Symfony for frontend developers


We’re building up a series of blog posts on “Symfony for frontend developers”.  Links will be added here as articles are published:

Why do Frontend devs need to know about Symfony?

In the olden days, our frontend- and backend-developers didn’t work very closely together.  It went something like this:

  1. Frontend developers create static templates for key pages in the site.

  2. Backend developers implement the dynamic versions of those pages (using Symfony), copying and pasting styles and markup from the templates.

  3. We all feel sad about not being very agile, and we have trouble if anything needs updating in future.

Our frontend- and backend-developers now work more closely together, like this:

  1. Backend developers create code and basic-looking pages for Feature X (using Symfony).

  2. Frontend developers style those pages.

  3. Repeat.

(Obviously there are other stages like writing tests, but you get the idea!)

This is a better way of working together, more suited to agile and iterative development, and it removes that duplication between the static templates and the real site.  But there’s a problem.

In this brave new world, the starting point for frontend work isn’t a blank HTML file, but a whole ecosystem of Symfony stuff.  The process above can actually require a surprisingly large amount of Symfony-specific knowledge as a frontend developer.  This can lead to all sorts of frustration:

  • I just want to add a class to this form field!  But it’s all hidden away in Symfony magic!  Arrgh!

  • Where does this HTML fragment even come from??

  • Where do I put my javascript files?  How can I reference them?

  • Why is this textbox wrapped in a div?  How do I get rid of it?

And so on…

The good news is that there is a lot about Symfony which you don’t need to know in order to style a Symfony site.  And over the next little while, we’ll be publishing a series of articles talking about those aspects of Symfony which I recommend you do learn if you do want to style a Symfony site.

We’ll add links to the full set of articles to this blog post as the articles are written.  To kick things off, head on to “Symfony for frontend developers #1 – where are my files?!”.

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