It seems like everyone is online these days. The Internet not only facilitates interpersonal communication between users (e.g., email, social media); it’s also a much relied-upon source for all kinds of information. And a convenient means of paying bills and making purchases.
Every single online application has that part with which users interact. When you log onto a website, you are greeted by the welcome page, the menu, the site map, and other items that facilitate navigation and utility. All of those items fall under the collective term of “front-end.” The front-end includes the user interface, which is the part of the website or app designed for the consumer’s use.
Without further ado, before getting started with how to become a front-end developer let us first understand what is a front-end developer.
What Is a Front-End Developer?
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We should pause for a moment to clarify the differences between a front-end developer, back end developer, and a 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 front-end and back-end development has been blurred. Primarily since many of the tasks that fall in the domain of back-end developers are being increasingly handled by 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 configuring, managing, and maintaining computer networks and systems.
Front-End Developer Roles and Responsibilities
If you’re wondering what a front-end developer does, he must:
- Decide on 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 the best speed and scalability
- Employ a diverse selection of markup languages to design web pages
- Keep the brand consist throughout the whole design
Front-End Developer Skills in 2021
Since the front-end developer is the rock star of website/app development, they need to have a well-stocked personal toolbox. So front end developer skills include the need to:
- Have a degree in Computer Science or a similar field
- Understand server-side CSS.
- Be experienced with graphic design applications (e.g., Adobe Illustrator)
- Understand the principles of SEO
- Have excellent skills in problem-solving
- Be proficient in communicating with team members, bosses, and clients
- Have good interpersonal skills
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Front-End Developer Salary
According to Glassdoor, a front-end developer in the United States can earn an average of $86,178 per year. A “regular” front-end developer can earn an average salary of $71,350 a year, according to Payscale.
A junior front-end developer (more about them below) earns about $49,000 on average, but that’s hardly surprising, considering they need less experience and have fewer responsibilities.
How to Become a Front-End Developer?
Don’t let the above list intimidate you. You can become a front-end developer if you follow these simple steps.
- Get Informed
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.
- Learn the Command Line
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.
- Learn Version Control
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.
- 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 exist 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 developer 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.
What’s the Future of Front End Developers?
Overall, the future looks bright for anyone who wants to become a front-end developer. The latest studies predict that by 2020, there will be a deficit of approximately 1 million developers in the United States alone. The rest of the world will have it even worse, according to similar studies.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Web developer employment in the US is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026. The rate is much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Although these numbers seem incredible, if you pause and consider the times, it’s not so surprising. Increased Internet usage, especially in the mobile field, means a greater need for user interfaces, which in turn means more front-end developer jobs. Web development is a field whose potential is tied closely to the Internet’s popularity, and the latter is surging with no signs of letting up. If you want to go where the jobs are, then look no further.
1. How to become a front-end developer without a degree?
In the past, you were required to have a Computer Science, IT, or Software Engineering degree in order to become a developer. We have come a long way from that where if you have the required skills, it doesn’t matter where you learned them. You can learn on your own or through structured certification courses. If you are completely new to front-end development, you can start with beginner courses and move on to more advanced topics.
2. How to become a front-end developer from scratch?
Here are some things you need to do in order to become a front-end developer from scratch:
- Practice building your own websites and other projects to build up your portfolio
- Join a community of developers such as GitHub to stay up to date
- Learn additional skills, relevant tools, and code libraries
- Get familiar with front-end frameworks Full Stack Java Developer Course
3. How to become a front-end developer in 3 months?
There is no shortcut to becoming a front-end developer. While some may be devoting their full time to learning new coding skills, some may be learning it during the little time they have between work and other life commitments. However, some people are able to pick up coding concepts a little bit quicker than others. The key to balancing it is to set aside some time each day to learn. The most important thing is to have fun with it and not rush yourself. If you enjoy the learning process, you will be in a much better space to learn it quicker than most.
Become a Front End Developer
The five-course Front End Developer course gives you access to over 90 live instructor-led online classes, industry-based projects to help refine your new front-end developer skills, and of course, a Masters’s certification upon successful completion. It’s the best way to learn front-end development.