What do you need to learn to become a front-end developer?
In this article, I’ll try to answer on this question, explain to you what front-end developers do on a daily basis and what steps you should take to achieve your goal, what is essential and what not so much.
What is front-end and what front-end developer does?
Front-end is the part of the application which we as users can see and interact with. From a more technical point of view, it’s responsible for collecting data from the user and passing it to back-end and for displaying back-end data to the user. But front-end developer has one more task, he or she needs to implement designers ideas.
So, what skills does the person need to have to be a good front-end developer?
Start with HTML
The first skill (the essential one, really) which you need to have is HTML (HyperText Markup Language), it’s fundamental in front-end development. HTML creates the skeleton of our website or application. It creates blocks, elements like menu, image, text, video, table, inputs, etc. But the good news is that it won’t take a long time to get familiar with it. After about one week of learning and practicing, you will be able to create the first project in HTML. Remember that HTML doesn’t apply colors and all the beauty to your elements. Here comes the next skill you need to have.
Continue with CSS
The next thing which you definitely have to know is CSS(Cascading Style Sheets), it’s going to be with you during all your front-end career, so better get very familiar with it. You are going to use CSS to add your page some style. With CSS, you can create all the positioning of elements, give them colors, alignment, fonts, sizes, margins, and even some animations. From one point of view, CSS is very easy on the beginning, but when you try to master it, then you will see how many things are hiding behind which you had no idea about. Your approach for CSS should set up that you will learn new tricks during all your life.
Now it’s the time to practice, having HTML and CSS you can create beautiful websites, dashboards, UI or UI elements. The more you will create, the better your knowledge will become.
At this point, it would be nice to take a closer look at UI libraries like Bootstrap or UI Semantic or Foundation. Don’t be afraid; it’s enough to learn one of them to know how to use them all. I would recommend starting from Bootstrap because it is the most popular one and lots of companies use it.
Also at this point is one more thing to mention. You need to find out what is responsive design and media queries because, in 2019, your projects have to be mobile-friendly. Now we can go to the next step.
It seems like that’s it? Unfortunately not, now it would be good to learn some of the modern frameworks for front-end development. Let’s go to the next step.
Use JS frameworks
There are three most popular front-end frameworks on the market right now: React, Angular and Vue. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Vue.js – it’s a new framework which gained huge popularity, it’s a component-based framework. Creator of Vue.js tried to make it as simple as possible so that it may be the right choice for the beginner. On the other hand, resources to learn it are not very big, and the community is small but growing.
Now it’s time for you to select. If you are not sure, maybe it’s a good idea to build a test project with each of them and check which you feel comfortable with. It might seem like it’s everything you need to know, but there is still one more necessary thing. Let’s go to the last step.
Finish with Git
The last thing you should learn is git (Version Control System), junior developers often skip it, but almost every company use it, and it’s incredibly useful to know how it works. It’s primarily used for collaboration of developers on one code. You should start learning git by installing it on your machine. It would be right for you to create your repo on Github or Bitbucket and store there your code. Take a look at the documentation to learn basic commands and find out what is a branch, commit, or code review. It seems like that’s it.
Now you need to create your new resume and start looking for a front-end developer work or start freelancing; the decision is yours.
You have to remember to read programming news and articles to be up-to-date with all the new things in the front-end world, try new technologies, and master your knowledge all the time. Create new projects and try to improve them, avoiding bad coding practices.
I hope this article answered all the most important questions and will help you to achieve your goal.
Good luck with your career!