Front-end development has always been a great reservoir of opportunities for fledgling techies. In 2020, the US front end developer workforce hit a whopping 40,729. Also, the survey by Stack Overflow suggests that front end engineers earned a median of $110,000 per year.

Thus, we can conclude that client-side development is a popular career choice thanks to a highly paid front end developer salary and versatile application area. But how can you kick off your journey as an entry-level coder? Let’s find out.

A Few Words On Front-End Development

Just a decade ago, anyone who developed a site would be titled a web developer. Hence, front-end development is a relatively new term that was coined a few years ago. Essentially, it entails the management of a functional user experience by handling the visual aspect of websites. This includes everything that we see, from text colors and styles to buttons and navigation menu.

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In layman’s terms a front-end engineer transforms designs into website pages through HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The latter are the three fundamental technologies used to build the front end of a website.

What Are Their Job Responsibilities?

Client-facing development is quite a straightforward and narrow niche. Therefore, the main professional skill boil down to ensuring that website users can easily interact with the page.

Other common tasks include:

  • creating adaptive and cross-browser layout of websites;
  • improving usability of existing projects;
  • creating reactive components, scripting;
  • supporting current architecture based on widgets and components;
  • refactoring (code improvement and optimization) of existing projects;
  • collaborating with designers and developers, and others.
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How Much Do Front-End Coders Make?

This IT niche has one of the most bankable talents on the tech landscape today. The United States pays the highest among all countries. Experience-wise, the medium entry-level developer salary in the US varies from $60K and $68K per year. But the amounts vary in other parts of the world. In Western Europe, for example, you can make around $27K per year, while the Dach region has the maximum of 86K.

How To DIY Your Front-End Career

Now, let’s unfold the main steps you need to follow to join the front-end market.

  1. Learn HTML. You can’t join the front-end niche without grasping the fundamentals. In this case, the holy trinity of this direction includes HTML, CSS, and Javascript. With that said, we recommend starting this learning journey with HTML. This language makes up most web pages and online applications and consists of tags. These are commands that are converted into visual objects in the user’s browser.
  2. Learn CSS. This programming language demonstrates how HTML elements are to be shown on screen. In its essence, it is the styling language of the internet, since it helps adjust the look of almost everything on your website. CSS is easy enough to pick up, but is hard to nail. Therefore, we recommend finding and taking a comprehensive course to build up your skills.
  3. Learn JavaScript. JavaScript lets you make websites interactive. It means that you can add interactive features like carousels. Once you get a solid grasp of these three languages, you can already create basic web functionality.
  4. Establish an understanding of Node.js
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Most often, you’ll have to combine your coding skills. For that, you’ll also need an exposure to popular JavaScript libraries. The former will help you  automate testing, development, and other processes.

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that allows developers to easily build fast and scalable network applications. This platform also lets coders execute JS code outside of the traditional browser environment.

  1. Master other JavaScript frameworks

Besides Node, you might also want to explore Angular, Vue.js, and React. Each of them serves a specific purpose and addresses different tasks in front-end development. Overall, the JavaScript frameworks add pre-written JavaScript code to ease routine programming.

  1. Get some experience in DOM manipulation
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DOM manipulation is a programming interface that allows you to modify the HTML document. Thus, you can update, remove, or edit elements. Also, it means that you can change the layout of a page without a refresh. Overall, this interface makes your static HTML elements more functional.

  1. Dive into AJAX.

AJAX or Asynchronous JavaScript And XML is a new front-end approach that helps create better, faster, and more interactive web applications. The two major benefits of this technique include making requests to the server without reloading the page and receiving data from the server. In plain terms, you can update parts of a web page, without reloading the whole piece.

  1. SQL and NoSQL
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You can’t escape data in front-end development. Therefore, a general view of both SQL and NoSQL will help you communicate with permanently stored data.

  1. Develop an online portfolio.

The final step includes putting your theoretical knowledge into practice. Start with building a few example pages and work your way up to creating a full-fledged website. It can be as easy as your online portfolio or a clone website. You can also contribute to open-source projects and build mini-projects.

The Final Word

Being simple on the surface, front-end development is empowered by a wide range of skills. If you are pumped about becoming a front-end coder, focus on the basics and find a mentor if possible. Soft skills will also give an added tailwind to your marketability.

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Dariia Herasymova is a Recruitment Team Lead at Devox Software. She hires software development teams for startups, small businesses, and enterprises. She carries out a full cycle of recruitment; creates job descriptions based on talks with clients, searches and interviews candidates, and onboards the newcomers. Dariia knows how to build HR and recruitment processes from scratch. She strives to find a person with appropriate technical and soft skills who will share the company’s values. When she has free time, she writes articles on various outsourcing models for our blog.

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