Step by step guide on how to become a front-end developer.

In recent years, web development field has been exploding with lots of companies looking for front-end and back-end web developers. Here are several things to consider as you decide if you want to become a front-end or back end web developer.

What Do Web Developers Do?

In short, web developers make the websites and web apps that people and businesses use daily. To get more granular than that you would need to consider what kind of web developer we’re talking about. Front end web developers work on the front facing part of the website. They are similar to web designers, however, web developers need to consider more than just aesthetics. Developers need to make the front end of a website functional, often using a framework or library. Back end developers work on the server side of websites, the inner workings. They have to focus less on design and more on pure functionality and efficiency. Regardless of where, all web developers need to be proficient in at least one programming language, and often need to know how to use web or web adjacent technologies like Node.js, SQL, Angular, or Ruby on Rails.

How Much Do Web Developers Make?

Freelance web developers either work freelance or as a fulltime employee, there isn’t one answer to this question. Assuming you’re working fulltime as an employee you can expect to start at around $40k as a junior developer, but there are plenty of experienced developers taking home six figures. It looks like the median is around $60k, which sounds about right for your average web developer that doesn’t live in Silicon Valley.

How Do I Make an Effective Web Developer Portfolio?

I know a lot of hiring managers look at how clean your code is, how fast your example page will load, the HTML structure. I try to make my web development portfolio fit those requirements first; many times quality will trump your actual design (as long as it isn’t horrendous). It also matters what kind of job you’re trying to get with your portfolio. If you’re looking for something more design heavy like CMS sites you may not need much code at all. If you’re looking to really develop then having example sites and apps that function well and that have clean code should be your top priority.

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Web Developer?

Honestly, most hiring managers I’ve met in the dev world think skills first qualifications second. Some of the old schoolers will require a degree to make sure you know more than just what you’ve put in your portfolio. But by and large if you know your stuff, your portfolio is well put together, and you can answer the interview questions you can land a job. That said, getting a certification at a bootcamp or a degree in CS will definitely help your career and put you at the top of the list.

What is a front end developer?

Simply put, a front end developer is a type of web developer who uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (as well as some JavaScript libraries) to create and maintain web pages and web applications. As for their job description, front end devs are involved in every aspect of the client side of development. Generally, front end web development deals with what is rendered in web browsers. This means that, often, these developers are responsible for UI/UX web design, responsive design for different screen sizes, and even a basic understanding server side development (though, someone who is proficient in both the front and backend would be known as a full stack developer).

Can you learn front end development for free?

Best FREE Resources to Learn Front End Web Development While your best bet for learning front end development would be to attend a coding bootcamp or a CS degree program, these options are out of reach for many due to financial concerns. The good news is that you can hardly get online these days without running across some kind of resource to learn web dev. Here are some of the many excellent free resources out there to learn front end development. My personal favorites are in bold. Courses and Books freeCodeCamp (https://www.freecodecamp.org/) The Odin Project (https://www.theodinproject.com/) W3Schools (https://www.w3schools.com/) Eloquent JavaScript (https://eloquentjavascript.net/) Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/) Codecademy (https://www.codecademy.com/) Udacity (https://www.udacity.com/) GA Dash (https://dash.generalassemb.ly/) I Love Coding (https://ilovecoding.org/) Bento (https://bento.io/) Apps SoloLearn (https://www.sololearn.com/) Grasshopper (https://grasshopper.app/) Py (https://www.getpy.com/mobile) Knowin (https://knowin.app/) Mimo (https://getmimo.com/) Reference Sites W3Schools (https://www.w3schools.com/) Mozilla Developer Network (‘MDN’) (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/) HTML Dog (https://www.htmldog.com/) CSS-Tricks (https://css-tricks.com/)

What skills or technologies should I know to become a front end developer?

Front End Developer Skills and Technologies Before you can start a new career as a front end web developer, there is a wide variety of skills and technologies you should be familiar with--and many which you should master. Essential Front End Development Skills The following list contains many of the skills that anyone must master in order to call herself a true front end developer. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) - HTML is at the top of the list for a reason: it's the most foundational aspect of web development. The best part is that this markup language is incredibly easy to learn. The only web development tools you'll need are a good text editor and some quality tutorials, and you can pick it up in a day or two. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) - While HTML is vital for any front end developer, as it provides the structure of all web pages, CSS is a close second in terms of importance. This is because, without CSS, your web pages will look boring at best and, at worst, like something from a true amateur back in the 90s. JavaScript - To be entirely accurate, JavaScript isn't essential to web development, per se. That is, you can build perfectly functional and attractive web pages without a scripting language like JS. That said, to be a successful web developer, it is an absolute requirement. The overwhelming majority of sites on the web today use JS in some respect. So, to make it in front end front end development, you've gotta build up your JavaScript chops. The learning curve with JavaScript is much steeper than for HTML and CSS, but with practice, it's not especially difficult to pick up. Version Control (e.g., Git) - Like JavaScript, you can absolutely do much of what is involved in web development without a version control system like Git. However, learning version control will make your life loads easier, and you’ll need to be very familiar with this technology if you plan on getting a job on a front end development team. Responsive Design - We live in a mobile-first world now. And every year, more and more people are using their mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the web. That’s why it’s so essential to master responsive web design. If your sites or web applications don't look good and function well on smaller screens, it might as well not exist. UI (User Interface)/UX (User Experience) Design - While many dev teams have dedicated user interface and user experience designers on staff, some employers may still require you do do some UX/UI work yourself. Besides, developing quality sites and apps becomes much easier when you understand at least the basics of these fields. While you might not find yourself doing user research or other more involved aspects of user experience and user interface design, you should still be competent in the basics of how people interact with sites and applications. Visual Design/Graphic Design - In short, it's awfully difficult to delight clients, employers, or users with an attractive site if you don't take into account the importance of aesthetics and visual design.

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