Have you ever looked at your favorite website and wondered why it was laid out the way it is, the way the buttons acted when you clicked on them, or any other part of the site and thought, “I wonder how complicated that is?” or, “I wish i could do that?”. Well, all of those visible site features are built through Front End Development (Also called “Front End Web Development” ) and the people behind them have a name: The Front End Web Developers
Who Is A Front End Web Developer?
A good front end web developer is the type of person who has an incredible eye for detail and user experience . They also need to be the type of person who knows and interfaces with designers or can do some design work themselves. The best quality, though, it is their ability to put it all together and make something happen.
We should pause for a moment to clarify the differences between a front end developer, back end developer, and full stack developer.
Let’s put this in simple terms: a front end developer is responsible for the parts of an app or website that users see and interact with. A back end developer takes care of the “behind the scenes” matters such as infrastructure and databases. The full-stack developer is a mixture of both, a jack of all trades that can handle the whole design process from the beginning to the end.
Note that there’s a trend these days where the line between the front end and back end development has been blurring. Primarily since many of the tasks that fall in the domain of back end developers are being increasingly handled by the front end developers.
As a final aside, there are also full-stack engineers. They are full-stack developers who have project management experience, adept at disciplines in the configuring, managing, and maintaining computer networks and systems.
Front End Web developers are some of the most in demand roles, and for good reason — We wouldn’t get to enjoy internet black holes without them. In a second, we’ll break down all the skills front end developers use and need. But Here is a quick Front End Development Definition.
What Is Front End Development?
While web design is the way a person looks, front end development is how that design actually gets implemented on the web.
Front End Developer Roles and Responsibilities
If you’re wondering what a front end developer does, he must:
- Decide web page design and structure
- Develop features to enhance the users’ experience
- Striking a balance between functional and aesthetic design.
- Make sure the web design is smartphone-capable
- Build reusable code for future use
- Make sure web pages are optimized for best speed and scalability
- Employ a diverse selection of markup languages to design web pages
- Keep the brand consist throughout the whole design
Skills to Becoming a Front End Developer?
If you’re looking to break into tech, front end development is both a straight ahead and versatile way of getting there. You’ll have a specific base of skills that’ll make you attractive to employers, but one that’s broad enough to let you find an employment opportunity that works for you. Trust me, there’s no shortage of demand for front end development in a variety of jobs and environments.
For some of you, this thumbnail might be enough to get started on your own coding odyssey. But if you’re like me and have an easier time moving forward with specifics you can visualize, an overview of the skills you’ll need for front end development might be helpful.
Don’t let the above list intimidate you. You can become a front end developer if you follow these simple steps:
I know, these three terms keep coming up. There’s a good reason, though. You won’t find a single front end developer job listing that doesn’t call for (or assume) proficiency in these two languages.
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language used to create web pages. A markup language is your way of making notes in a digital document that can be distinguished from regular text. It’s the most basic building block you’ll need for developing websites.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the language used to present the document you create with HTML. Where HTML comes first and creates the foundation for your page, CSS comes along next and is used to create the page’s layout, color, fonts, and…well, the style!
Both of these languages are absolutely essential to being a front end developer. Simply put, no HTML/CSS, no web development.
In some instances a very simple website or web page is fine, but for situations where you need interactive features — audio and video, games, scrolling abilities, page animations — JS is the tool you’ll use to implement them (though as CSS evolves, it’s starting to handle a lot of these duties as well).
We did, but they’re both such a big part of front end development that a lot of other skills you’ll need are going to build off of them.
Frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses — don’t we all! — and it’s important to choose the best framework for the type of website you’re building. For example, some JS frameworks are great for building complex user interfaces, while others excel at displaying all of your site’s content.
Since you’ll be using CSS and JS all the time in your web development, and since many projects start with similar style elements and code, knowledge of these frameworks is critical to being an efficient developer.
Yes, another skill related to CSS!
CSS on its own, while essential, can sometimes be limiting. Like CSS (and JS) frameworks, CSS preprocessing is another means of making your life as a developer easier and more flexible.
Using a CSS preprocessor like Sass, LESS, or Stylus, you’re able to write code in the preprocessor’s language (allowing you to do things that might be a huge pain with plain old CSS). The preprocessor then converts that code to CSS so it will work on your website.
Let’s say you decide to tweak the shade of blue you’re using across a site. With a CSS preprocessor, you’d only have to change the hex value in one place instead of going through ALl your CSS and changing the hex values everywhere.
