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What is a frontend developer?

Definition: A frontend developer is a software developer who creates the user interface of a website/application and everything visible to the user.

They focus on creating the visual interface, which acts like a bridge between the user and the functionalities of a website.

Responsibilities of a frontend developer

Their responsibilities depend on if they are working on a website, webapp, or application and include:

  • Designing the website's structure.
  • Utilizing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build webpages.
  • Building frontend libraries.
  • Implementing security features.
  • Incorporating responsive web design for various devices.
  • Writing functional documentation.
  • Testing the prototype webpages.
  • Website maintenance and code cleanup.
  • Collaborating with backend developers, designers, and stakeholders.
  • Ensuring the website runs at optimal speed and performance.
  • Ensuring the website is consistent with the company brand.
  • Incorporate feedback into building new solutions.

Programming languages used for frontend development

The three must-know languages for web development are:

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is used for creating the structure of a website and its layout. It adds elements like images, text, links, and headings.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) uses the basis of HTML and controls the presentation of its elements and layout. It is used to add color, fonts, and responsivity.
  • JavaScript is used to take the static elements of a website and give them dynamic properties like movement, interactivity, and a connection to the backend.

Besides this, they must know at least one JavaScript framework: React, AngularJS, and Vue. These frameworks provide more functionalities and make it easier to build websites because they are built on top of the core languages and have built-in code libraries.

Necessary skills for frontend developers

Besides the above-mentioned programming languages, a frontend developer must excel at:

  • Testing the code in every stage of development and ensuring everything works as intended.
  • UX/UI is needed to ensure the website is user-friendly, easy to use, and has a pleasant design.
  • Responsive design makes websites work on any platform (mobile, desktop, tablet…).
  • Debugging as many bugs will occur throughout development and every time the website needs to be updated.
  • GIT allows developers to work together on the same problem and is needed to track changes to the source code.
  • Web performance optimization (WPO) helps ensure faster load times and improves the user experience.

Along with technical skills, a frontend developer needs soft skills like

  • Problem-solving, from figuring out how to implement new solutions to how to save time and resources.
  • Teamwork as developers usually work with designers, backend developers, and project managers… and they need to align their work with the team.
  • Communication on different levels of technicality as complex things need to be explained in the language of stakeholders.
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Article FAQs

What is the difference between frontend and backend developers?
Frontend developers create the visual aspects of the website/application, how users react to them, and the feedback they get. Backend developers create the website's inner workings not seen by the user, including databases, servers, and software architecture.
Frontend engineer vs. frontend developer?
The two roles are very similar and usually mostly do the same work, but the frontend engineer focuses on improving the performance of the website, resolving bugs, and implementing new functionalities. On the other hand, a frontend developer focuses more on the user experience and visual fidelity of a website.
What is the expected salary for frontend developers?
The salary differs depending on the seniority and experience of the developer, country, and company size, but in the US, it ranges between $90,000 and $130,000.

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