Bad naming strikes back – Frontend Masters

Bad naming is everywhere. It’s not only when writing code that we have to think of think of “decoupling” and stuff like that. It’s every bit as relevant in business and real-life as well.

Today’s case in point: Frontend Masters, a website offering video courses in programming.

I was browsing them today and oh, if it weren’t for their high price (relative to my economy, that is), I would’ve bought not one but two subscriptions (just kidding — only one!). Despite what their name says, they have courses on backend development, containers, and even on creating your own programming languages!

I’ll repeat something from the last paragraph — “Despite what their name says”. And that is a huge problem. When they started out, Frontend Masters was dedicated to super-high quality frontend videos that no other course website could simply match. I’m not just guessing this; I remember coming across them before at that time as well.

Now we have databases, algorithms, hardcode functional programming (monads and such stuff) on the platform . . . and the name, sigh, still says, Frontend Masters.

It will be extremely difficult to make pure-backend devs take this website seriously. Sure, someone will be convinced if they take the time to browse their catalog and all that, but it’s like being told that the gaming mouse you’ve been looking for is available on “OrderWineOnline.com”. 🤷‍♂️

When they started out, simply adopting a neutral name would have wiped out any potential problems. Now, it’s a whole different story to get the brand image and messaging right.