With new technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and Bootstrap, front-end developers can create interactive web applications that look and feel like native apps. They’re able to build responsive websites that adapt their design to fit smaller screens, making your website more user-friendly.
Front-end developers have a crucial role in today’s fast-paced digital marketing industry. They can do so much more than just coding a website. Make sure they’re doing it right!
Top skills your Front-end Developers must-have
Front-end developers are the only ones who talk directly to customers, so they must be multi platform communicators. They understand what goes beyond just markup. These top skills that your front-end developer must-have and master, because that’s where the user interacts with the application. Having a front-end team that has these skills will significantly enhance your product experience.
2. CSS Frameworks and Preprocessors
Like Bootstrap, Foundation, Bulma, UIkit, Semantic UI, Susy, Materialize and Pure, etc. for CSS – optimizing the workflow. It means, that it is actually better for a developer to know them because you can get the same results in less time and less typing. Another important aspect is a responsive design – sites and apps that work great on each device and in each size are a must-have in 2019. Knowing how to convert a website from a static to responsive one is essential but saving some time by using frameworks that have it already built-in is even better. Win-win.
A top frontend developer should be proficient in CSS3, however, what makes a dev life easier and the whole process faster is knowing preprocessors. Sass and LESS are quite commonly used and often you can find those in job listings. Their duty is to process the CSS written by you, before publishing on the website and turning it into cross-browser-friendly code.
Depending on the team you are going to work with or on the project, most likely there will be given a framework you should be familiar with. Knowing the language itself is one thing but knowing how to work within a framework is an additional skill and you can’t do much without it, especially if you want to create some real project for a client. The most popular are Angular, React and Vue.js – getting familiar with one of them is a big plus. You can start with this ng2 (Angular) comprehensive guide.
Additionally, libraries are great to minimize the amount of code you have to write from scratch. Being fluent with, for example, jQuery will make not only your life easier but also the workflow way faster! You can find there ready-made plugins and extensions which are customizable like search form autocomplete, how to automatically resize grid layouts or countdown timers, and so on. Why reinvent the wheel and wasting time instead of using a working solution?
4. Development Best Practices
The Front-end is no place to reinvent the wheel. From best practices, tools, and frameworks to processes and organizational structure, there’s a lot of stuff you can and should learn from the collective wisdom of the web development community.
The chances are that your team will have its own internal set of development best practices. Front-end development is a very dynamic field that changes all the time. It’s hard to keep up with the latest JS frameworks and design trends.
The ability to find and fix bugs is an essential part of creating reliable, secure code. Debugging can be done manually or with automated tools. Developers will need to know how to use the debugging functionality provided by their development environment.
Use breakpoints in browsers. Browsers’ developer tools allow you to set breakpoints. When the browser hits a breakpoint, it pauses before executing the line of code that caused the breakpoint to be triggered, allowing for investigation of what is happening then or execution of other statements before resuming normal execution.
Breakpoints are typically used when there’s a problem with page layout or rendering, but they can also be used for general problem-solving. For example, you can put a breakpoint on a function call and step through the code as it executes to see what is happening.
Debugging is an essential skill because it’s the process of finding and fixing mistakes in source code.
Many people think that if their code runs without any visible errors, it means it is error-free. But in fact, there can be hidden bugs in your program that only show up at run-time (that is when the program runs) and cause problems.
As it was mentioned above, good communication is key! Teamwork is usually a part of the frontend developer’s everyday life. Even if you work as a freelance dev, you’ll have to communicate well with the clients and work with them on the project to some extent. Knowing how to handle teamwork, support other devs, and ask for advice when needed make the workflow smoother and in the end, you deliver the end product faster.
7. Assets Management
The best assets management skills are essential for your front-end developers because they allow them to view the site as a whole and make changes that won’t affect the rest of the project. This way, they can focus on design and functionality without worrying about inconsistencies between CSS, images, and HTML.
Front-end developers are often asked to manage assets such as images and fonts as part of their job. Although the file management tools that come with your OS may not be as powerful as a dedicated asset manager, they’ll do in a pinch.
Front-end developers are the people who do the visual design, create the graphical interface, and develop the website’s functionalities. They work in close collaboration with the company’s business team to accomplish their goals.
8. Develop a Good Understanding of Web Design Principles
Deciphering between design elements and code implementation is crucial to creating a website that doesn’t just look good but works well and is easy for users. Here are some web design principles and techniques that every front-end developer should know:
A. Progressive enhancement
Progressive enhancement is a technique for building websites that ensures content and functionality will display appropriately on all devices, even those with limited capabilities. This ensures no one will miss out on your content or functionality because their device isn’t capable of supporting it.
B. Semantic HTML
Semantic HTML is essential for accessibility because it allows screen readers to correctly interpret the structure of a page and present it to users in a way that makes sense to them – essentially allowing them to browse the website as if they could see it themselves. It also means developers can build one site that works well across different browsers without creating multiple versions of the same site based on additional browser support.
9. Be Familiar With Various Database Layouts
There are different database layouts used in websites today, but most fall under three major categories:
Three-tier architecture. This is probably the most common layout for web applications today. It comprises the following components:
- User interface (UI) – All the screens that users see when visiting a website or using an application.
- Business layer – The software responsible for handling business logic, performing data modeling, executing transactions, etc.
- Data-tier – It is where data persists. Using the above-mentioned three-tier architecture diagram, this would be the database server. Two-tier architecture or fat client architecture. This is similar to three-tier architecture, except it has only two tiers: the UI and the other consisting of both business logic and database management.
10. Creativity and Willingness to Learn
Building the page structures, keeping the design up-to-date, responsive and pleasant for the user requires a lot of creativity and constant learning. Trends and technology are changing, thus it is important for a developer to keep up with the latest news and don’t decrease the learning curve.