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Front End Developer Skills You Need To Know

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Hello newcomers! I assume that each of you has heard about the profession of a front-end developer, because these specialists are in great demand in development companies and in general among customers of web services. This article, which is called ‘Front End Developer Skills You Need To Know’ is dedicated to everyone who has decided to start an IT career as a front-end developer and wants to know what skills are needed to make this career way successful. Read on and discover something new and interesting!

Every year in the world, several studies are carried out on the most popular professions among service users, and web developers occupy the highest positions. All front-end developers fall into this category. A front-end career usually starts with a layout designer – this is the most logical and generally accepted option. First, a bunch of HTML + CSS is studied, then knowledge of JavaScript, libraries and frameworks is “layered” on it. The future specialist also learns the key concepts of building the server side, adds here the tools necessary for the chosen specialization. Then all this is polished by the ability to work with version control, graphic editors and an understanding of the principles of UI / UX design. If a novice programmer initially knows in which area he plans to develop skills, nothing prevents him from studying the key technology stack at once, and not in parts. It all depends on the goals and timing of the future front-end developer. Any option is acceptable, as long as the output is an intelligent specialist.

But if we analyze in detail the skills of the front-end developer, then they can be divided into two types: hard and soft skills. Hard skills are the technical skills of a developer, such as knowledge of programming languages, frameworks, the ability to handle related technologies; foreign languages are often also included in this category. Let’s take a look at the top 10 most important hard skills you need to start your career.

  • HTML / CSS. Knowledge of these two languages ​​is a basic requirement, the cornerstone of knowledge of any Front-End developer. You won’t find a single developer job that doesn’t require proficiency in these two languages. HTML is the standard markup language used to create web pages. This language is your way of taking notes in a digital document that can be distinguished from regular text. This is the most basic building block you will need to develop websites. CSS is the language used to represent a document created using HTML. When HTML comes first and lays the groundwork for your page, CSS goes further and is used to create page layout, color, fonts and … well, his majesty – style! Both of these languages ​​are absolutely essential in order to be an interface designer. Simply put, no HTML / CSS – no web development.
  • Another major tool in the beginner developer toolbar will be JavaScript (JS). In some cases, a very simple website or web page works fine, but for situations where you need interactive features (audio and video, games, scrolling, page animations), then JavaScript is the tool you will use to implement them. One interesting thing to remember about JavaScript is the existence of libraries, a collection of plugins and extensions that make it faster and easier to use on your site.
  • CSS preprocessing is one another CSS-related skill. CSS itself, while essential, can sometimes be limited. One of these limitations is the fact that you cannot define variables, functions, or perform arithmetic operations. This is a problem as the project grows in scale and code base, as soon you will be spending a lot of time creating repetitive code to make changes. Similar to CSS (and JS) frameworks, CSS preprocessing is another way to make your life as a developer easier and more flexible. Using a CSS preprocessor like Sass, LESS, or Stylus, you can write code in the preprocessor language (allowing you to do what can be a huge pain with plain old CSS). The preprocessor will then convert this code to CSS to make it work on your website.
  • Version control / Git. After working with HTML, styling with CSS and programming with JS, you should be able to make a number of changes in your development without losing the previous result. If something goes wrong in the process, the last thing you need to do is start from the very beginning. Version control is the process of tracking and controlling changes to the source code to prevent this from happening. For example, version control software such as Open Source Stalwart Git is the tool you will use to track these changes so you can revert to a previous version.
  • Adaptive design. Do you remember the days when you only used one device to view a website? Yes, and we also remember. The era of desktops (or even laptops) that were the only way to browse websites is long gone. Today we use any number of computers, phones, and tablets to browse the web. Have you ever noticed how these pages adjust to the device you are using if you are not doing anything on your end? This is due to the responsive design. Understanding the principles of responsive design and how to implement them on the coding side is the key skill to designing an interface.
  • Testing / Debugging. Whether it’s your mom’s e-commerce website, or even an international online banking site – bugs in the code are a reality during development. In order for everything to work, you need to test your code for bugs, so the ability to test and debug is on the list of required skills for Front-End developers.
  • Browser developer tools. Ultimately, users will interact with your websites through a browser. How your site will display with these browsers will be half the success of your project. All modern web browsers are equipped with developer tools. These tools allow you to test and fine-tune your pages in the browser itself, just like the browser interprets your code.
  • Command line. In many ways, the proliferation of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in computing has become one of the best things that ever happened. How much easier it is now to just click on a lively interactive menu than to perform an unimaginable amount of actions. GUIs can be handy when it comes to web development and coding. Keep in mind, however, that at times the generic GUI has its limitations for some specific applications. Even if most of your work is still done through a graphical interface, you will add serious confidence to your skills if you become a ‘command line wizard’.
  • Building and Automation Tools / Web Performance. You can code the coolest website, but if it is sluggish for the user, all the coolness doesn’t matter. The effectiveness of a website tells about the amount of time it takes to load. If you are having problems with loading times, you can take steps to improve them such as optimizing images (scaling and compressing images for maximum website performance) and minifying CSS and JavaScript (removing all unnecessary characters from your code without changing functionality). For example, programs such as Grunt and gulp can be used to automate image optimization, minify CSS and JS, and other websites to perform duties.

Novice developers often focus on learning technologies, frameworks, and services as well as possible. At the same time, not everyone thinks about pumping less obvious skills, such as communication skills or the ability to resolve conflicts. Soft skills help not only in programming, but also in any other area. These kinds of skills help to advance the frontend developer up the career ladder and help to adapt to a new place. At the moment, development almost always takes place in a team, as well as training on frontend courses, for example. All programmers have to interact with people. Soft skills, that is, the ability to listen and hear, negotiate, share knowledge, work with feedback, and collaborate – in such a situation are more relevant than ever. The presence of these skills will in every possible way contribute to the quick and effective solution of any problems and training in programming courses for the front-end component of the site. Also soft skills will help you in building an IT career. Activity in solving related problems, discussing possible project problems and finding solutions are what pushes the frontend developer towards project management. In addition, soft skills directly affect the formation of a frontend developer’s reputation – it is easier for him to get any help, a recommendation sheet or an interesting project at work. This is especially noticeable at the interview stage, when the employer gives preference to a developer who can join the team. Also, soft skills give advantages in relocation, because they help you quickly adapt in another country and organize your workflow.

Conclusion

As you understood from the article ‘Front End Developer Skills You Need To Know’, a professional front-end developer possesses not only technical skills, but also many other soft skills that are of great importance in their work. Therefore, if you decide to become a successful specialist in the field of web development, pump these skills and you will be in great demand among companies. Thanks for reading!

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