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The most important thing you need to know to become a front-end developer is this: you are a person who wants to make something. You want to take an idea, an inventory of skills, and turn it into the neatest little website in the world. You want people walking past your work and saying “hey that’s pretty cool, what did you make that with?”

Well, we’ve provided some tips for how you can become a front-end developer. This article is for anyone who would like to take part in building the future. It doesn’t really matter what your background is or what languages you already know. We’re going to assume you know enough to get around on a computer and just need some background information and some introductions. So let’s get started! 

Who is a Front End Developer?

A front-end developer is a member of a web development team. In simple terms, he or she is responsible for translating different aspects of the software design of a website into concepts that people will understand. The individual focuses on the look and feel of a website and how it appears to the user. Their role is to design the site, create the layout, and make sure it is engaging. Furthermore, they are responsible for designing and coding the front end components, including responsive design, databases, APIs, and security. It is also their responsibility to customize elements to fit a particular brand or style guide.

A front-end Developer has an intimate understanding of the technology that will be used to make up the design. He or she has the ability to make their code readable to anyone who’s not as familiar with it as they are – which means they must be able to use any tools and languages necessary to turn their design into finished code that can be read, understood, and easily maintained by anyone in an organization or group for whom that code is intended (the “readability” requirement).

From building UI for mobile apps to building UI for web pages, front end developers build what users actually interact with. This includes elements like buttons and menus, forms and text boxes, or navigation elements. They ensure everything works well and looks great on different devices. To do this, a front end developer must be a problem solver, someone who can look at a project and think about all the different ways that it could be interacted with.

They must be able to determine the best way to solve those problems. For example, if a user uses a touch device versus a desktop computer, will it make sense to lay the information out in the same way? A great front end developer is able to quickly determine what the best way is to present information to users. They’ll build it out and then troubleshoot if it isn’t working correctly.

What is the Difference between a Front-End Developer, a Back-End Developer, and a Full Stack Developer?

Many people are confused about the difference between a full stack developer, a front end developer, and a back end developer. There is a common misconception these days that since most web apps use both front and back end technologies, everyone who does this work is a “full stack developer.” This is far from the truth.

Full-stack refers to the fact that the developer will be familiar with both ends of your application (front end and back end). The term “full-stack developer” is often used in a way that is very similar to “Jack-of-all-trades” or “Master of none”. Due to this, many misconceptions were created about this job category. So, what is a full-stack developer? Is it someone who can develop both the frontend and backend? Can he create websites from A to Z? In order to clear up these doubts, let’s better understand full-stack development. The full-stack developer can handle the entire design process from concept to implementation. Full-stack developers are programmers who do both frontend and backend development, and typically have a well-rounded knowledge of web technologies. They are the ones who tend to move between different roles and take part in all stages of the development process. They are usually employed by small startups that can’t afford to hire specialists for each of the areas they require – from a mobile app to a RESTful API backend. They are also useful for big companies, especially when it comes to rapidly prototyping new products. As it stands, most companies that offer full-stack positions want 10+ years of experience in either one or both areas. You don’t need that much experience, of course, but you need to know how to deliver value as a full-stack developer.

The role of the front end developer is to deliver the design of the website in a way that is accessible and cross-browser compatible. A front end developer is primarily concerned with the user interface or the front end as a whole. A front end developer is one who looks at how to make a better user interface. He/she is concerned with making sure the interface is responsive across all devices and browsers. Various open-source projects are used to make up this process and these include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Some front end developers may use server-side technologies such as PHP or ASP.NET MVC to help them with their work, others do not. The front end developer is responsible for making sure the website works on all browsers and also ensures that all of the code is SEO optimised.

As opposed to a front end developer, a back end developer focuses on “behind the scenes” problems such as infrastructure and databases. The role of the back end developers is to take the data from their server and make it easily accessible. For back end development, hosting solutions like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are used. Back-end developers build and extend applications by writing code that runs on a server. They’re the unsung heroes of web development: they take your website’s content and instantly make it available to everyone around the world. It wouldn’t be possible for your website to function without them. They also make sure that their client’s data is secure.

Front End Developer Roles and Responsibilities

Here are some of the responsibilities of a front-end developer:

  1. Build reusable code libraries for future use
  2. Provide APIs to other developers
  3. Facilitate design by providing a mock-up that is ready to be code
  4. Convert PSD files into HTML and CSS templates, responsive websites, mobile applications, or package apps for distribution on the Apple Store or Google Play Store
  5. Create coherent pieces of work and make sure to keep the brand consistent through the design
  6. Research and document best practices
  7. Design visual elements that will be eye-catching, functional, and usable by people of all ages
  8. Enhance the website’s user experience with high-quality content that is human-readable using scalable vector graphics e.g., logos, icons, fonts, images etc.
  9. Choosing web page design and structure
  10. Balancing the functional and aesthetic elements of design.
  11. Design the website to be mobile-friendly
  12. Make sure web pages are optimized for maximum speed and scalability as well as being created with a variety of markup languages
  13. Testing code before deploying it live
  14. Developing smaller modules of code to create a bigger product  
  15. Developing reusable components 
  16. Defining and solving code problems
  17. Conceiving new ideas for websites or finding ways to revamp existing ones

