6 steps to become a Front-end Developer

tolustar profile image tolustar Originally published at tolustar.com on ・5 min read

A front-end developer develops the front end of a web application by implementing visuals and interactive elements that users will engage throughout the application. The front-end developer ensures that the web application is responsive and looks the same across different web browsers and different device screens.

Becoming a front-end developer requires the following steps

  1. Learn HTML and CSS
  2. Learn Git and understand how it Works
  3. Understand UX (User Experience) Design
  4. Learn Javascript
  5. Learn a Front-end Javascript Framework
  6. Develop a mini-website/web app

1. Learn HTML and CSS

HTML is the acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. It is used to create web pages that can be displayed on the world wide web. HTML elements such as (Header, Image, Text etc) are the building blocks of HTML pages, and without HTML you can not create a web page while CSS is the acronym for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is used for adding style to your HTML web pages, it also describes how elements are to be displayed in different media. Learning HTML and CSS and having a very good understanding of them is very important to be a front-end developer. Fortunately, HTML and CSS are very easy to learn, therefore within a considerable period of time, you will have a proper understanding of them and begin to build web pages for the internet.

There are very good resources on the internet that will help you learn HTML and CSS better. The resources below will give you a soft landing to learning HTML and CSS.

  1. Youtube
  2. W3Schools
  3. Udemy
  4. Udacity

Above all, don’t just read and learn about HTML and CSS but also practice. In other words, practice while learning.

2. Learn Git and understand how it works

Git is a distributed version control system for tracking changes in your source code. It is very important you understand git in the early stages of learning to be a front-end developer because firstly it gives you the power to undo changes to code written in the past, secondly many companies use git because it fosters and helps in the collaboration of many developers working on a project. After that get familiar with any online git repository and create a repository, install git on your machine and start storing your codes on your preferred online git repository. Here are some recommended online git repository

  • Github
  • Bitbucket
  • Gitlab

In addition, study your preferred online git repository documentation to learn basic git commands and have a proper understanding of the repository.

3. Understand UX (User Experience) Design

User experience design is the design process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experience to users. User experience design is all about having your users in mind while you create the front end of a web app. If users have bad experiences while using your application, they stop using the application. Therefore it renders the web app useless. Good user experience design in your application makes the users keep using your web app.

As a front-end developer it is important you think like your users, this will help you develop functional and usable front end for your web apps, as a result, make users remain longer on your app and always come back to it.

4. Learn Javascript

Now that you have a proper understanding of HTML and CSS, how to use git, and the concept of good User Experience design, it is time to learn Javascript.

Javascript is a scripting language that allows you to build interactive web apps. It allows you to add more functionality to your web app such as image sliders, popups, form validation, animations, etc.

Javascript might have a steep learning curve but it is worth it in the end. If you face any problems during development Stack Overflow and W3Schools are at your disposal.

Here are some resources that will help you learn and understand Javascript faster.

  • W3Schools
  • Youtube
  • Udemy

5. Learn a Front-end Javascript Framework

Building web apps is like building a house when a builder sets out to build a house, the builder can decide to create the tools and building materials from scratch then start building the house, but that approach is time-consuming and doesn’t make sense. But it is more likely the builder would purchase pre-manufactured tools and building materials, then use them to build the house. In the same way, Javascript Framework is a set of tools that allows you to build single-page apps and advanced web apps. When you set out to code a complex web app, you can code every aspect of the site such as routing to different pages, creating re-usable components, etc – but that is time-consuming and this is where learning a Javascript Framework becomes very important.

Therefore, the next question that comes to your mind is – Which Javascript Framework should I learn?

There are currently three popular Javascript Frameworks which are Angular, React and Vue. Research on the three frameworks and select the framework you feel you will be most comfortable with. Also, you can select a framework of your choice based on the market demand in your locality.

web app idea

6. Develop a mini-website/web app

How else can you let the world know you are now a front-end developer? The answer is showing them what you have built.

Now it is time to put together everything you have learned and practiced in the above steps. Therefore, develop a mini-website using HTML, CSS, and Javascript in conjunction with a Javascript Framework. Also, ensure you integrate GIT into your project, commit regularly especially when you add a new feature to your web app. Once the app is completed upload it on any front end hosting service such as Github Pages, Netlify, etc.

Examples of mini web apps you can build

  1. A weight tracker app
  2. A calculator
  3. A recipe app
  4. An expense tracker
  5. Simple online store
  6. A Quiz app

In conclusion, to become a front-end developer requires that you follow the above steps with consistency and grit. It is very important you are always willing to learn more and also get better in front-end development. Therefore, you can better by working on more projects, reading front-end development articles and discussions, watch more front-end development videos, participate in front-end development discussions – sooner you will become a professional front-end developer.

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Posted on Mar 6 by:


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