very diverse and durable. They have to wear many hats from technologists to toolsmiths to managers to teachers to perfectionists. The scope of their role is tenfold: to create clean, testable JavaScript for high-performance websites; have the capability to build cutting edge UI for multiple devices whilst driving standards in performance, scalability and reliability and sharing knowledge through workshops, documentation, code reviews and training.

Sometimes when meeting a candidate I have to carefully consider “Does this developer really have all of these skills?”, and in most cases they tick all of the boxes above. And If you consider the difference in being able to hand code a variety of Javascript frameworks to pitching to a client, the role and persons are very diverse!

But it is quite clear that one Senior Front End Developers role to another can be completely different in skill and task. Which can make the search for a new role difficult, search ‘Senior Front End Developer; London’ into Indeed and you’ll be hit with over 1000 roles! Salaries ranging from £45,000 – £100,000 per annum asking for a variety of skills and a vast amount of industries.

This is where Cogs and myself can offer a helping hand, we’re actively working with digital agencies, client-side brands (fashion and advertising) and start-ups all hiring for Senior Developers, so if you’re the technologist or the manager or the toolsmith, we can offer our industry knowledge and a broad selection of roles that we hope to be appealing to you.

If you’re a Senior Developer please check out some of our roles below, and if you work in tech and would like to discuss a new role please get in touch at [email protected]

Senior Front End Developer – Start up – £75,000

Senior Front End Developer – Agency, £50,000

Senior Creative Developer – Fashion – £60,000


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