Almost halfway through the list, and we’re finally to a skill without HTML, CSS, or JS in the name. Still totally related, though!
After all your hard work marking up with HTML, styling with CSS, and programming with JS, you’ll have gone through a number of revisions in your development.
If something goes wrong along the way the last thing you’ll want to do is start over from the beginning. Version control is the process of tracking and controlling changes to your source code so this won’t happen.
One of the hazards of coding is having it break when you change one small thing. Even after you try to rectify the problem, things are never quite the same again. That’s why a good front end developer learns version control. There is an impressive selection of version control systems to choose from, but if you want to go with the most popular, go with Git.
Version control software — like open source stalwart Git — is a tool you’ll use to track those changes so you can go back to a previous version of your work and find out what went wrong without tearing the whole thing down.
As you might imagine, this a skill that you (and your prospective clients and employers) will be very happy to have.
Remember the other day when you only used one device to look at a website? Yeah, me neither. The days of desktop (or even laptop) PCs being the only way of viewing websites are so far gone that I won’t date myself by talking about them.
These days we use any number of computers, phones, and tablets to look at web pages. Ever notice how these pages adjust themselves to the device you’re using without you doing anything on your end? This is due to responsive design. Understanding responsive design principles and how to implement them on the coding side is key to front end development.
One cool thing to keep in mind regarding responsive design is that it’s an intrinsic part of CSS frameworks like the aforementioned Bootstrap. These skills are all interconnected and so as you learn one you’ll often be making progress in the others at the same time.
When pursuing a profession that has anything to do with web design, it’s a good idea to get at least a basic grasp of concepts like displaying files and file system navigation. On a related note, you should familiarize yourself with the properties of the Shell, which is the means of accessing operating system functions via a text interface.
In a lot of ways, the proliferation of Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) into computing was one of the best things to ever happen. Who wants to type lines of esoteric commands onto a dead screen in order to get around a machine? It’s a lot easier to point and click on a lively, interactive menu.
GUIs can be alluring when it comes to web development and coding as well. And they’re often fine and handy. But an all-purpose GUI is going to have its limitations for some specific applications. There are going to be times when you’ll need to open a terminal on your computer where you can enter typed commands (command line) to get what you need.
It’s the difference between your computer only yielding what’s available on the surface and being able to get what you need by digging in with your bare hands.
Even if the majority of your work is still done through a GUI, you’ll add serious cred to your front end skills if you have a mastery of the command line.
Other Things you need to do in other to become a successful Front End web developer
That means reading articles and books about front end development. By getting an understanding of how things work on a website, you can make better sense of the various coding languages. If you want to round out your learning experience, check out some videos on YouTube.
Here’s where the old saying “practice makes perfect” comes into play. Start small by using your newfound knowledge to build small parts of a user interface, then expand slowly. If you end up making mistakes, don’t worry. Sometimes we learn more from our errors than we do from a flawless performance.
Enhance Your Skills
Check out some tutorials, tools, and open-source projects. Resources such as freeCodeCamp, Codecademy, Bootstrap, Vue.js, CSS Layout, and Front-end Checklist exists to help you master the skills of front end development without having to lay out any money for the opportunity. These tools are easily accessible online and can be a much-needed boost to your front end development education.
Take a Course
Take a front end development course. There’s nothing like learning from experienced people in a structured environment. You could do this by physically attending classes (which can be a drain on your free time), or taking an online course. There are many appropriate courses out there, but later on, we’ll show you an excellent and well-tested option that would perfectly fit your needs!
Get an Internship
Become a junior front end developer. Sometimes, the best way to learn new skills is to work under more knowledgeable people, and that’s what a junior front end developer or an intern does. Of course, the pay is less, but you need fewer qualifications. Besides, you’ll be learning from more experienced people, and that’s always beneficial.
8 additional tips to help you to become a better front-end developer.
- Plan your projects. The first mistake and surprisingly very common even with senior developers is that most of us don’t plan.
- Be Proactive.
- Be curious.
- Invest in your skills.
- Don’t say YES to everything.
- Don’t say NO to everything.
- Find a mentor.
- Stay active.💯❤
The part to becoming a Front End Developer will definitely take some time. As presented in this article becoming a Front End Developer is not only about learning various frames works and programming languages. Its about the interactions, responsibilities and roles of a Front End Developer.
Because the web is evolving rapidly, great front end developers should never stop learning. Even little things like following front-end experts on social media will have impact in your learning curve.
You need to have some patience to get there. Rushing dose not make sense because it wont make you happy. Never forget to have fun while earning and experimenting.