Is the web development industry starting to die down?

I hate how pessimistic that title sounds, but I want to see if you guys could disprove some things my roommate was saying yesterday.

It came out of nowhere. She knows I’ve been trying to get a developer job for a while now, and asked me how that was coming along. I’m finally starting to feel confident in my progress now. I feel like I finally have the skills to build a fullstack app on my own and can start displaying that in my portfolio, I’m going through P1xt’s guide and filling in any gaps in my knowledge. I’ve been excited everytime I sit down and do anything related to code.

She then tells me that maybe this isn’t the best route for me. That it’s not nearly as desirable of a route to take. She’s not a developer herself, but tells me all her developer friends (who are all over) complain about not getting paid enough, not being treated well, and feeling stuck. She says that employers are outsourcing more to freelancers because they can pay them less than hiring a full-time employee, and they’re also turning to services like Squarespace. She also said anyone that tells you that there are good jobs in this industry are probably trying to sell you something or get views on their YouTube channel.

Note, she’s saying this about front-end developers. She thinks that it would be better to pursue a back-end developer position or mobile app development (she says people aren’t using the internet as much anymore and turn to mobile apps now).

She says she just wants the best for me. I love her, but sometimes, I think she talks out of her ass and will reverse her position on things the next day.

Could you guys try to paint me a realistic picture here? Is my roommate right about all this? Should I pursue a different path? I’ve just been self-teaching myself for several years now, and I haven’t had much success with getting employer’s attention, and I don’t want to waste anymore of my time if it means working in a dead-end job.


That doesn’t mean people don’t look things up on Google.

The jobs that involve writing HTML for static websites are being replaced by a different type of “front end developer” as the technology changes. That’s why FCC focuses on teaching full stack web development and why most people here will be quick to tell you that you probably aren’t “job ready” after just the first couple certificates.

I say this as someone who actually *is* a front end developer. I don't have a YouTube channel and I don't have anything for sale.
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I dont know, i ferl the market is still strong. There is a lot of work front end devs especially around frameworks like React.js . But all depends on a market, maybe she speaks about situation in your town and its acurate.
I think managers would outsource only if they dont have enough employees or their apps is so simple a freelancer would do it. Still i think the code quality of such an app will be not that good.
Still thete will be a lot of work for backend devs. Learn php, bevome good at it and you will be set, in worst case you would freelane with it online.
BUT getting a junior job is really good for learning, and getting help from seniors.

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Don’t worry about it too much. Web development is not going to fade away. Yes some companies might outsource work or underpay their employees but this are not the companies you wanna work for.

Focus on things you can control like improving your skills and don’t worry about things you can’t control.

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As ArielLeslie sort of mentioned, front-end development used to be for static websites. Like around before 2010 or so, and before the emergence of companies like Instagram, Pinterest, Airbnb, etc. And before companies like Amazon and Netflix had streaming. Nowadays, with the proliferation of both smartphones and web apps, front-end development is all about frameworks and PWAs—Angular & Ionic, React & React Native, Vue & Vue Native.

Also there are a lot of B2B companies now that deliver some sort of *aaS (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) product. Front-end development at those kinds of companies tend to be within a particular framework, whether Angular, React, or Vue.

So it’s not dying down, it’s just transforming.


I think your girlfriend is right. back-end developer or mobile app development more in demand than front-end developer

Don’t allow people to get in the way of the career and job you want to do…I think it’s wrong and there are plenty of jobs, like others have said, it is evolving and changing but I still writte HTML, CSS and JS daily at work and I don’t see how that is going to change anytime soon. And when it does change, it’ll be a gradual change like the ones we had with JS frameworks, there will always be a need for developers.

So the thing is, I think one or both you misinterpreted some information. There are truth in what she say, but perhaps the wrong conclusion are being drawn.

It is not so much that the industry is dying down, because the web is ubiquitous and there are just so many niche use cases that one size fits all solution won’t work. Mobile apps are increasingly just web apps with a different frame. However it is fair to say there are probably more room for career growth if your a fullstack developer rather than just front-end, but it’s case by case and dependent on career path.

However the exploitative way some companies use developers especially at the lower level is real. Outsourcing the work or contracting the development so they don’t have to hire them as employees is a real thing, but you’re not really safe from that no matter what kind of developer you are.

Front-end positions are probably as abundant as ever, but because of the competition and relatively larger talent pool, it means company can afford to invest less and exploit more.

These issue are really separate from the vitality of the industry. Industry and jobs are there, but conditions can vary greatly.

There is also no need to label yourself to just a front-end developer. Front-end is a good entryway, but development is a path that’s so much more, so don’t be afraid to learn more things and add them to your tool chest, because those are what sets you apart. Maybe there are far more interesting and fulfilling thing you can be than a Front-end developer