How to Become a Front-End Web Developer

Are you interested in becoming a web developer in 2021? We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 skills you’ll need on this career journey. Our list includes both technical and soft skills – from programming languages to frameworks and libraries. Front-end developers in 2021 must be able to create consistent web pages across different browsers and know how to test and debug web pages throughout the creation process. Here are the top ten! Below, you can learn more about each of these skills.

  1. HTML/CSS
  2. JavaScript
  3. Frameworks and Libraries Related to JavaScript and CSS
  4. Content Management Systems (CMS)
  5. Responsive Design Skills
  6. Testing and Debugging
  7. Cross-Browser Development
  8. Command Line Understanding
  9. Version Control
  10. Soft Skills

What is the Job Description for a Front-End Web Developer?

A front-end web developer is responsible for developing what users see and interact with on the “front-end” of a website or app. Front-end web developers are not only proficient in programming languages to create web pages, but they also are artists in their own right and must use creativity to create the front design of a web page. The front-end web developer creates a user-friendly experience when building the part of the webpage where the user sees and interacts. Everything from the placement of buttons to the links and images used are all the responsibility of the front-end web developer.

Front-End Web Developer Qualifications

To become a front-end developer you’ll want to consider a couple of possible paths.

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  2. Take an online course or courses in web development.
  3. Enroll in an online bootcamp in web development.

In addition to one of the paths above, it is also necessary to do the following to become a front-end developer:

  • Read as much as you can about becoming a front-end developer.
  • Learn and practice skills in programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Practice with frameworks and libraries.
  • Practice designing web pages to use your programming skills.
  • Practice with Git and contribute to Github when possible to collaborate with other Git users and learn the platform.
  • Create your own portfolio site to illustrate to hiring managers all the projects you’ve completed and skills you’ve acquired! If you’re interested in learning more check out our comprehensive guide to creating your own Web Developer Portfolio or Front-end Web Developer portfolio. Both articles include step-by-step instructions and tips, free online resources and templates, examples to inspire and more!

Keep in mind, it is possible to become a front-end web developer without formal education. This does, however, require dedication to learning programming, platforms, and interacting in appropriate groups to learn and master the skills needed.

How to Become a Front-End Web Developer

  1. HTML and CSS

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is widely accepted as the standard programming language used for building web pages. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the standard programming language that brings the HTML page to life. CSS is used to create the style of a webpage including the layout, fonts, and colors used. There are a variety of online courses and web-based resources and tools available to learn these coding languages. Once you complete a course, you will want to practice using the languages as much as possible.

  1. JavaScript

JavaScript is a true programming language that allows web pages to go beyond basic features. JavaScript is needed whenever web pages want to implement games, audio, videos, and animations. Online courses in JavaScript can also be found.

  1. Frameworks and Libraries Related to JavaScript and CSS

In order to become a front-end web developer, you not only need to be proficient in JavaScript and CSS, you also must be familiar with the libraries and frameworks that are associated with them. Frameworks and libraries both provide “preset” code that allows you to code more efficiently and reduce your workload when creating a web page. JQuery is an example of a JavaScript library while Foundation and Bootstrap are common CSS frameworks front-end web developers use.

  1. Content Management Systems (CMS)

A CMS is needed to build a website, so knowledge of how to use a CMS is necessary for a front-end web developer. The most popular CMS is WordPress which is used by over 75 million sites. Other CMS platforms include Wix, Joomla, Drupal, BigCommerce, and Shopify. Often, the CMS platform used is related to the type of website being built and the needs of the client.

  1. Responsive Design Skills

Responsive Design Skills are needed since web pages are viewed on more than just a desktop computer. Now, front-end developers must also consider how a user will interact and see a web page on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Source

 

  1. Testing and Debugging Skills

When building a web page, it is inevitable that “bugs” or problems will arise in the programming and development. A front-end developer needs to be able to troubleshoot and debug these issues using functional testing or unit testing. There are also programs available to help front-end developers locate the issue and work to fix them in a more timely manner. You can explore JavaScript testing and debugging tools here.

  1. Cross Browser Development

Cross browser development considers how web pages will be viewed differently on different browsers. Understanding how different browsers react to web pages guarantees that users of websites have consistent experiences using web pages across different browsers. For example, a website should load and look the same in both Chrome and Safari. A good front-end developer can ensure that this happens.

  1. Command Line Understanding

There are now many user interfaces that provide easy-to-use menus which users can choose from to design webpages. The best front-end web developers still are able to adequately write and use command lines, knowing that these user interfaces are not “one size fits all.” There are multiple open source tools that can be used to write command lines.

  1. Version Control

When working on a web page or website, it is important to keep track of the different versions of the design process. This allows you to return to a previous version of coding when there is a mistake. One popular version control system is Git. Git is free and open-source so you can practice using it from home.

  1. Soft Skills

While technically skills will land you a job as a front-end web developer, it is often the soft skills that will allow you to keep — and excel — in your position. Front-end web developers must be able to work in and collaborate with teams. They must also have excellent communication skills to work with their team and clients. Front-end web developers should also be detail oriented and have great problem-solving skills.

Explore schools offering Front-End Web Developer Bootcamps.

Job Outlook for a Front-End Web Developer

The job outlook for a front-end web developer is promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an 8% growth rate in jobs for web developers and designers from 2019 to 2029. This is above the average job growth outlook.

As the use of mobile devices and ecommerce grow in popularity, the demand for front-end web developers also grows. The various sizes and varieties of mobile devices requires a need for front-end developers that can create similar user experiences for users of all mobile devices. Ecommerce requires more web pages with more products, increasing the demand for front-end developers in that industry. Since essentially every business and company has or needs a website, front-end web developers will continue to be in demand.

Example Careers for a Front-End Web Developer 

Front-end web developers are needed in a variety of industries. From website development to app development, front-end developers are needed at an entry-level and beyond. Front-end developers are not only needed for creating web pages and apps, but also need for maintaining the structures. Industries like ecommerce, cyber security, banking, retail, business solutions, and more all need front-end developers.

Front-End Web Developer Salary

Glassdoor reported the average U.S. front-end developer salary at almost $77,000. This was based off of over 7,000 salaries in March of 2021. A career as a front-end web developer can be lucrative. A bachelor’s degree, work experience, and proficiency in coding and troubleshooting are all examples of ways front-end developers work to earn higher than the average salary.

Source

Browse bootcamps for Front-End Web Developer.

Explore some of the top schools offering Front-End Web Developer bootcamps and find the right fit for your needs and schedule.