Improving Communication between Frontend and Backend Developers

James Godfrey


Front-end and back-end developers are continuously specialising and developing their skills so, in order to deliver increasingly complex projects, both parties must collaborate.

However, with two such different skill-sets, it is often difficult to get both teams on the same wavelength and communicating effectively.

I thought I’d share some observations below about how to get the best out of your front and back-end development team, and how they can get the best out of each other.

1. Assign a versatile project manager

It is extremely useful to assign a PM who can understand, in-depth, both areas of work.

However, while they are considered a key point of contact for both halves of the team, their role should be to help enable communication rather than fully facilitating it.

A good PM should set up clear pathways for the development teams to talk to each other and make sure both sides agree to common terminology, roles, and responsibilities with the product.

This is a great opportunity for your full-stack developer to bring the two sides together, stretch their project management legs, and in some cases translate between the two teams!

2. Adhere to a solid, modular framework

It can be all too easy for a developer to lose perspective on a large-scale project and not be aware of how the changes can have a massive knock-on effect to others working on it.

One of the easiest ways to counteract this is to switch development practice to a component-based approach.

This helps ‘chunk’ the project and categorise elements of the system as distinct ‘components’, enabling individuals to quickly effect any changes and will help both teams quickly grasp the overall composition of the system.

3. Consider the team’s composition

Whilst having individuals with the right technical ability is important, making sure that they can communicate effectively is essential.

Today’s development teams are made up of a mix of individuals who are used to operating with different degrees of supervision, team interaction, different learning paths, and ideas of code quality.

It, therefore, becomes critical to make sure that teams are built with a ‘cultural fit’ in mind.

So, what’s next?

Alas, you’ve got a team to manage, a project deadline to meet, and this environment to cultivate; every client I work with does.

That’s why they partner with me, not just to find developers who are technically outstanding but also to take the time to understand the team culture you’ve built and assemble your team around that.

I’d love to tell you more.