Very roughly, there’s “frontend” engineering (building the parts of a website or application that users interact with directly) and “backend” engineering (building the parts that store data and power the frontend). In practice, there’s a large gray area in between.

Any handoff creates friction. Frontend engineers might be waiting for an API route to be developed, a database schema to be migrated, or even just for their code to be deployed. Developer tools that empower engineers to do more by themselves are always in high demand.

What if the frontend is eating the backend?

The ouroboros (Greek: οὐροβόρος) is an ancient symbol of a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. It symbolizes the perpetual cycle of creation and destruction and is often used to represent the idea of something endlessly re-creating itself.

The frontend ouroboros might exist for a few reasons: