Skills Needed To Be A Front-End Developer

Published: Friday December 14, 2018

If you’re looking to change careers or learn new skills to upgrade and enhance your current career, I am here to provide some tips. Having landed a few web developer roles, below are brief highlight of skills you need to learn to land your first front-end web development job.

HTML/CSS

I know, these two 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.

But let’s take a step back and look at what HTML and CSS are.

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.

JavaScript

Another MAJOR tool in your front-end developer toolbox is going to be JavaScript (JS).

Unless you want to end up with an unimpressive and non-functional website, you have to add features — audio and video, games, scrolling abilities, page animations, analytics. JS is the scripting language you will use to implement them.

CSS and JavaScript Frameworks

Wait, we already covered CSS and Javascript, right?

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.

CSS and JavaScript frameworks are collections of CSS or JS files that do a bunch of the work for you by providing common functionality (think logging into a website or searching a blog). Instead of starting with an EMPTY text document, you start with a code file that has lots of awesome CSS or JS already in it.

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.

Some common frameworks developers use are Angular, React, Bootstrap and jQuery.

Responsive Design

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.

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