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Mastering JS - Headless Apps, Or, Why Backend Devs Can Build Apps Too

Mastering JS - Headless Apps, Or, Why Backend Devs Can Build Apps Too
By Mastering JS Weekly • Issue #4 • View online
Pieter Levels of NomadList fame has built numerous highly successful apps by gathering data from APIs and putting a solid UI on top of it. Now that APIs are everywhere, should we all become frontend engineers and build web apps? Not so fast.
Let’s face it, we all have too many browser tabs open at any one time. Registering for another task management app or financial tracking app sounds about as appealing as gouging out my eyes with a rusty fork. What about apps that bring the data you need to where you already are, like Slack or Gmail?
Even though Personal Capital is on my phone’s home screen, I love their weekly email digests. A concise weekly report on my spending, cash flow, and investments makes it easy to see how I’m doing financially.

I’m spending more time working on these sort of apps: concise reporting via Email and Slack, versus yet another browser tab. If there’s an existing UI that people are used to, why reinvent the wheel? So next time, before you assume that building an app means writing HTML and CSS, think about whether you can leverage an existing UI and build a headless app.
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