Frontend Development
Career Career Options Early Career Information Interview

CAREER PATH OF A FRONTEND DEVELOPER

If you have an interest in design as well as coding, front end development is the best career option for you. It is one of the most sought after profession with an ever growing demand, appealing salaries, high career potential and is fun, creative and flexible.

woman coding on computer

What is Frontend Development ?

Frontend development is also known as client-side development. When a user opens a website, everything he sees from the font, colors, navigation bars, search menu, drop-down menu, etc. is the work of a frontend developer. So basically how a website feels and is implemented on the internet is done by front-end developers.

Frontend developers use three main programming languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The main job is to develop user-facing code. But that’s not it. They also have to make sure that websites run smoothly, are fast, easy to use, scalable, reliable, and provide an overall good user experience.

Frontend devs work closely with web designers, user experience analysts to understand specific goals and requirements of both the company and user.

What are the skills required ?

Hard Skills

  1. HTML: Hypertext Markup Language allows us to define structure and content of webpages.
  2. CSS-Cascading Style Sheets. We can make our webpage look good by using CSS. Various fonts, colors and styling is done by CSS.
  3. JavaScript– to add functionality to your webpage.
  4. Frameworks- React, Angular, Vue :Building websites include many repetitive tasks. JavaScript Frameworks provide a ready made structure and help us to build our applications faster.
  5. Bootstrap-CSS framework
  6. Github-version control systems like git maintain project history and help collaborate with others
  7. Testing- Lambda Test, Jasmine , Selenium

Soft Skills

  1. Good communication: Being a frontend developer, you will have to communicate with your peers, clients and to your boss. It is important to clearly understand what your clients want and in turn ask your doubts.
  2. Problem Solving: You will have to deal with all the problems step-by-step and break down larger tasks into smaller tasks.
  3. Creativity: Making the website responsive as well as pleasant to use and visually appealing requires creativity.
  4. Teamwork: Frontend developers need to work with entire project team to fulfill the client’s requirement.
  5. Build a Portfolio: When creating an online portfolio, you should only showcase your best projects. Every project of yours should have an about page. On that page explain everything you have used to build that website.
  6. Networking with the right people: Create a LinkedIn account, search for and connect with people in the frontend industry. Once you’ve created a LinkedIn account, use it to showcase your projects. Be active in the Stack Overflow community, Github, and others.

How To Get Into Frontend Development?

Interview

Cultural Interview

The cultural interview is often candidate’s first impression within a company, so don’t take these interviews lightly Most likely this interview will be run by a recruiter. They may, or may not, have development experience, but they should be able to have an intelligent conversation about front-end technologies. It’s important to truly impress your recruiter because their opinion could have massive impact on your application. Typically cultural interviews start with “So tell me about yourself.” It’s imperative to have a well thought out response to this question.

Coding Interview

Think out loud. It’s important for the interviewer to hear your thought process!

If you’re unclear about one of the directions, ask. Sometimes interviewers will even give you a hint.If you don’t know the answer, it’s okay. I would often admit: “To be honest, I’m not sure, but if I had to make an educated guess…” 

Assignment/ Take Home Challenge

Some jobs may not require you to complete a take home challenge. But if they do, it’s your chance to showcase your awesome development skills without the pressure of being watched. Don’t spend more than a day on it. If you’re spending several days on it, most likely you should go back and work on some of your technical skills. I have had interviews in the past where I’ve had to email the recruiter and tell them that my skills weren’t where they needed to be. This shows them a level of self-awareness.

Offer Letter

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you receive an offer:Ask how long you can think about it. Most managers will give you around a week to give an answer.

It’s okay to say no. If you don’t think this job will make you happy, then don’t take it!

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Determining the structure and design of web pages.
  • Ensuring user experience determines design choices.
  • Ensuring web design is optimized for smartphones.
  • Building reusable code for future use.
  • Optimizing web pages for maximum speed and scalability.
  • Testing the site for usability and fixing any bugs.
  • Maintaining software workflow management.

Front-end Developer/Engineer 

The generic job title that describes a developer who is skilled to some degree at HTML, CSS, DOM, and JavaScript and implementing these technologies on the web platform.

  • Working with clients and employers to develop ideas for a new website or renovating an existing website.
  • Understanding  the information that a site will contain and help develop a plan for structuring and presenting that information throughout the site.

CSS/HTML Developer

The front-end job title that describes a developer who is skilled at HTML and CSS, excluding JavaScript and Application know how. You often work within an existing framework and add or edit the code to create a website or system that fits the needs of your client or employer.

Front-end JavaScript Developer

When the word “JavaScript Application” is included in the job title, this will denote that the developer should be an advanced JavaScript developer possessing advanced programming, software development, and application development skills (i.e will have solid experience building front-end applications)

Front-end Web Designer

When the word “Designer” is included in the job title, this will denote that the designer should posses front-end skills but also professional proficient at design as well.

Front-end web designers may be involved in building websites, but their responsibilities begin before the site is constructed. They are involved in developing plans for websites and determining what types of content, such as videos or graphics, will be included. They draft concepts and proposals and may write content that is used to promote the company or products they are assigned to.

User Interface (aka UI) Developer/Engineer

The focus is on delivering more granular assets such as buttons, tooltips, and other modular pieces which will go into a larger, finished product. The developer sees an asset as the individual css styles and pays particular attention to how the asset will look, feel, behave in different contexts. They may be more familiarized with methodologies like OOCSS, Smacss, or BEM. They may not even see a website as a whole but rather a collection of assets applied to pages.

Mobile/Tablet Front-end Developer

When the word “Mobile” or “Tablet” is included in the job title, this will denote that the developer has extensive experience developing front-ends that run on mobile or tablet devices (either natively or on the web platform i.e. in a browser).

Front-end SEO Expert

When the word “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) is included in the job title, this will denote that the developer has extensive experience crafting front-end technologies towards an SEO strategy they are either given or construct.

Front-end Testing/QA

When the word “Testing” or “QA” is included in the job title, this will denote that the developer has extensive experience testing and managing software that involves unit testing, functional testing, user testing, A/B testing. This position requires a combination of programming skills namely – HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

Frontend Testing is a type of testing that checks the Presentation layer of a 3 Tier Architecture.

In layman’s term, you are checking the GUI – anything that is visible on screen, client -side. For a web application, front-end testing would involve checking functionalities like forms, graphs, menus, reports, etc. as well as associated Javascript. Frontend testing is a term that covers a variety of testing strategies. A tester needs a good understanding of business requirements to perform this type of testing.

Future Scope

Front-end development is more than developing websites and making them look good. The bigger picture is how the product caters to the requirement of the user. If the product fails to satisfy the needs of the user, the product owner will stop all the investments on it. Therefore, the prime focus should be tailoring the products as per the requirements of the target audience and this requires research from the developer’s side. 

The future demands more of consistency, a clear visual hierarchy, and simple navigation.  Therefore, the front-end developers have to focus on increased usability. 

For any commercial websites or apps, a front end developer is needed for any application because that matters more. In the future, marketing will only grow the need to integrate web design and development. So as per the marketing perspective, every business wants a more creative and beautiful app and website thats why the front end developers demand is rising more and more.

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, the chances are good that you are genuinely interested in pursuing the career path for a front end developer. If you love technology, enjoy creating a great user experience and are looking for an exciting career with a lot of growth potential, front-end web development might be just the career for you. If what you’ve learned sounds exciting, take the first step towards landing your dream job today.

As long as you’re willing to put in the work to learn the in-demand front-end developer skills required, and honing your soft skills like flexibility, willingness to learn new skills, and passion, you’ll be an amazing front-end developer!

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