In this digital era, user experience is everything. If your website fails to provide a seamless experience to users, it will hamper your brand reputation and business. That is why front-end development is of paramount importance in any development process.
Front-end developers write the front-end code of a website, i.e., the part you see and interact with while visiting a website. They are responsible for making visually appealing websites that can engage audiences and leave a lasting impact on them. Yes, they are supported by back-end or full-stack developers, but ultimately, it’s front-end developers who decide the look and feel of a website.
The tech industry is thriving, and if you aspire to be a front-end developer, you need to possess a range of skills in front-end development. So, before you kickstart your professional journey, make sure you are skilled and career-ready.
In this blog, we have listed 12 skills for front-end developers needed in 2024. Let’s have a look.
What is Front-end Development?
When you visit a website, there are different elements that help you navigate it. There are buttons and links that you click, along with motions. All these are built through front-end development.
List of Front-end Developer Skills
While searching for front-end developer jobs, you’ll come across a list of required skills that recruiters are looking for. We have shared 12 skills for a front-end developer that you must add to your CV.
- HTML & CSS
- CSS Preprocessors
- Frameworks and Libraries
- Responsive Design
- Cross-Browser Development
- RESTful APIs
- Testing and Debugging
- Version Control
- Web Performance
- Command Line
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Top Skills for Front-End Web Developer
Now, let’s discuss the front-end developer skills in detail here:
1. HTML & CSS
HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a standard markup language used to construct web pages. It is the basic building block for creating web pages and describing their content.
On the other hand, CSS stands for Cascading Style Scripts. It is an HTML-style language used to present the HTML document.
While HTML lays the groundwork for a website and informs the browser about its content, CSS decides how it must be formatted. It is used to create the layout of the page, including font, color, and style.
These languages are necessary front-end development skills that every aspiring developer must possess.
With JS ES6, there is a new syntax, and functionalities were added to the code to make it more readable and contemporary. So, you can do more despite writing less code. Some other features in ES6 are class destruction, arrow function, modules, template strings, etc.
One of the major benefits of jQuery is that it allows code reusability while coding a webpage. So, developers don’t have to write multiple lines of JS code from the ground up repeatedly. jQuery compresses the code into a format that one can execute using a single line of code.
Developers can import jQuery libraries to speed up the website development process. It also contains common implementations for code, such as autocomplete forms and a countdown timer.
4. CSS Preprocessors
CSS is an essential front-end skill but can be challenging to master at times. If you are working on a big project with an extensive codebase and scope, you might have to invest ample time writing repetitive code or fixing incorrect file structures. However, CSS preprocessing makes these tasks easier and speeds up the CSS coding by adding extra functionality to CSS, which makes it more scalable.
Some of the common CSS preprocessors are LESS, SASS, and Stylus, which developers use to create code in their respective languages. It allows them to do sophisticated and fancy things in programming languages that are not possible in normal CSS. Moreover, it processes the code before it is published on the website to transform its format and make it cross-browser-friendly. No doubt that CSS preprocessing is among the key front-end skills that developers need to accomplish so much, which they can’t with normal CSS.
5. Frameworks and Libraries
For example, frameworks include components to log in to a website and use a search box on a blog. There are a few JS frameworks used for creating complicated user interfaces, while others are preferred for displaying optimized and simple website content, such as text and images.
Front-end developers can combine different frameworks, such as Bootstrap UI and Angular frameworks, to create high-performing and efficient apps. Bootstrap is for the appearance of the app, while Angular takes care of the content.
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6. Responsive Design
Users no longer rely on one device to access a web application. They own multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, that they use to access applications. It’s vital that web developers are aware of this while developing an app so they can ensure responsive design.
A responsive web or app design adapts seamlessly to the users’ surroundings and requirements based on screen size, platform, and orientation. It is one of the most crucial skills needed for front-end web developers as it allows apps to adjust their layout, navigation, and appearance to match the size and resolution of the screen. While creating an app, developers must ensure that it is compatible with every device.
To make an app more user-friendly and boost its search engine ranking, it is important that the app is responsive. You can build responsive designs using frameworks like Bootstrap.
7. Cross-Browser Development
Have you ever noticed how a website operates in varied ways across different browsers, which affects its online performance? Although modern browsers are well-equipped to maintain consistency while displaying the content of a website, you can still see some differences. The website may not look the same on all browsers and can change some elements depending on the browser.
Hence, cross-browser development is one of the crucial front-end developer skills to make each modern browser work perfectly the way you want while meeting web standards. So, whether you are a beginner or a professional developer, you need to possess this skill to make a promising career.
