Front-End Developer Skills: Definition and Examples
Updated 19 June 2023
Front-end developers are responsible for coding an application's user interface. They apply their knowledge in programming and web design to accomplish their tasks. Learning about what a front-end developer does can give you an idea of the skills you can develop to succeed in this job. In this article, we define front-end developer skills, provide examples, discuss how to improve them in the workplace and outline how to highlight them on a resume.
What are front-end developer skills?
If you want to work in IT, understanding which front-end developer skills are important can help you prepare for working in this field. A front-end developer, or front-end engineer, is an IT professional who designs and builds the part of a website or web application that users interact with. Their job differs from back-end engineers who develop and maintain data processing mechanisms and perform actions on websites and other server-side functions that the user can't see.
Front-end developers may require specific skills and qualities which can allow them to code the user side of an application efficiently. Their job can include determining the structure and design of a webpage, building reusable code and optimising the page loading time.
Examples of front-end developer skills
Possessing certain skills can improve your chances of employment and provide career advancement opportunities. Here are ten examples of skills you may require as a front-end developer:
A programming language is a set of rules that converts strings and various graphical elements to machine code output. These languages can include:
C++: Developers use this programming language in game production, software engineering and developing browsers, operating systems and applications.
Structured Query Language (SQL): Developers use SQL to create relational databases for organisations that may use two or more computers.
Python: Developers typically use Python to develop websites, software, task automation and data analysis.
Responsive design is a webpage creation approach that provides flexible layouts. It detects the user's screen size and adjusts the webpage accordingly. These skills can help a front-end developer create a user-friendly interface that generates customer satisfaction.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO involves improving a website by increasing web traffic when people search for products and services. Search engines use bots to crawl across Internet webpages, collecting data and putting them in an index. This data can help rank search results in order of relevance to the user's keywords. SEO can then apply this knowledge to help insert relevant search keywords into a website to improve its rank on the results page. This can increase web traffic significantly and may be beneficial to many institutions.
Problem-solving skills refer to the ability to identify a problem, develop an appropriate solution and implement it. Computer systems and software can experience issues, such as unauthorised access by hackers. Problem-solving skills can allow you to swiftly change the software to minimise data loss and enhance system security. The ability to remain calm under pressure can supplement your problem-solving skills.
Working as a front-end engineer may often involve teamwork. This might include collaborating with back-end and software engineers and clients to create a functional website. Communication skills can allow you to understand the project's direction and work towards achieving the same goals. Listen to the client to understand their ideas and desires for the project. This can help you ensure customer satisfaction with the end product. Communication can also enable the allocation of roles. Understanding how jobs interlink towards achieving project success can help you maintain focus.
Version control and other developer tools
Version control, also known as source control, tracks and manages software code changes. For many software design projects, source code is a repository of invaluable knowledge of a project's domain. Version control can protect the source code by keeping track of every modification to the database code. In case of a mistake, you can use it to trace all changes to identify the error quickly and efficiently. It can also guard against the risk of human error, making it an essential skill for a front-end developer.
Debugging is a process in computer programming that involves identifying a problem, isolating the source and fixing or working around it. Bugs and errors are prone to happen due to the software's abstract nature, making debugging an essential skill for front-end developers. The debugging process involves creating hypotheses about the problem and testing each one until you identify its source. You can use these skills to rectify any errors while writing the software code or adding software updates, allowing for a smooth user experience.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) preprocessing
CSS preprocessing can allow a front-end developer to write and store code in a programming language. It then converts the code to CSS, ensuring it works on your website. This makes it easier to make additions and adjustments to the existing code by eliminating the need for repetitive code and the errors that may come with it.
Web performance refers to the time it takes a site to load content and render it in a web browser and how well the site responds to user interaction. It involves optimising website code by removing unnecessary code characters without affecting its functionality. This can improve the website's performance speed, making it more user-friendly.
The technology field is ever-changing, with new developments improving system performance. As a front-end developer, it may be necessary to be familiar with trends in code preference and optimisation techniques. Research skills can allow you to identify, learn and implement new strategies to improve the performance and safety of a web application. You do this by reviewing news articles, maintaining a social media presence and reading books.
How to improve front-end developer skills
Follow these steps to improve your skills:
1. Earn certifications
Earning certifications can improve your work performance, providing opportunities for career advancement and increased remuneration. You can find and earn certifications relevant to the skills you want to learn. Examples of these can include Certified Software Development Professional, Certified Web Professional - App Developer and Certified Scrum Master.
2. Learn a new programming language
Learning a new coding language can help increase your diversity as a front-end developer. Having skills in operating several programming languages can help improve your creativity by integrating the different programming techniques. You can sign up for structured courses or learn them by yourself through online videos.
3. Join mentorship programmes
Mentorship programmes allow you to interact with and get advice from professional front-end developers. They can advise you on the most appropriate and user-friendly interfaces you can use to provide client services. Joining a professional body can allow you to access mentorship programmes and network with colleagues.
Front-end developer skills in the workplace
You can highlight your skills in the workplace in the following ways:
Update web application software. You can highlight your debugging and web performance skills in the workplace by regularly updating the application software to improve its performance.
Create and design new applications. You can highlight your programming skills by writing codes for new websites and applications.
Participate in team projects. Working on a team can help show your communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills.
How to highlight front-end developer skills
Highlighting these skills on your application can make them more appealing to a hiring manager. Here are a few ways you can highlight these skills:
Front-end developer skills for a resume and cover letter
Highlighting your skills on your resume can make your application more attractive and show a hiring manager that you have the right skills for the job. When preparing your resume, you can research the company to understand its mission, vision and the values it upholds. This can help you determine what skills and qualities they're looking for in their employees, enabling you to align your resume to meet the organisation's standards. You can also study the job description to understand the duties and responsibilities expected in this role when preparing your resume and cover letter.
Front-end developer skills for a job interview
During a job interview, carrying a sample of your previous work can help you show your skills. Consider creating a slideshow presentation to highlight your portfolio and the benefits you brought to the companies you worked with. Carry a laptop to the interview to help with your presentation. Bringing a recommendation letter from your previous employer or learning institution can also help you achieve a positive outcome.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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