How to Become a Front End Developer

Front End Developer

A front end developer works on the customer side of a website. They ensure that the parts of the website that the viewer users function as they should and respond well to customer queries.

A front end developer uses their expertise on various coding languages to create a seamless user experience. They work on the entire user side of their website and consider both how they can make it visually appealing and can keep users on the page for longer. 

Front end developers are also sometimes called ‘client-side developers’. They focus on the part of the website that the user will see, as opposed to back end developers, who work with databases. Full stack developers, on the other hand, work with both the front end and back end of websites. 

The duties of a front end developer include:

  • Using knowledge of UX design and psychology to work out the best web page design.
  • Creating the features of a web page with the user experience in mind. 
  • Thinking about functionality when designing the webpage, including ensuring that the person browsing stays on it for as long as possible. 
  • Ensuring that the design is suitable for smartphones. 
  • Creating code that can be edited by people 
  • Tracking the speed of the website
  • Working with the individual branding of a company’s website. 
  • Testing and debugging.

Most front end developers have a degree in computer science or a related discipline. In their degree, they will learn some of the necessary tools for front end development. However, like all coding and web development jobs, much of the learning is done independently. 

Front end developers should be fluent in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Knowledge of other coding languages is also beneficial. They will use these languages to create the front end of their website, but will also need to have competence in various other programmes, including Adobe Illustrator, and have a solid grounding of SEO.

Most front end developers gain their knowledge from reading, taking supplementary courses, and doing online training. Trial and error is a significant part of becoming a front end developer – candidates are expected to create test sites which they can later use as their portfolio. Having a solid knowledge of front end development and practice in the field is much more important than official qualifications.

Problem-solving skills are essential for a front end developer. They should be able to fix bugs, make front end code work, and assess the effectiveness of a design. They will also need professional communication and interpersonal skills, as they will be collaborating with back end developers, UX designers, UI designers, and other coding professionals. 

Some front end developers enter the profession via an internship, but others work for one particular company, entering at a junior role and working their way up, or on a freelance basis. As front end developers specialise in just the client-side of a website, they may work for larger companies who hire specialists for each part of the site. 

The work is office-based, with some client meetings. Candidates should be prepared for hours spent in front of a computer and overtime when needed. 

What degree is most commonly held by a Front End Developer ?

  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Bachelor computing and Coding
  • Masters of Web Development

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Medium
Coding jobs are often available overseas. However, front end developers may have more of a challenge than most coders because their job entails thinking about the target market and ensuring that the website meets their needs. Therefore, a strong cultural awareness of the destination where they are working is essential. Candidates are most likely to find jobs in large, international firms.

What is the Salary of a Front End Developer ?

Experience Average salary | year
Junior Front End Developer 1-3 yrs $38,000 £28,000 $35,000
Senior Front End Developer 3-5 yrs $54,000 £55,000 $68,000
Head of Web Developement 5+ Years $95,000 £75,000 $92,000

What skills are needed to become a Front End Developer ?

  • JavaScript
  • HTML
  • React.js
  • HTML5
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • jQuery
  • Git
  • Web Development
  • Node.js
  • Bootstrap
  • Front-end Development
  • SQL
  • SASS
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • AngularJS
  • Java
  • Responsive Web Design
  • WordPress
  • Web Design
  • TypeScript
  • Microsoft Office
  • Agile Methodologies
  • MongoDB
  • Github

Front End Development courses

As most of the learning to become a front end developer is done independently, it is highly beneficial for candidates to take some relevant courses. At FutureLearn, we have plenty of courses to help kickstart a front end developer’s career.
  • Big Data Analytics: Opportunities, Challenges and the Future

    We produce more data than ever before Find out how big data analytics can help you make use of it

  • Introduction to Web Development

    Discover web development and learn to build your own interactive websites using HTML CSS and JavaScript Supported by Google

  • UX Research at Scale: Surveys, Analytics, Online Testing

    Build your skills in conducting UX surveys at scale to gain actionable UX insights with experts from the University of Michigan

  • Data Analytics for Decision Making: An Introduction to Using Excel

    Go beyond simply gathering information and discover how to use data to improve real-life decisions

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.