What does a front-end developer do?
Related: What is HTML? – A Beginners Guide to HTML Code
Front-end development is the process of creating and maintaining the user interface, also known as the visible interface of a website or application. There are three roles in front-end development: designers, developers, and project managers. However, all three roles are essential to the success of any project. Here are some ways to break down what makes up a front-end developer’s job and responsibilities.
Implementing responsible web design principles to ensure the company website renders well across multiple devices
Designing a framework for creating user apps that grow with the needs of the company
Monitoring website performance, watching for traffic drops related to site usability problems and rectifying the issues
Reviewing app and feature coding and planning website upgrades with the development team
Assisting with the functionality of user-facing features and responsive design
Front-end Developer Salary
With the prices of tech falling and demand for skilled developers skyrocketing, more and more people are finding themselves turned away from software development careers. It’s becoming harder to find entry-level jobs and often, companies will pay more for a front-end developer than they do for a back-end developer.
That doesn’t mean that front-end developers are better off than back-end developers. There is still a lot of work to be done in both fields. However, it’s important to know what your salary should be if you want to get hired as a front-end developer. And it’s also important to know how long it takes to become an expert in this field. You don’t want to spend years trying to figure out what your true worth is at the company or industry level when your skillset is actually worth less than you were originally led on.
Front-end developers are typically full-time, salaried employees. Salaries for front-end developers vary depending on their level of education, relevant work experience, the geographic location of the job and the size and industry of the company. Front-end developers may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses. Some front-end developers work as freelance contractors for an hourly rate.
Average salary in the U.S.: $108,456 per year
Some salaries range from $30,000 to $211,000 per year.
Front-end developer requirements
Securing a position as a front-end developer may involve certain requirements depending on the industry and size of the company. These include:
Front-end developers need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. This position also requires a strong knowledge of web development tools and programming languages.
Training for front-end developers typically includes post-secondary education, self-directed training and on-the-job training. Front-end development is a technical career and thus requires candidates to have a broad technical knowledge base and a thorough understanding of web development tools and systems and programming languages. Front-end developers may also receive additional on-the-job training specific to their roles as part of an onboarding process.
There are several certification programs front-end developers can obtain. Certifications allow you to prove your skills and qualifications to current and potential employers. Front-end developers can also earn certifications to gain additional knowledge about their responsibilities and further their career advancement opportunities. Popular certifications for front-end developers include:
Adobe Certified Expert certification
Adobe is the preferred software choice for many web developers and web designers. Individuals seeking a career as a front-end developer should consider this certification to prove their proficiency in a variety of interactive and online content areas, such as web design, rich internet applications, video, technical communications and e-learning.
Certified Web Development Professional certification
W3C Front-End Web Developer Professional certification
Microsoft developer certifications
Microsoft offers two web developer certifications that are highly respected in the industry: Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD). The MTA certification verifies your expertise in areas such as software development, Windows development, mobile development and game development. The MCSD certification displays your expertise in areas such as Windows Store Apps, web applications, SharePoint applications and website application lifecycle management.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification
This certification verifies your proficiency in developing and maintaining applications on the AWS platform.
Because web development is a technical career, front-end developers need a solid foundation in several hard skills combined with relevant soft skills. Some of the most common skills required for front-end developers include:
This involves the ability to communicate both verbally and nonverbally with active listening, observing, speaking, writing and empathizing. Front-end developers must communicate with back-end developers and web designers to implement visual design elements using coding and programming language.
Front-end developers need to have strong computer skills as they perform most of their job responsibilities on a computer, including typing and system and software knowledge.
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills refer to the ability of an individual to use knowledge, facts, data and reasoning to provide solutions to problems. Front-end developers must have the ability to think quickly and respond appropriately to issues users encounter while using the company’s web applications.
Programming language skills
Front-end developer work environment
Front-end developers typically work full-time in standard business hours in an office environment. They spend most of their day sitting behind a desk at a computer working with coding and programming language to implement the visual elements of a web application. Some front-end developers work as freelance contractors from home.
How to become a front-end developer
Becoming a front-end developer requires a combination of education and relevant skills and experience. Here are the steps you should take to become a front end developer:
Earn a degree. Front-end developers need a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or another related field. Recommended coursework includes web development, programming, web design, database management, networking and mathematics.
Get certifications. Because web development is a highly technical career, seeking a relevant but voluntary certification will help you build and prove your skills and stand out to employers.
Gain experience. Employers looking for a front-end web developer often want candidates who have proven experience within the field and can show a portfolio of their work and written code.
Become proficient in multiple programming languages. Front-end developers need to understand how to program websites and applications to be responsive across various platforms. They should know the major programming languages and understand when to use each one. Front-end developers need to stay informed about updates in technology, including new programming languages.
Front-end developer job description example
Our organization is looking for a front-end developer who can use HTML, CSS and jQuery to develop effective user interfaces on our website and mobile apps. The successful candidate will work closely with our web development and software design teams to update the website and internal web tools to make them more efficient. The front-end developer will also create innovative solutions to web design issues to help make the website more visually appealing and enhance usability.
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