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, 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.
We will cover the following topics in detail that will help you get a broader understanding of what exactly front end development is, and take you a step closer to becoming one:
- What is a front end developer?
- Front end developer roles and responsibilities
- Skills required to become a front end developer
- Front end developer salary
- How to become a front end developer?
- What’s the future of front end developers?
- Become a front end developer
What is a Front End Developer?
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 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 Required to Become a Front End Developer
Since the front end developer is the rock star of website/app development, they need to have a well-stocked personal toolbox. So a front end developer skills include the need to:
- Have a degree in Computer Science or 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
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 InformedThat 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.
PracticeHere’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 LineWhen 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 ControlOne 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 SkillsCheck 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 CourseTake 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 InternshipBecome 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.
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 certification upon successful completion. It’s the best way to learn front end development.
You can also check out the Complete Web Development Certification Course offered by Simplilearn today and create a more rewarding, secure future for yourself as an always in-demand front end developer!