10 skills every front end developer needs

What is a Front End Developer?

What is a Front End Developer?

Before we get into the skills necessary for a career as a front end developer, let us first understand what a front end developer is. For this article, we will be using front end developer and UI developer interchangeably as they are essentially the same. In layman terms, front end developers code websites using a variety of skills such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS etc. These are essentially the foundational skills that are prerequisites to building a website. A front end developer uses designs and makes them live and working websites.

Needless to say, front end developers are much in demand due to the massive surge in website development. For a career in the tech space, front end development is a popular choice because it provides a host of opportunities to grow and helps to build a versatile portfolio. However, before you take a dive into the front end development world, you will need to master the required skills which will help you stand out as a prospective candidate and be desirable to employers. Let us check out the top 10 skills that are most pertinent to building a great career as a front end developer.

At the starting of your career as a front end developer, these technical terms may seem a little intimidating, however; once you learn more about it, these terms will be on your fingertips and your resume!

Top 10 skills every Front End Developer needs

Here are the top 10 skills that you’ll require to become a successful Front End Developer –

1. HTML/CSS

HTML and CSS are the foundational skills required for most jobs in the tech sector. These are pretty basic and each job description of a front end developer will have these as a requirement. HTML and CSS are like the ABCs of front end development, necessary to learn the language of website development.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language which is used to create web pages. For website development, HTML is a critical skill. Therefore, it is a basic requirement for a front end developer.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the language used to make a digital document alive and communicable. A web page is created with HTML first and then CSS is used to put elements such as layout, format, colour, fonts etc on the page. It makes the web page interactive and presentable. you create with HTML.

Both HTML and CSS are definitely the skills no front end developer can do without!

2. JAVASCRIPT

Another must-have skill for any front end developer is JavaScript (JS). Where HTML is a markup language and CSS enhances the web page, Javascript is a programming language that makes the website functional.

HTML and CSS are used to make websites that look fairly simple but most websites today are expected to have enhanced interactive features such as audio, video, animations etc. In such cases, Javascript comes in handy.

3. CSS AND JAVASCRIPT FRAMEWORKS

While we have talked about CSS and Javascript, their frameworks can be considered an upskill from that. These frameworks are bundles of CSS or JS files that provide added functionality to a website.

A good front end developer needs to gauge the pros and cons of the frameworks being considered for instance some frameworks help make searching content easier while some are good at displaying content more effectively. Whatever be the case, to excel at front end development, knowledge of these frameworks is a must.

4. CSS PREPROCESSING

CSS as a stand alone skill may not be as beneficial for career growth and for attaining versatility in your portfolio. One of the drawbacks of only using CSS is that you can’t define variables, functions, or perform arithmetic operations.

When a project grows or becomes more complex, using just CSS may become redundant and repetitive as codes will have to be written every time, which is time-consuming. CSS Preprocessing takes care of this limitation and any smart front end developer would definitely want this skill in his/her toolkit.

5. VERSION CONTROL/GIT

This is an important time-saving skill and also helps a front end developer deliver a customised product. Throughout the project development, many unforeseen changes or errors might come along. Version control helps in fixing the errors or making the necessary changes without having to start over from scratch.
Though it doesn’t need to be made explicitly clear this is a critically helpful skill to have for any front end developer.

6. RESPONSIVE DESIGN

Today, websites are not simply viewed on desktops but across other devices, such as tablets, phones etc. A good website is one that offers suitable viewing experience across all devices. This is essentially a responsive website. Another must-have skill for any front end developer is to be able to create websites that are responsive using design elements as well as coding.

7. TESTING/DEBUGGING

A very important aspect of website development is to make sure that the end result is error-free, free of bugs and seamless experience for the user. Therefore, the ability to test and debug a website is another essential skill set any front end developer needs to have. There are various methodologies that can enable the front end developer to make sure that the website or product not only looks good but also functions smoothly.

8. BROWSER DEVELOPER TOOLS

The link between your website and its users is the browser which means that the website you build needs to function well on the browser. Most new-age web browsers come equipped with developer tools. By interpreting the codes of your website, thebrowser automatically makes it functional. As a front end developer, you will need to have the technical know-how of browser development tools.

9. WEB PERFORMANCE

By now, you must have understood that HTML, CSS and Javascript are the foundational skills required by all front end developers. The other skills that have been listed are basically required to make sure that the website or product you are building is efficient, error-free, interactive and easy to use. Web performance is a skillset that makes sure that the user experience is excellent. It is basically the loading time of your website. Naturally, if it is too slow, the users won’t be happy with the experience. As front end developers, you would be expected to have knowledge of how to use building and automation tools that enhance web performance.

10. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

While we’re all for honing technical skills, we also want to highlight the importance of soft skills. Just as any other profession, a UI developer will also need to have interpersonal skills, the ability to adapt to changes and have a keen eye for the minutest details. Front end development is one of the most lucrative career options today and to find the right employment opportunities, candidates must be prepared to develop a plethora of skills. This means that practical experience will certainly give an edge to your candidature

Choosing UI development or front end development as a career entails training and skill development. You will need to pursue a course that ensures that not only imparts technical knowledge but also practical experience and hands-on training. Nonetheless, once you have made the right decision for your education, front end development is a promising career you can look forward to. You may like to know about our Academies in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Mohali who are offering this course.

Good luck for a bright career!

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Tanish Maheshwari

Tanish Maheshwari

Author

Tanish is a storyteller and an agile marketer. She heads the Development Communications and Social Marketing for Tech Mahindra Foundation and all its directly implemented projects. With an experience of over 15 years, she plans the marketing strategies for all the SMART Academies so as to build them into sustainable social enterprises. She also acts as a strategic lead for all internal and external brand communications. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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Tanish Maheshwari

Tanish Maheshwari

Author

Tanish is a storyteller and an agile marketer. She heads the Development Communications and Social Marketing for Tech Mahindra Foundation and all its directly implemented projects. With an experience of over 15 years, she plans the marketing strategies for all the SMART Academies so as to build them into sustainable social enterprises. She also acts as a strategic lead for all internal and external brand communications. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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