Are you interested in designing and building websites? Then a career as a front-end developer might be the right fit for you! A front-end developer is a person who implements web designs through an array of skills and knowledge. They are the ones who design, code, test, and get a website up and running for their client. An experienced front-end developer is vital to any business, as a website is typically the first impression a customer has of a business.
If you are considering becoming a front-end developer but aren’t sure what skills or programs you need to know, don’t worry! We have you covered. Check out the top 10 skills every front-end developer should have.
FLUENT IN HTML & CSS
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are two languages that every front-end developer must know to do their job. HTML serves as the foundation of the page while CSS is used for the layout of the page, including fonts, styles, and colors. With knowledge of these two languages, you can build a pretty basic website or application as they deal with the presentation of the page.
As a front-end developer, you are responsible for how the website and applications look. This requires you to think creatively to keep the website looking the very best it can, while also sticking to the business’ brand. A website should reflect what it is promoting, and this means keeping the designs consistent, but interesting enough to capture and hold clients’ attention.
Responsive design is when a web page renders well on a multitude of devices. According to Statista, mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. This means that the website needs to be rendered and viewable from not just a desktop, but a small cell phone screen as well.
Version control works almost as a checkpoint for your source code. It is the process of tracking and controlling changes that happen to your source code. This means you can go back to a checkpoint of your code if something goes wrong instead of starting all over again. Having this skill makes you a more efficient and quicker front-end developer and saves you from massive code headaches.
From fixing any bugs that pop up to difficulty implementing a design, problems will always occur no matter what situation you are in. Being able to view the problem and work around it will be an essential part of your daily work as a front-end developer.
Yes, your website looks pretty, but how well does it run? If it runs slowly, it does not matter how nice it looks, no one will wait around to watch it load. Web performance is one of the most important factors of a website, so make sure you know how to do it. There are tools that can aid with web performance, such as Grunt or Gulp, so if web performance is a skill you are lacking, they can help.
TESTING & DEBUGGING
No one likes a buggy website. You must have the ability to test and debug codes to keep up with web performance. There are a few different testing methods that a front-end developer can use to test a website. Functional testing looks at the functionality on the site and ensures that the code is being followed, while Unit testing tests small bits of code and examines the code’s performance. Like web performance, there are programs that can be used to speed up the testing process, such as Mocha and Jasmine.
Effective communication is a skill that is important no matter what your job is, even a front-end developer. To build a successful product, communication is vital. Keep an open mind and open communication channel between you and your client or teammates.
A front-end developer is not the only one who aids in building websites or applications. There are also UI/UX Designers and backend developers who have roles to fill. Despite each person having their own role, you can still assist each other and be there to bounce ideas off one another if someone hits a slump. It takes a team to build a successful project, so remember to rely on your teammates and be there for them in return.
To become a successful front-end developer, you need more than just technical skills. Soft skills such as teamwork and creativity are just as important as knowing HTML and CSS. The best piece of advice we can give you is to constantly improve your skills and seek out new knowledge.
Doing that will allow you to expand your qualifications and knowledge, making you the best front-end developer you can be.