You can join a front-end web development course to learn from the best trainers and gain practical exposure.
8. RESTful APIs
Next on our front-end developer skills list is RESTful APIs. REST, Representational State Transfer, is an architectural style to share data between sources on the web. RESTful APIs are web services that follow REST architecture and are used for network applications, especially web services.
In simple terms, RESTful services are a set of rules and guidelines for building Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so that software components can easily communicate with each other.
Front-end developers interact with RESTful APIs to access data and functionality from the server. This enables real-time data updates and dynamic content on web pages. This includes making requests to specific URLs and managing responses, generally in JSON format.
Suppose a developer wants to create an app that shows users’ social media friends in the order they became friends. So, the front-end developer can make calls to Facebook’s RESTful API to go through the entire friends list, return the data to the website, and do whatever they want.
RESTful APIs are usually used in back-end development with languages like PHP, Python, and Ruby. However, some APIs are used with JS for front-end development. With the ability to work with RESTful services and APIs, developers can build interactive and data-driven web applications. They should know how to send HTTP requests, retrieve and display data, and update the user interface according to the information received.
9. Testing and Debugging
Testing is a vital part of any web development process to keep the app bug-free. Hence, testing and debugging are considered the key skills for front-end developer.
A web developer can adopt different approaches to test an app. For example, functional testing is used to examine a specific functionality on the site and ensure it performs everything as expected and based on the code. On the other hand, unit testing is used to test each small bit of code for correct operation.
There is no denying that testing is an important part of web development, and developers can use different frameworks, such as Jasmine and Mocha, to make testing easier and faster.
10. Version Control
Version control refers to tracking and controlling changes to the source code so that if anything goes wrong, developers don’t have to start from zero again. Sometimes, a small bug can lead to major changes in the functionality of a web page, and developers may need to revert the code to a previous version.
Version control is a program used to track prior changes to the code and go back to the previous version to find out what went wrong without writing the code from scratch. One of the most popular version control systems is Git, and if you want to make it big as a front-end developer, you must learn to use it.
11. Web Performance
No matter how visually appealing and rich your website looks, if user experience is poor, all your efforts will be in vain. Consumers have become more aware these days, and if a website takes more than a few seconds to load, they will move on to the next site immediately.
Developers must know how to improve a website’s performance without compromising on its functionality. They must master different techniques, such as code minification, image optimization, lazy loading, and caching, to improve page load.
They can also minimize the number of network requests, reduce file sizes, and use browser caching to make the website faster and more efficient. With optimized performance, websites provide a better user experience, which boosts their search result ranking, online visibility, and quality traffic.
12. Command Line
Graphical User Interface (GUI) is a critical part of any web development and coding. However, for some applications, it has a set of limitations. At times, to achieve what you need, you need to open a terminal on your computer and enter commands and command lines.
Most of the work can be done through GUI, but gaining a fair understanding of the command line will help you enhance your front-end development skills.
These were the top 12 front-end development skills that you must acquire to be a successful web developer. Join our top-rated web development course and get trained by experienced mentors. We help students build practical knowledge and skills through live classes and hands-on projects.
FAQs About Front-End Development Skills
A good design sense is important as front-end development is often about translating design into functional code. Understanding basic principles of design, UI/UX, and being able to work closely with designers is crucial.
While not mandatory, having a basic understanding of back-end technologies (like Node.js, databases, etc.) is beneficial. It helps in full-stack development and improves collaboration with back-end developers.
Start by creating personal projects that showcase your skills. Contribute to open-source projects, participate in coding challenges, and consider building a personal website to display your work.
Absolutely. Soft skills like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are vital. They help in effectively collaborating with team members and clients, and in staying resilient and proactive in a fast-paced environment.
SEO is crucial as it involves optimizing website structure and content to rank higher in search engine results. Front-end developers need to ensure their code is SEO-friendly by adhering to best practices.
The front-end landscape evolves rapidly, so continuous learning is key. Regularly updating your skills with the latest technologies and best practices is essential to stay relevant in the field.
Accessibility is paramount. Developers should ensure websites are usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. This involves following guidelines like WCAG and ensuring the site is navigable and interpretable by assistive technologies.
While certain aspects can be automated with tools like code generators and preprocessors, the creative and problem-solving aspects of front-end development are difficult to automate and require a human touch.
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Staying abreast of the rapidly evolving tech landscape and prioritizing web accessibility and SEO in your projects are also key. Remember, front-end development is not just about writing code; it’s about creating interactive, user-friendly experiences on the web, making it a constantly challenging yet rewarding career path.