Will Front end web development be replaced by software like webflow?

Will Front end web development be replaced by software like webflow?
0

#1

Just browsing the web and got an advertising from webflow showcasing the new flexbox only editor.
Probably got it because Ive been extensively using and therefore looking up flexbox.
What do you guys think?


Future of making websites, should we be worried?
#2

There’s always a chance that front end development will be obsolete in the future but not because of tools like Webflow. Job types change all them time. The term “Font End” didn’t exist 10 years ago. There were only web developer and web designer.

Now the question is that will it be replaced by some GUI tool like Webflow? I think to some degree, those tools can help with the job but won’t totally replace it. In Front End, the techs change very quickly. It’s hard to even adapt to the changes by writing code, let alone create the software that get all the latest technologies.


#3

Someone had to build Webflow. Someone will have to build its competitors. Then there’s maintenance. If anything, these tools are probably a net gain for web developers in terms of jobs. The people who want to build a simple website using a GUI tool aren’t interested in paying a dev actual money for actual work, anyways.

Wordpress didn’t take out web development. Webflow won’t, either.


#4

My speculation is that as technology advances, more websites will start using 3D graphics. Libraries like three.js will probably become very popular. While Webflow might grow and accommodate that, when it comes down to it someone will have have to use Webflow, someone will still have to put a lot of thought in the process, and that someone may not necessarily be the business owner. From what I’ve seen, a lot of what Webflow has to offer is a lot more intuitive to someone who has front-end experience. Just look at the testimonials - most of them seem to be from people who already knew how to code.

Also, I believe that in a decade or two websites will be in VR. Whether that technology will still belong to “front-end developers” is anyone’s guess.


#5

backend jobs maybe. but what happens to front end dev. I think the previous commenter was right. I think ill probably just evolve to web design more then dev.


#6

websites in VR? That sounds hella crazy. I cant even imagine… like… will we have Augmented reality baked into our everyday glasses? Virtual Reality installed in our contacts?

Websites in VR means VR has become SUPER mainstream. Cant see that happening so soon but who knows right?


#7

Everything I said applies to front end development.

This comes up a lot. You’re not the first person to ask, and this isn’t the first discussion we’ve had here on the forums about the end of front end development. It’s not going to happen. Apps like Webflow and Wix simply don’t do the same thing that developers do. The apps replace designers, no devs.


#8

I suppose… I need to create a competitor… hmm… Maybe later…


#9

I just meant VR as in using a VR headset like HTC Vive. Maybe some companies would want to offer something like a VR tour to potential investors, employees, or customers. It’s just my speculation, but technology evolves with the blink of an eye and today’s fast-paced world adjusts so quickly to technology that it’s like people take it for granted.

I haven’t thought much about AR, but there are people researching and working on it for sure. Bits of the technology are already - DNA data storage; Pokemon Go; implanted microchips. It’s really only a matter of when.


#10

When people ask this type of question, it seems like they’re usually talking about web design rather than web development. Products like this can be very useful tools for design, but they’ll never be a substitute for something like React or Angular. They’ll never allow you to create games in the browser, or visualize data on the screen and update it periodically with AJAX calls, or build a customized WYSIWYG text editor. In short, they won’t help to create complex web apps.1

Oh, so that means web designers are now obsolete.

No, of course it doesn’t, any more than tractors make farmers obsolete. Design will never be obsolete until the day that advanced AIs develop true creativity on a level comparative to humans (and at that point, almost all jobs will be obsolete). You only have to look around you at the wealth of terrible designs to see that the world needs more great designers, not fewer. And great design doesn’t just mean looking pretty; it takes into account all aspects of the user experience. Often, large organizations will have different types of designer responsible for different aspects of web design.

[1] Yes, all of that is front-end. I think part of the confusion that causes people to ask these questions is a misunderstanding of what modern front-end development entails. If your definition of “front-end development” is CSS plus a few JS animations, you need to update that definition.


#11

@jx2bandito
@lionel-rowe

Both very good points and both very true. I’m glad we can have discussions like this (by that I mean you guys can have really good answers to my really sometimes good questions). I always leave feeling super smart. :slight_smile:


#12

God I hope so. Writing CSS is a really silly way to do design work.


#13

I think that, barring some radical replacement of HTML/CSS/JS, code generators of any type will never be useful for anything but very simple websites (although, granted, many businesses are perfectly well served by a very simple site).

Why?

Because HTML is fundamentally semantic, and there is no computational solution that can make a drag-and-drop-you-don’t-need-code interface produce correct semantics. It’s not a solvable problem in the general case. The decision of what is an article, main, header, etc. or what aria-attributes are needed, etc. is not something a drag-and-drop interface can figure out. Either a) You have to use complected menus to input semantic details and you would be better off coding by hand, or b) the code will be garbage that will probably get you sued for 508 or ADA violations (or equivalent for your country; I’ve been employed full-time fixing problem b for the last six months).

As long as HTML remains a semantic document standard, code generators will never be more than a niche tool.

And if, somehow, AI reaches a point where I’m wrong, we’ve got much bigger employment problems than losing front-end work as a field.

So don’t sweat it.