how to become a frontend developer

Web development has become hugely popular in the last half a decade. With the advancement of web technologies and the expansion of businesses on the web, it is normal to see a high demand in this relatively new occupation.

If you are not sure whether you want to take you career down the PHP development path or go to the front trenches, here are some guidelines that may give you an insight into frontend development and maybe finally lead you towards your final goal: a career in web development.

What is Frontend Development?

Frontend development (also spelled as front-end development) is the area of web development/programming which deals with the front – presentational part of websites which the users see (user interface).

By contrast, backend development involves programming the platform which is not visible to the end-users – databases and apps (CMS – content management system) that make the website engines run.

Frontend development usually assumes making the websites more interactive – with typography, buttons, layouts, forms and all other web design improvements which include web engineering visible and actionable on the client-side.

What Do Frontend Developers Do?

Frontend developers are people who build amazing websites via code and markup text. Using frontend techniques and technologies, frontend developers can basically write websites from scratch or, what is more common today considering that it saves a lot of time, apply the design onto an existing theme and adjust it to the client’s needs.

A frontend developer’s work entails writing the website code based on a PSD design file received from a web designer, thus creating the backbone of a website in HTML and styling it with CSS or adding smooth functionalities in JavaScript. Since websites are accessed from different devices and browsers, frontend developers make sure they are equally visible on all devices and across browsers with the power of responsive design and CSS stylesheets.

Frontend tools and technologies

The most commonly used frontend technologies in the creation of websites and web applications are the following:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

How to get started

The most important thing for any development job is to be curious. Knowledge is everything and the more you know and are willing to learn, the better.

If you are a complete beginner and have found this article via Google by searching for words “how to become a frontend developer”, we would like to direct you towards Wikipedia, whose extensive frontend development, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript articles can explain things in greater detail and give you a good start.

After this, there are several roads you can take: you can either sign up for a programming course at the University, in a private coding academy or ask a friend to help you out, OR you can use the good sides of the web and start learning for free.

For example, W3Schools, the world’s largest web developer site offers free development courses, such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. Codecademy is another great website which offers free frontend development courses (you are going to have to register first).

We know this may look like a big chunk to digest, so you need to keep cool and learn things gradually. Start from the basics, and as time starts passing you will probably be able to cross over to more advanced levels and develop your skills.

Another important thing is that you remain curious and always want to improve your knowledge. Since development is an area which changes relatively quickly, programmers need to stay in touch with the news and read forums and blogs, such as Web Designer Depot, Smashing Magazine, Creative Market, PopArt Blog, and stay up-to-date.

What is your experience? Is this the right way to start with learning frontend development? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

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Vesna Savić

Dedicates her time to learning about better means of communication, translating knowledge into practice, and is a passionate reader.