To Happy Days

What is a Front-End Developer?

  


The front end of a website is the part that users interact with. Everything that you see when you’re navigating around the Internet, from fonts and colors to dropdown menus and sliders, is a combo of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript being controlled by your computer’s browser.

 


SKILLS AND TOOLS

 



Front-end developers are responsible for a website’s user-facing code and the architecture of its immersive user experiences. In order to execute those objectives, front-end devs must be adept at three main languages: HTML, CSS, and Javascript programming. In addition to fluency in these languages, front-end devs need to be familiar with frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation, Backbone, AngularJS, and EmberJS, which ensure great-looking content no matter the device, and libraries like jQuery and LESS, which package code into a more useful, time-saving form. A lot of front-end developer job listings also call for experience with Ajax, a widely used technique for using Javascript that lets pages dynamically load by downloading server data in the background.


A front-end dev is responsible for the interior design of a house that’s been built by a back-end dev.

Using these tools, front-end developers work closely with designers or user experience analysts to bring mockups, or wireframes, from development to delivery. Strong front-end developers can also accurately identify specific issues in user experience and provide recommendations and codified solutions to influence the design. It’s also important to be able to fluidly partner with other teams across the business to understand specific goals, needs, and opportunities, and then execute on those directives.

It’s a lot of responsibility, but it can be very rewarding. “I’m a technical person, but still a visual person, and being able to manipulate what we see and interact with on digital platforms through markup and code came naturally,” said Mikey Ilagan, a front-end developer with eight years of experience. “To that point, I love being able to make an impact on the user interface, the aspects of an app or website that the user interacts with and sees.”

In all, a front-end dev is responsible for the interior design of a house that’s been built by a back-end dev. The taste and style of the decor is dictated by the homeowner. As Greg Matranga, Director of Product Marketing at Apptix, said of the team of both front-end and back-end developers he oversees, “The developers that work on the front end are sometimes more excited about what they do because they’re really able to leverage their creativity.”


HOW IT TRANSLATES



Udacity homepage. Notice how the “U” disappears and reappears? That’s the handiwork of a front-end developer.