How to Become a Front-End Web Developer

If you are in the market for a new career in IT, you have come to the right place. Searching for a new job can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right resources at your disposal, you could easily land the perfect position.

That's why we put together this guide - to help you learn exactly what it takes to become a Front-End Web Developer.

5 minutes

17th of April, 2023

frontend developer

Becoming a Front-End Web Developer Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, employment of web developers – including Front-End Web Developers – is expected to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031, a significantly higher projection than most other occupations. This demand is driven in part by the popularity of mobile devices and eCommerce. A review of well-known job boards provides further evidence of its popularity, with many promoting thousands of Front-End Web Developer jobs.

Front-End web development -- sometimes referred to as client-side development -- is the practice of developing HTML, CSS and JavaScript for a website or web application that allows users to see and interact with them directly. Sometimes the role is also referred to as Front-End Engineer, Front-End Software Developer, Front-End Web Developer, Client-End Developer, or Front-End Coder.

Front-End Developers are responsible for the technical aspects of a website as well as its look. This means developers often have graphic design knowledge in addition to programming skills. While some developers deal with all facets of a website's construction, other developers choose to specialize in a particular area. For example, in addition to Front-End Web Developers, you also have back-end web developers (server side) and webmasters.

Ready to learn more? Let's dive in.

What is a Front-End Web Developer?

The core function of a Front-End Web Developer is to design and create websites. They may also oversee the website's technical aspects, like performance and capacity.

Front-End Web Developers are ultimately responsible for how websites and web apps look. They create the website's layout and integrate web applications, graphics, audio, video, and other content on web pages. They also write web design programs in various programming languages like XML, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

After reviewing current Front-End Developer job descriptions, here are a few examples of popular roles and responsibilities of a Front-End Developer:

Developing front-end code for customer use in accessing web applications using an array of front-end technologies

  • Integrate front-end user interfaces with back-end Ruby on Rails API
  • Write clean and intuitive interface with reliable and scalable code
  • Design and code with the user in mind, prototype interface solutions, and run user tests
  • Develop UI/UX for web applications on multiple platforms including web based and mobile systems
  • Testing the site for usability and fixing any bugs

One of the key aspects of the Front-End Web Developer role, and perhaps the most challenging, is the ability to be creative and detail-oriented while maintaining a focus on delivering a world-class customer experience. Here are some examples of the skills required to be a successful Front-End Web Developer:

  • Concentration: A large part of the role is sitting at a computer and writing code for websites and web apps. Since most web developers work full time, you'll need to focus for long periods of time. Utilizing a large screen size along with multiple screens can help to organize workloads.
  • Creativity: Because Front-End Web Developers are responsible for the appearance of the website, you'll need to bring imagination and innovation to bear to make the site appealing to visitors.
  • Detail Oriented: Since a small error in coding can crash an entire website, you'll need to have a keen eye for detail.
  • Communication: You'll have to collaborate with a team to plan and develop new features so having a good attitude and the written and verbal communication skills required to share ideas will help you assist the team meet their goals.
  • Continuously Learning: In addition to honing your graphic design chops and learning programming languages, you may need to understand multimedia publishing tools. Get used to the idea of keeping up with new tools and computer languages because it's important for developers to be up-to-date with software, industry knowledge, and language updates.

A Front-End Developer can be employed in diverse work environments. This could include working in-house or in an agency role.

A career in front-end web development offers many perks such as being in high demand, sound job security, and good salaries. Because front-end development offers flexibility in terms of work hours and location, providing a wide range of employment opportunities. In fact, opportunities for freelance work tend to be as prevalent as full-time openings.

Front-End Web Developer Salary

Our 2022 Salary Guide for Technology & Engineering reports the median base salary for Front End Developers is $111,755. Individuals with little experience in web development started around $71,864 while those with high experience report earning over $138,000 per year.

Now that you know what they do and how much they potentially make, you're probably wondering exactly how to become a Front End Developer. The answer is simple. You need to develop your technical skills and you need to prepare for and find employment opportunities as a developer.

Requirements and Qualifications to Help You Stand Out

The education and training requirements for Front End Developer jobs vary by employer, specific roles and industries. Some positions will require a relevant BA/BS degree, whereas others will be more concerned with your experience.

What Should a Front-End Web Developer know?

Start by learning the essentials—HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language developers use to make web pages. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the language used to present documents created with HTML. Both languages are indispensable to being a Front-End Developer.

JavaScript (JS) is a programming language that determines the function of a web page. You'll also want to get familiar with libraries like jQuery, a collection of plugins and extensions that make it faster and easier to use JS on your website.

There are many tutorials available that will teach you Javascript, HTML, and CSS.

Here is a simple checklist of all essential skills needed for professional Front-End Developers as well as some nice-to-have skills. You can use the checklist as a benchmark to assess your current learning curve.

Front-End Developer Skills Checklist

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Version Control Systems (e.g. Git, Subversion, Mercurial)
  • Responsive Design Principles
  • Testing/Debugging
  • Browser Developer Tools
  • Photoshop and Sketch and other visual design programs
  • WordPress and PHP
  • SASS (or other precompilers like Less or Stylus)
  • JavaScript frameworks (Angular, React, and Vue.js.)

Some of the essential soft skill requirements we noted in current Front-End Web openings including the following:

  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills
  • Good written and verbal communication skills and attention to detail
  • Good problem solving, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Detail oriented with a commitment to quality and accuracy.
  • A desire to be a part of an Agile team - adapting to change and continuously learning.

Self Development, Networking, and Interviewing for Your Dream Job

Are you ready to start setting your sights on your dream Front-End Web Developer role? Here are some steps you can take to see to it you're putting your best foot forward towards landing the job.

1. Prepare to crack the coding interview-- Most employers will assess your knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You'll take an online test where you solve common HTML/CSS and JavaScript coding problems. You can take a practice test online prior to your interview.

2. Dive into some projects to build up your Front-End Web Developer portfolio -- Don't just soak up web development knowledge. There are any number of Front-End Developer projects you can work on to put your newfound skills to use. Build something -- a UI kit, a simple CSS tool, a responsive one page website, or simple web app -- and put it on your resume. This will be the beginning of your Front-End Developer portfolio.

3. Prepare for a Front-End Web Developer interview - Now that you've learned how to perform the duties of a Front-End Developer, it's time to learn how to sell yourself to potential employers. You want to be able to share what you've learned and talk intelligently about web development. 

With the ever changing-needs in the IT world, it is important to maintain and improve your skills. The Akkodis Academy is an industry-leading program that provides opportunities to re-skill and up-skill before you interview for a Front-End Developer position.

What’s Next for Your Future as a Front-End Web Developer?

If what you've learned sounds exciting, take the first step towards landing your dream job as a Front-End Web Developer today. Whether you are just entering the field of Front-End Web Developer or a seasoned expert, Akkodis is ready to guide you into a career position that is going to be the best fit for your ambitions and increase your earning potential.

Discover how you can make your mark and achieve great things. Contact us today to get started or check out some of our open positions here.


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