4 answers

what are the skills required to become a junior front end web developer?

Asked Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I'm a computer science student looking to start a career as a front end web developer #software #software-engineering #software-development #web-development #website-creation #frontend-developer #front-end-development

4 answers

Eric’s Answer

Updated Cambridge, Massachusetts


Being a Computer Science student is a good start. Being a Front End Web Developer is a completely reasonable specialization with that degree.

The main thing you need to do is, of course, be able to write Web pages. I don't know how much you know, so I'll go from the basics even though some of it might be really obvious to you.

Web pages are written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. HTML tends to describe what will be visible in the page, HTML and CSS work together to define how things in the page will appear, and JavaScript does more complicated things like make the page react dynamically and talk to the Web server.

"Web developer" usually implies more focus on JavaScript and the technical implementation of a page, as compared to "Web designer" which usually indicates working on the appearance of the page. These two roles blend together, however, so carefully check the requirements of any job you are applying to so that you know what skills they will need.

You might be able to take classes that are based on Web development, or may need to do it yourself. The Mozilla Developer Network, developer.mozilla.org, has a lot of excellent tutorials and references for modern Web technologies. Even if you are able to take classes, I recommend making some Web pages yourself. The experience is very valuable, and will help you talk to potential employers as someone who is well-versed in the Web instead of just having taken classes on it.

Finally, even if you do mainly want to focus on the front end, it would likely be valuable to know a little about setting up Web servers. It will let you make examples and prototypes without having to depend on backend developers. Just about any language can be used in a Web server, but Python, Java, and JavaScript (using a technology called Node.js) are good options.

I hope this helps!

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Preethi!

Sounds like you are investigating a very interesting area.

Here is a list of training opportunities. You might locate these and arrange to talk graduates of these programs to see what they are doing, how they got there, what advice they have, and how you feel about it: http://www.blogto.com/tech/2014/06/the_top_10_computer_web_and_tech_classes_in_toronto/

Here is a professional organization to which professionals in this area belong. Locate and attend meetings to meet people and mix and mingle and learn from them: https://uxpa.org/

Let me know if and how this might help. Keep me posted.

Diane’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

Must-have skills include intermediate-level HTML and CSS, and introductory-level Javascript. You will also want to learn about source control tools, particularly "git" which is the most popular one being used today. Some people even start their learning with git first, https://www.codeschool.com/learn/git/ . Our front-end developers here at Velir like CodeSchool the best for online classes that can supplement any formal education or be used for self-learning. Some places will want you to have some introductory-level knowledge of a CSS preprocessor such as SASS or LESS, and some common libraries and frameworks such as, Jquery, Bootstrap, PatternLab, AngularJS, or ReactJS. A Computer Science degree helps in getting a job but is not required at most places - motivation, tenacity, a love of coding and solving problems, and a portfolio of code on BitBucket or GitHub goes a long way.

Cuong’s Answer

Updated San Francisco, California

To be honest, I am just starting out as well but I used to be a computer science major before I transferred to another university to pursue another degree which was graphics/web design. To me, front end web developer just use the basics of programming languages. The most language you used for web design are HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript. These are what is mainly use when creating front-end web pages.

Fortunately, I had prior knowledge before heading into graphic/web design. Which made it easier to pick up HTML, CSS, and PHP. Since you are a computer science major, you would focus your knowledge upon perhaps, JQuery, Boostrap, Angular JS, or React JS. There's also SASS and LESS before CSS but to me, CSS is much easier to read and write. It varies on how each person write code.