Front-end developer: in detail

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Starting your career path from the front-end: is it worth it?

Front-end development is one of the most desirable areas nowadays. A front-end developer is a person who takes care of the creation of all visual elements on websites. This person ensures the implementation and optimal presentation of all client-side components of a website. In collaboration with a designer, a front-end professional develops intuitive interfaces, client-side applications, and layouts. Let’s take a more detailed look at the profession together with SECL group.

What are the responsibilities?

This person is responsible for the connection between the design and the software needed for a function. Many front-end developers have specialized in a specific framework or programming language, so there are, for example, NET developers, PHP developers, Java developers, and C++ developers.

The term front-end refers to the part of an application that is visible to the user. Another name for this environment is User Interface (UI). Front-end development is the process of transforming a design of a website or other application into a technically functioning whole. An application such as a website or app consists not only of a front-end part but also of a backend environment. For example, if you want to order something in a webshop, you will see the products offered and an order form (these belong to the front-end), but not the database that is used to display this data, as it belongs to the backend.

Front-end developers design, program, test, and implement the front-end part of an application. They deal with technical aspects but also with questions of user-friendliness and accessibility. You must be able to answer the following questions if you want to become a pro:

  • What is the best way to create CMS (Content Management System) templates? How do you create responsive designs?
  • What special images and animations are better to be used? (Flash, Javascript, or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics))?
  • How do you deal with the different browsers?
  • Optimization of content for search engines (e.g., when using Javascript): what are the peculiarities?

Skills overview

The most important prerequisite for being successful as a front-end developer is perfect knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the most important libraries. These web technologies are constantly being further developed, and it is the task of the developer to be familiar with innovations in the picture and with modern development methods at an early stage. Until a few years ago, the Flash format was considered the first choice to make websites interactive and display animations.

This triumphal march has come to an abrupt end, and at the latest, since the spread of the mobile Internet, this technology has been a thing of the past. HTML5 and CSS3 are trying to close this gap. This approach is complemented by the creative use of JavaScript and its numerous libraries.

The increasing spread of the mobile Internet places further demands on a front-end developer. A modern website must convince visually and functionally on a 4K monitor and smartphone. Correctly planning these structures is one of the decisive tasks of a front-end developer and requires analytical thinking and practical experience.

In order not to reinvent the wheel, this professional can rely on frameworks and libraries that specialize in different functions. With regard to the display options on different devices, the CSS library Bootstrap enjoys widespread. For creative applications, extensions such as SASS, Gulp, and LESS are used to expand the possibilities of native CSS.

There are also many libraries for JavaScript that a front-end developer must be familiar with. For example, jQuery is considered one of the most widespread options for now. Every developer is recommended to master it. Speaking about UI/UX, separate libraries are utilized here. The most common options are Vue.js, React, and more. All in all, the more you know, the more attractive offers you will get. 

Soft skills

If you have a hard side (knowledge of programming languages and other practical skills), you should also have a soft one. This is how at least a large part of recruiters see it, who find soft skills at least as important as hard skills. But what are soft skills actually in contrast to hard skills?

Here is a definition: soft skills are your personal skills, traits, behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics that go beyond learned expertise. Because they are difficult to measure, they are also called soft factors.

Examples of frequently required soft skills are:

  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Communication skills.
  • Ability to criticize and conflict.
  • Analytical thinking.
  • Flexibility.
  • Creativity.
  • Empathy.
  • Organizational talent.
  • Quick comprehension.

If you think these are all soft skills, then, of course, you are wrong. There are so many strengths that make you and your personality, and other characteristics may qualify you for the job. Soft skills are, therefore, your personal arguments to look better than other applicants. It is, therefore, totally important that you know where your strengths lie and then use them for your benefit. Surely you will quickly find out during your self-reflection that you do not have all the soft skills and have to master lots. Fortunately! After all, we are all different – and the good thing is that you can also work on your soft skills.

Is it easy to become a pro?

There is no fixed training path to becoming a front-end developer quickly and easily. Provided that you are an entrance qualification for university, there is the opportunity to qualify as a front-end developer through training as an IT specialist. 

Many companies are increasingly relying on well-trained specialists. The path through a completed degree in the field of information technology offers applicants, especially in large companies, the best conditions to find a job as a front-end developer. In addition to well-trained specialists with a university degree, lateral entrants are often found, especially in the front-end area. So, if you have been dreaming of becoming a developer, your options are plentiful nowadays. 

In addition, we would like to highlight that if you need a developer, you don’t have to become one (especially if your urgent task). Our recommendation is to choose professionals to help you out. In this case, you will enjoy excellent results without wasting your time and money. 


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