What does a frontend developer’s career path look like?

rontend_developer_career

Almost every digital project needs front-end developers. This part of work is extremely important as it directly influences the way digital products (websites and apps) work, interact with users, and look. And that leads us to a question about the profession of a front-end developer. What are they exactly responsible for? And how can you become a front-end developer? Let’s find out!

Shortly put, front-end developers are responsible for developing all the visual elements that users see and interact with. If you visit a website or open an app, its entire layout and interface are the result of front-end developers’ work.

Front-end developer: Responsibilities

Of course, these responsibilities vary depending on the company and project that’s being developed. Front-end development lands somewhere between UX/UI design and programming work. Front-end devs need to know how to make a website or an app intuitive, functional, and easy to use for different groups of users. And then – appropriately turn this knowledge into code.

Typically, the responsibilities of a front-end developer include:

  • Developing all the user-facing features and elements
  • Implementing the UX/UI design in the final product
  • Making the application intuitive and easy to use (sometimes, the front-end dev also optimizes it for optimal performance and scalability)
  • Ensuring that the front-end works correctly with the back-end layer

 

Naturally, front-end developers need to know the technologies necessary for their work. These comprise primarily programming languages (especially HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) and frameworks that support developing an app (e.g., ReactJS, AngularJS, Flutter, Vue.js).

How to become a front-end developer

In theory, the journey of a front-end developer starts with a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or another related field. In practice, though, there are many successful front-end developers who don’t have any IT-related degree. In the IT world, what you can do and know is far more important than how many years you’ve spent studying.

As a start, it is crucial to gain as in-depth knowledge as possible when it comes to three basic front-end technologies, and these are:

  • HTML5

  • CSS

  • JavaScript

 

You will find tons of both online and offline courses and schools that teach you about these technologies and how to use them in real-life projects (like that one offered by Google or tens of the others provided for free by freeCodeCamp). To refine your skills, you should also attend online meetings and webinars, read and watch tutorials, and read books and other publications on front-end development.

Where can you train your skills?

There are many places online where you can polish your front-end skills (some of them offer that for free). Take a look, for example, at these websites:

 

Learning by doing

Once you gain some basic knowledge, you should put it to work by creating your first small-scale projects (there’s no better way to learn front-end development). You could start by using tutorials and modifying projects presented in them. The more you train, the better you become. Start by doing small parts of a user interface and expand from there. As you practice, you will see how it’s all interconnected and how the knowledge you gain helps you create more and more complex projects.

When you feel like you’ve hit a glass ceiling and you can’t go any further, it’s time to look for some real-life experience. The easiest way to start is through internships. Many web/mobile development companies are continually looking for aspiring front-end developers that need some training. Sometimes even digital marketing agencies need front-end developers from time to time, but IT companies should be your first choice.

Look for such companies in your city and send them your offer/resume. Of course, you can’t expect to earn a lot of money at this point. From the company’s point of view, you’re a long-term investment that will bring the first return after at least several months. Treat that period as an excellent opportunity to learn a lot and grow new skills. Internships usually last for about three months. After that period, the company can decide to hire you part/full-time (thus making you a junior front-end developer), depending on your skills and their current needs.

Summary: Become a successful front-end developer

If that’s your dream career, don’t feel discouraged, even if you don’t have a master’s degree in IT. Discover three of the basic front-end technologies and train your skills using online courses and challenges. Always broaden your knowledge and try to get as much hands-on experience as possible. That’s the key to success in this sector.

And if you’re looking for a job, feel free to take a look at our career section and send your resume to us. Who knows, it can be your first large step in the front-end development career!

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