Front-end development is a crucial part in the website and application design process. By definition, front-end design and development describes everything you actually see on a website. People working in this field are responsible not only for the look of a website, but also for creating user-friendly features. If you want to get started on the path to an exciting career as a front-end web developer, the following skills are must-haves.
HTML is one of the key components of any website. Although it’s not a programming language, you should still be familiar with it. This markup language will help you format and present content on the websites that you build.
CSS and CSS Tools
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) take HTML to the next level. If you want content to look great in a browser, you need to know CSS. Once you’re familiar with this language, boost your skill set by learning how to use CSS preprocessors such as Sass and Stylus and frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation. These help you organize and optimize your code.
Being a great coder is an important step in finding a front-end developer job, but your skill set should go beyond tech knowledge. Your career as a front-end designer or developer will involve working with other people in a team setting. It’s important to know how to communicate ideas to the rest of the group, give feedback to other developers, build on the feedback from others and solve problems in a group setting.
Out there in the real world, people look at websites on a variety of different devices. It’s important that the websites you build look as good on an Android smartphone as they do on the Chrome browser on a laptop. Responsive design helps optimize websites so that they display well on a variety of systems and screen sizes, giving all users a great experience.
Testing and Debugging
No matter how well you plan your design and code, you still need to test your projects to make sure they work as intended. Tools such as Jest and Mocha are great for giving you an edge on the job hunt. Likewise, you need to know how to fix problems quickly and efficiently as you discover them, as companies are often under tight schedules.
In addition to your skills as a front-end developer, you can set yourself above the crowd by building a great portfolio that lets your coding expertise shine. You can also expand your resume and specialize your knowledge into fields such as machine learning and back-end development with a Udacity Nanodegree.