Important Job Skills for Front-End Developers

Core Skills You Need to Master for Your Career

Front-End Developers working in office
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Computer programming is becoming a broad category of the computer science profession. There are software developers, app developers, and website developers. Within website development, there exists both front-end and back-end development, along with web content development and cybersecurity experts.

When it comes to front-end development for websites, the focus is on the overall look and feel of a website.

There must be a balance between rigid functionality and appealing looks. Front-end developers do quite a bit, and the skills required to succeed in front-end computer coding are highly technical.

Skills You Need to Be a Front-End Developer

As noted above, front-end developers focus on making the site function as it should while making sure that the website looks great to users. These professionals make sure that a site is easy to navigate and appealing to the eyes of the audience the website targets. While many developers do not have a college degree, a computer science degree can be helpful.

By far the best education for front-end developers comes through experience from education like coding boot camps.

Job postings vary in what they look for in a front-end developer. Some companies want applicants that know things like Ruby, Git, design tools, video editing—and the list goes on.

However, there are a few skills that any front-end development job will require—the “core” skills—and a few others that you should seriously consider adding to your repertoire. HTML, CSS, and Javascript are the fundamentals. Fortunately, there are a lot of free or affordable online learning platforms where you can learn these skills if you don’t know them already.

Types of Front-End Developer Skills

Front-end developers must keep in mind that the tools and skills used to create the front end of a website are always changing. So developers need to constantly learn and brush up skills in these areas to advance their careers:

HTML

HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is the key structural component of all websites on the Internet. Web pages cannot exist without HTML.

  • Web Design
  • Responsive
  • Webpage Graphics
  • HTML Elements
  • HTML Attributes
  • Start Tags
  • End Tags
  • Element Content
  • HTML Headings, Paragraphs, Links, Images, Buttons, Tables, and Lists

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS and HTML work together: CSS adds style to HTML. I like to use the analogy that HTML is like a face, and CSS is like the makeup.

Although CSS isn’t necessary to get a website online, basically every site online uses some kind of styling. Otherwise, it’d be pretty boring. With the most recent versions of CSS, you can do things like animations and more advanced styling that in the past was only possible with JavaScript or Flash.

  • CSS Syntax
  • Selector Block
  • Declaration Block
  • Precompilers/Preprocessors
  • DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)
  • Sass
  • Less
  • Stylus
  • CSS Frameworks
  • Bootstrap
  • Foundation
  • Responsive Design

JavaScript

JavaScript, or JS, has been advancing rapidly over the years. It has many purposes nowadays and can be used on the front or back end.

In relation to front-end development, JS is important because it helps make web pages interactive. You can do awesome things like create polls, quizzes or form submissions. Nowadays there are numerous JS libraries online to help you take your web pages to the next level.

However, to become a front-end developer, you just have to understand basic JavaScript as well as the most popular JS library— jQuery.

  • Interactive Web Pages
  • MV* or MVC
  • Backbone.js
  • Angular.js
  • JS Variables
  • JS Numbers
  • JS Strings
  • JS Objects
  • JS Arrays
  • JS Functions

More Front-End Developer Skills

  • Inline Style
  • Cascading Order
  • Ability to Communicate Technical Details to Novices
  • WordPress Theme Creation or Manipulation
  • Using JS to Change HTML Content
  • getElementById()
  • Working Independently
  • Attention to Detail
  • Accuracy
  • File Size Optimization
  • Workflow Efficiency
  • Ongoing Improvement
  • Iteration
  • Beta Testing
  • Package Management
  • Yeoman.io
  • Task Runners
  • Organization
  • Command Lines
  • File Compression
  • Plugins
  • Computer Coding Language Fluency
  • Concentration
  • Making Websites Responsive for Both Desktop and Mobile Devices
  • Operating Systems
  • CSS Preprocessing
  • Version Control
  • Website Testing
  • Debugging
  • Browser Developer Tools
  • Automation Tools

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume: A significant percentage of developers work as freelancers. Still, a resume listing relevant skills listed above is important.

Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter: While some employers like to see a cover letter, most will often also need to see a portfolio of your work. Your portfolio is the most important part of your job search.

Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview: When interviewing for a front-end developer job, talk about specific projects you were a part of. Be prepared to talk about how extensive your experience is working with coding languages and debugging problems in websites.