What is Front End Development?
Steps to Master Front End Development
A front-end developer must have knowledge of multiple tools and technologies. In order to master the front-end development tools, you need to follow these steps:
1. Learn HTML and CSS
HTML and CSS are the foundations of front-end development. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is used to create the structure of any web page. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is used to design the looks of a web page. HTML and CSS are used together to create basic and good looking web pages. The good thing about HTML and CSS is that these languages are quick and easy to learn. You can make simple websites just after a few days of learning HTML and CSS.
3. Join Front-End Development Communities
When you learn any new skill, problems and queries are bound to arise. Joining online communities and forums related to front-end development is one of the best ways to resolve your queries. Stack Overflow, Github, and Reddit are some websites where you can find front-end communities with a huge member base. Joining these communities will not only help you resolve your doubts but will also help you find new learning resources and expand your network, which in turn can help you get new career opportunities. Platforms like Stack Overflow and Github are used every day by professional developers. Experienced developers in these websites can give you tips on how to create fast and efficient websites with minimal code.
You can even follow experienced developers on LinkedIn and Twitter. Many developers post their experiences as programmers, new market trends, tips, and much more on these platforms. This way, you will be able to understand what does the professional world look like and how can you grow professionally. People like Justin Kan (founder of Twitch), Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum), and Tim O'Reilly (founder of O’Reilly) are quite active on these platforms.
4. Master Front-End Frameworks
Now that you know how to create websites, the next step is to create them more efficiently. Front-end frameworks are code libraries that help you avoid writing unnecessary codes. Some of the popular front-end frameworks are Bootstrap, React, Vue, and Angular. Bootstrap comes with pre-written CSS components that you can directly use in your program without the need to write the program. It can help you create a basic website structure in a few minutes rather than hours. React, on the other hand, is used to create interactive user interface websites. Mastering some commonly used frameworks will help you easily develop web pages.
The React framework is developed by Facebook while the Angular framework is developed by Google. These two frameworks are two of the most used frameworks in the industry today. When you apply for jobs, many companies prefer those candidates who have the knowledge of React or Angular. There is no need to learn all popular frameworks. Ideally, you should pick one framework and master it as much as you can. The framework you choose to learn depends on you and what do you want to develop. Click here to read an article on the best front-end frameworks in 2022.
5. Create Projects and Build your Portfolio
If you have mastered the above three steps, you now know how to create web pages. Now, the next step is to create projects & a portfolio. Projects will help you in two ways. One, they will enhance your skills as a developer. Two, they will help you build up your portfolio. Every time you build a new project, you will get to know about something new, something that you have never known before. Projects will help you become a wholesome front-end developer. Additionally, contributing to open-source projects will also make you a better developer.
A portfolio website is a front end developer’s resume. It is the place where you get to display your skills and creativity. Your portfolio website should be used to demonstrate your prowess in front end development. You can take inspiration from other front-end developers’ portfolios and make one of your own. This portfolio website should contain information about your major projects, skills, and experience. Needless to say, the website must be visually appealing to the viewer.
6. Develop Soft-Skills
As a developer, when you are working with your team or a client, it is your responsibility to understand the client’s (and your team’s) needs and requirements. Therefore, it becomes your responsibility to be an effective communicator so that you, your team, and your clients never have any misunderstandings. When talking (verbally or in writing) to a client, you should use a formal tone and avoid slangs and atypical acronyms.
Apart from the verbal and written communication, front-end developers should also write and document their code thoroughly. A well documented code means that the variables should be given meaningful names, comments should be appropriately placed throughout the code to give context to the readers, and each function, class, argument, and return value should be described. A well documented code makes it easy for you and your team members to comprehend the code and fix bugs. Even if you look at your code after a long time, a well documented code will help you recall what you wrote.
7. Apply for Internships/Jobs
After you have gained knowledge in front end development, you should look for front end developer jobs and/or internships. Internships and jobs are the perfect places where you can use your skills for practical applications. Internships are specially beneficial for students and freshers because they leave a strong impression on resumes. While applying for internships and jobs, you should look for what skills different companies want from their developers. Once you have figured that out, you should try to master those skills as well.
Top Front End Development Skills
Git is one of the best tools for version control. Git is widely used by programmers and companies all across the globe. Version control is an asset for any programmer. It allows you to keep a track of all changes you made, create a backup of your code, and even restore the previous code in case of a problem in the current code.
2. Command Line
Although command line is not a must have skill for a front-end developer, having this skill in your repertoire is a plus. Some front-end tools require the use of a command line. Command line offers much better control of your system than GUI. Additionally, the knowledge of the command line interface looks good on your resume.
3. UI/UX Design
As a front-end developer, it is your job to implement website designs from the website designs created by the designers. If you have knowledge of UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience), it will become easy for you to collaborate with the designers. If you recognise what the users want in a website, you will be able to develop great websites that users love.
4. Developer Tools
API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is a software that is used for the communication between two applications. APIs are important for making communication with the backend and databases. APIs are widely used to enhance the user experience by adding different services to the web pages. The REST API is the most used architecture API. Therefore, every programmer should have knowledge about the REST API.
How to Get Started?
If you are looking to learn Angular JS, you can also look at this course. This is a 4 module course and by the end of this course, you will even get a certificate of completion.