As a leading job, the dev front-end is in demand in all areas: from website creation to web, and mobile applications, the technical skills of the front-end developer, are in high order.
Over the years, the developer’s skills have evolved significantly, with the development of new technologies and frameworks. On the other hand, the skills required by a dev will often be different depending on the company or specialty to which it is going.
A promising career, the salary of a junior front-end developer, can be as high as 39K in the Paris region, according to Chooseyourboss. Are you interested in this career? Here are ten essential skills you must master to get your first job!
- HTML / CSS
Base. HTML and CSS will be the first languages you will learn to become a developer. The role of the front-end developer is to develop the interactive and visible part of a website or mobile application. That’s why he needs to master HTML and CSS at his fingertips.
HTML, for HyperText Markup Language, is the basic language for designing the structure of a website. It is naturally used in front-end. It is with him that all the searchable pages on the web are constructed :
- Formatting the text of a page
- Inclusion of images
- Placement of static or dynamic elements
- Adding hyperlinks
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) supplements HTML. If HTML can be considered the backbone of a web page, the CSS will be the overlay of the web page. It is with the CSS that we dress up a website: colors, positions, transitions, fonts…
This is why learning CSS is essential and should not be neglected. Its use already allows to incorporate many features inside a page :
- The visual appearance of the text (fonts, font size, alignment)
- Positioning of HTML elements
- Contextual Animations (transition, focus, click)
- Colors, shades, shades, etc.
What exactly is a structure?
“Application framework” or “codicil” in the language of Molière, the framework is a library of tools simplifying the development of certain types of functionalities.
There are several types of framework. While jQuery or AngularJS (for application development) specialize in js development, Bootstrap, one of the most popular front-end frameworks, includes HTML / CSS and JS. He still needs jQuery to work.
The latter type of framework facilitates front-end design with a ready-to-use feature library. Based on a grid system, it is particularly useful to build a site in responsive design.
Some examples of known frameworks :
- Semantic UI
- Sass / Less
Let us now turn to the case of CSS preprocessors. Kesako? CSS preprocessors are programs or modules that will dynamically generate the CSS code. They allow for the inclusion within the CSS of variables and overlays that facilitate and automate the construction of the CSS code.
With the use of variables, there is no need to change the color of an element line by line. Also, the CSS preprocessors allow the inclusion of mathematical calculations within the CSS. The two most popular preprocessors are Sass and Less.
Sass is a dynamic style sheet generation language that works with Ruby. The Less, for its part, is implemented with node.js. To be interpreted, these languages need to be compiled. This is when they will be performed in CSS.
Mastering at least one of these two languages is essential for the front-end developer. They make it possible to boost its CSS styles while saving a considerable amount of time. Most job applicants request this skill in their advertisements.
- Git and versioning
As developers, you will design multiple versions of your website or application. Versioning will allow you to organize yourself in your advancements without losing any of the different versions or features developed.
The most important thing is not to lose part of your work, either inadvertently or because of an error. If you started training, you must have already encountered this bug that happened suddenly, and that took you hours to flush out.
With versioning, your site is saved step by step, and you can always go back to an earlier version if necessary. On the other hand, it is an excellent way to work on different versions of a product with the customer so that he can test and compare. The most popular versioning system is a git.
- Mobile friendly and mobile first
As a front-end developer, you need to be aware that the smartphone is an increasingly used tool to navigate. Computers are losing their edge, so now we are talking about “mobile friendly” or “mobile first” development rather than “responsive design”.
The mobile-friendly concept is to design the website taking into account the changes, both in form and content, that it will have to undergo to adapt perfectly to the use of a smartphone. Understanding the basics of UX development will allow you to implement best practices for an ergonomic, light and interactive site.
Mobile first, on the other hand, consists of developing based on mobile first and adapting the site or application to the screen of a computer. This method allows us having a perfectly optimized and functional website from a smartphone or tablet.
- Unit Tests
This is not the funniest part of dev front-end’s work, but it is a necessary skill of this profile. The front-end developer must be able to participate in the recasting to isolate the bugs that can occur during the different interactions between the user and the interface.
The developer should be able to list bugs and fix them, testing the site or application part by Part, page by page. Testing processes have been developed to simplify the unit testing of front-end developers, such as :
- Browser developer tools
- Web Optimization
We mentioned it in the chapter on “mobile friendly”: the optimization of the pages of your website or application is of major importance. It is essential not to neglect this part of the work, as a developer.
Too large a site or application will drive users away, preferring a more optimized site to get the information/service they are looking for. On mobile as on a computer, a slow interface causes customers to lose.
It is therefore imperative to ensure that good practices are developed, but this is not enough. Web optimization will allow you to finalize your project properly, by lightening the code, server requests, the weight of images, the loading time, especially through minification.
Again, there are programs to accelerate this optimization phase. Grunt or Gulp, for example, will allow you to automate certain tasks through a simple command line. Understand the value of familiarizing yourself with these tools!
- Command lines
To go further in web development, there will come a time where you can not just simply graphical user interfaces (GUI). While these simplify the work and make some handling intuitive, they do not offer as much flexibility as your good old Control terminal.
Also, to be close to all the alternatives during the projects you will meet during your first job, mastering the control lines and their operation will bring great added value to your profile. You will even end up surprising yourself to prefer this method rather than your usual mistletoe!