Important Skills For Front End Developers



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If you're looking to find work as a Front End Developer, having the right skillset is crucial to landing your dream job (well, that - and signing up to Artisan and letting us use our industry experience and contacts to find you a role that suits you to a tee!).

 

The good folk at Skillcrush have scoured through loads of job listings for Front End Developers to see exactly what employers are looking for, and it's a great insight - and it might just inspire you to sharpen your skills in certain areas to give yourself an edge too. Here's a few examples of what skills a Front End Developer should be bringing to the table.

 

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HTML & CSS

 

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the most basic building blocks of web coding. Without these two things, you can’t create a website design, and all you’ll end up with is unformatted plain text on the screen. You can’t even add images to a page without HTML! Before you get started on any web development career path, you’ll have to master coding with HTML and CSS. The good news is that getting a solid working knowledge of either of these can be done in just a few weeks. The best part: HTML and CSS knowledge alone will let you build basic websites.

 

JAVASCRIPT

 

JavaScript lets you add a ton more functionality to your websites. You can even create a lot of basic web applications using nothing more than HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (JS for short). On the most basic level, JS lets you add a lot of interactive elements to your websites. Use it to create things like maps that update in real time, interactive films, and online games. Sites like Pinterest use JavaScript heavily to make their user interface so easy to use (the fact that the page doesn’t reload whenever you pin something is thanks to JavaScript!). It’s also the most popular programming language in the world, so regardless of your dev career plans, it’s a super valuable thing to learn.

 

FRONT END FRAMEWORKS

 

CSS and front end frameworks (the most popular front end framework is Bootstrap) do for CSS what JS Frameworks do for JavaScript: they give you a jumping-off point for faster coding. Since so much CSS starts with exactly the same elements from project to project, a framework that defines all of these for you upfront is super valuable. Most front end developer job listings expect you to be familiar with how these frameworks work and how to use them.

 

EXPERIENCE WITH CSS PREPROCESSORS

 

Preprocessors are another element that can speed up your CSS coding. A CSS preprocessor adds extra functionality to CSS to keep our CSS scalable and easier to work with. It processes your code before you publish it to your website, and turns it into well-formatted and cross-browser friendly CSS. SASS and LESS are the two most in-demand preprocessors, according to real job listings.

 

RESPONSIVE AND MOBILE DESIGN

 

In the US alone, more people access the internet from their mobile device than from a desktop computer, so it’s no wonder that responsive and mobile design skills are super important to employers. Responsive design means that the site’s layout (and sometimes functionality and content) change based on the screen size and device someone is using. For example, when a website is visited from a desktop computer with a big monitor, a user would get multiple columns, big graphics, and interaction created specifically for mouse and keyboard users.

 

On a mobile device, the same website would appear as a single column optimized for touch interaction, but using the same base files. Mobile design can include responsive design, but also includes creating separate mobile-specific designs. Sometimes the experience you want a user to have when visiting your site on a desktop computer is entirely different than what you want them to see when visiting from their smartphone, and in those cases it makes sense for the mobile site to be completely different.

 

A bank website with online banking, for example, would benefit from a separate mobile site that lets users view things like the closest bank location and a simplified account view (since mobile screens are smaller).

 

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And there's more! Go and take a look at the whole list of skills for Front End Developers by checking out Skillcrush via the link below.

 

MORE: Exactly What You Need to Know to Be a Front End Developer