Skills Required to Become a Front End Developer

The front-end developer is the heart of almost every website/app, so they should be well-equipped. The following are therefore requirements for frontend developers:

  1. Obtain a computer science degree or a related field of study.
  2. Have an eye for details
  3. Be proficient in coding languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery.
  4. Know how to use Adobe Photoshop or one of the similar programs.
  5. Be familiar with CMS (Content Management Systems) such as WordPress.
  6. Have a solid understanding of SEO principles
  7. Have excellent skills in problem-solving
  8. Be able to interact with others effectively

How to Become a Front End Developer

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to become a front-end developer:

  1. Get started: There are plenty of free resources out there that will teach you how to code from scratch, so don’t worry about coughing up money to get started with your new career path. Code Academy, for example, will teach you all you need to know about website design from scratch in just one course.
  2. Practice: It strengthens your skills. The more you practice, the better you become. This is particularly true when it comes to front-end development. You’ll learn that building things in HTML, CSS, and Javascript is something of an art form. Sometimes it’s easy to get frustrated with yourself when you don’t get things working the way you want or expect them to. But if you persevere, work through your frustrations, and keep building cool stuff, over time you will become a front-end developer. You can’t become a good front-end developer overnight, or even over a few months.
  3. Invest in learning different skills: Every company is different depending on where it’s located or what industry it works in, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different programming languages and try to learn more than just HTML and CSS.
  4. Know about Version Control: Version control is the process of managing changes to a project over time. Learning version control is the best way to become a great programmer because it will make your workflow so much smoother and efficient when you have to work with other people.
  5. Consider Internships: Internships are a great way to gain experience in your field. While they can be difficult to secure, they are invaluable. For many in the tech industry, internships are often their first job out of college or university. An internship can be crucial in helping you land your first real job; it can also be a great way to make connections in your field and learn new skills. As a result, you will be able to put yourself through the wringer and learn from the experience of those who have gone before. An internship can take place at a design agency, company, or freelancer. 
  6. Get familiar with CSS, JavaScript, and HTML: These are the fundamental languages of front end development. Your interface will become faster and more interactive as a result. You can further your education in coding languages using a variety of online resources. Make sure you are familiar with the jQuery and JavaScript frameworks.
  7. Take the time to learn the command line: Before starting a career in web design, you should at least know how to display files and navigate the file system. You might find it helpful to learn about the properties of the Shell, which provides access to OS functions through a text interface.
  8. Learn the fundamentals of quality assurance: Getting hired as a front-end engineer at a company on your own is great, but not if your code breaks on every browser out there.
  9. Learn about good practices for writing code: This includes learning what constitutes best practice coding standards, along with how to write tests that ensure that your code is always safe and correct (and how to write tests for yourself), as well as documentation principles.
  10. Start contributing: You will be able to enhance your skills and climb the ladder of success faster if you participate in open source communities like GitHub and StackOverflow, as well as learn about the latest trends in programming languages such as TypeScript, HTML5/CSS3/Bootstrap, Vue JS 2 or React Native by reading expert articles on these topics. 
  11. Dive deep into frameworks: Frameworks are crucial to front-end development. You can use them to make building sites easier or create client-side components that you sell to clients. 

Key Factors Affecting the Growth of Front End Developers in Nigeria

Is there a demand for front end developers in Nigeria? Are there future jobs for them, or will they be phased out by web development outsourcing? Well, these are some questions that many of us have been asking ourselves over the years. It is actually one of the most discussed topics among front end developers and executives in the software development industry in Nigeria. Based on research conducted by PayScale, the average salary for a Front End Developer / Engineer is ₦1,188,428.

The future of front end developers in Nigeria is very bright. In fact, we are seeing more and more young Nigerians interested in technology than ever before. The smartphone market in Nigeria has grown tremendously in the past few years. With more people owning smartphones and computers, there is a huge market for developers here.

The growth of front end developers in Nigeria is affected by many factors. Here are a few of them:

  1. Resources about Programming – There is a growing number of sites online where you can learn how to code for free.
  2. An increasing number of consumers and organizations are connected to the internet.
  3. Access to faster Internet speeds – broadband and 4G wireless
  4. It is now possible to purchase affordable, high-quality laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc, making it accessible to people of every age
  5. People of all ages can become computer literate due to the increasing user-friendliness of computer software

Conclusion

During the past few years, the field of front-end web development has become increasingly popular. A shortage of skilled developers has made entry-level front-end developers in high demand, so now is the perfect time to learn how to code. You can begin your journey to becoming a master developer by taking online courses or researching other resources. You can find HTML, CSS, and JavaScript courses on edX, Udacity, or Coursera if you’re not sure where to start.

Amaka Odozi

Author Amaka Odozi

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