The employment for front-end developers in the US is estimated to grow by 13% from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Needless to say, a similar trend can be witnessed across the globe, as more and more businesses go ‘digital’ and reach their audience. You’d find that almost all medium, large-scale business, and startups have a website. With such a trend taking over the market, the demand for front-end developers who can take these businesses online, build user-friendly and engaging websites is invariably skyrocketing.
As a result, front-end development becomes one of the few tech-fields which will always be a hotbed for opportunities, irrespective of the time. It is an advancing field with a lot to offer and keeps growing with the times. Not just that, front-end development is a great field to build your career in. It will always provide you with a decent salary, job security and innumerable options to grow, learn and explore.
So who is a front-end developer?
A front-end developer is someone who essentially brings a website to life. For example, let’s say that you want to create a website that talks about your company, its offerings, etc. Now, a UI designer can give you a web design of how the website would look, but it is the front-end developer who would actually implement the design on the website.
Whatever a user interacts with on a website, is built, by the front-end developer. If a website is a dish, then the front-end developer prepares it by taking data and structure from the backend, blending it with content and design and then roasting it with functionality at each step. The final preparation is the website environment that the user sees, clicks and touches.
Responsibilities of a Front-End Developer
The role of a front-end developer can be summarized in the following points:
Execution and Production of the UI/UX designs
Maintenance of the websites and web applications user interfaces
An extension to your role is that you need to maintain that the functionality that you have added to the website.
Writing a bug-free code
Well, this doesn’t need much explanation, does it? As a programmer, your role is always to write a code that is free of bugs. It is also your task to debug your code when needed.
Building tools to enhance user interaction
Provided that the user will always interact with what you build, it is your responsibility to ensure that the user’s experience is as comfortable as it can. You should aim to add functionality elements that make it easier for the user to navigate through your website or web application.
Testing and managing the workflow and usability of the website
Once you have built the website, it is your role to test the usability and workflow of the website. For instance, you need to check whether the website responsive on mobile and the design has been implemented adequately in the mobile version. You also need to test whether all the forms, buttons, on the website linked adequately.
Implementing best SEO practices
As a front-end developer, you should be aware of the best SEO practices that you can incorporate while developing the website in terms of site architecture, link building, etc.
This also means you should add web-analytics to your website to keep track and get insights on the progress of your website.
Skills That A Front-End Developer Must Have
HTML and CSS
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the bread and butter for a front-end developer. No website can be designed without this unless you want the website to have unformatted text, without images (Yes, you need HTML to add images too!)
If you want to become a front-end developer, you must be an expert in coding with HTML and CSS. That is just non-negotiable. And it is a worthy skill to master because any basic website can be designed easily with HTML and CSS. You need not know anything else.
Over time, various front-end frameworks have come in the market to make your task easier. Front-end development frameworks are essentially bundles of code and instructions that you can use to build your website or web-application faster. Four most common frameworks for front-end development are React, Angular, AngularJS and jQuery. However, the popularity of React and Angular has increased over time, while that of AngularJS and jQuery has gone down since 2016. (According to Stack Overflow)
Apart from these, Bootstrap is yet another framework that you can use. It is an open-source and free CSS framework which will allow you to develop websites and web applications faster using templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation and other interface components.
Git is helping in managing the changes you make to your code. It is an open-source distributed version monitoring system. Now if more than one developer is involved in the development, GIT is very helpful in collaborating. Even if you are working alone on the development, GIT will help in keeping track and inspecting the progress of the project. Using it, you can update your code without encountering any functionality errors.
An Application Program Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. It tells how different softwares/systems or parts of the same system/software interact. As a front-end developer, you would need to know about API to integrate your project with the backend systems.
Also, if a full stack developer is working on a project he needs to take care of both the front and backend of the system.
Do you wish to become a front-end developer? We found some books and resources that could help you with your preparation.
For Your Interview Preparation
Preparing for a front-end developer interview? Don’t miss out these commonly asked front end interview questions.
- What are your favourite features of HTML5, and how have you implemented them in your front end development projects?
- How do you structure your source code to make it easy for leverage by your colleagues?
- What resources do you use to learn about the latest in front end development and design?
Hope this helps you understand the profile of a front-end developer better and prepare for the role.
Wish to take your career further?
Would you like to grow from a front-end developer to a full-stack developer? Here’s all you need to know about the role and the skills needed for the same.