Front End Developer Skill Set for New Starters

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Websites are everywhere and there is no dearth of opportunities for a front end developer. As everything is changing so quick that it’s difficult to keep up -particularly when you are just starting your career. In addition, the path to a new career is usually quite blurring with a variety of options available for learning and earning.

Nevertheless, keeping your skill-set up-to-date is crucial in an industry that moves at unbelievably fast pace. The more skilled you are, the more efficiently you can address the challenges you are likely to stumble across in your career.

The substantial knowledge of HTML, CSS, Document Object Model (DOM) and JavaScript is assumed to make the foundation, but what kind of skills beyond these languages do you need in order to gain a respectable position in your career as a front end developer?

This article will briefly explain the essential tool-set and skills required to become a professional Front end developer.

What is a Front End Developer

A Front end developer develops websites using the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and other advanced technologies based on JavaScript. They are the ones who take a design and develop it into a website that works as required. Front End development is the development of those user-interface elements of a website that the customer views and directly interacts with.

Below we’ve put together the top front end developer skills required for beginners, intermediate and professional levels. Regardless of whether you are a novice or a professional, odds are that some of these points will help bring your front-end development career to the next level. Now, let’s get our feet wet and plunge into some details.


HTML (the abbreviation of Hyper Text Markup Language) and CSS are the most essential parts of front end web development.

HTML is the basic structural component of all websites. It comprises the “skeleton” of the web page, while CSS adds look-and-feel and plenty of visual control to the site pages and in this way forms the web appearance together. The content, images and visual looks that we normally observe on the web are implemented through HTML+CSS combination. It’s an absolute necessity to ace HTML and CSS in the very beginning of your course of learning.

Simply put, HTML is majorly used for the layout and you need to be proficient in div, p , form, table, ul, li, span, a, font, to name a few. Meanwhile, CSS is primarily used to complete HTML layout and display. CSS is a cornerstone technology being used by most front end developers to create visually cool user interfaces for web and mobile applications. In this regard, you need to be familiar with float, overflow, position, height, width, margin, padding and all other related styles which are implemented on the html tags. CSS and HTML work in strong collaboration: CSS adds style to HTML. You can roughly imagine HTML like a face, and CSS like the makeup. These two languages are relatively easy to learn and grasp.

With the most recent versions of CSS, you can do many advanced things like animations and sophisticated styling that was only possible with JavaScript or Flash in old days. Consequently, a well experienced CSS developer may no more need a graphics designer to a large extent.

There’s a wealth of resources on html and css on the internet. A few of those are placed below for your reference:

Document Object Model (DOM)

The Document Object Model is a cross-platform arrangement for representing, interacting with and maneuvering objects in HTML, XHTML, and XML documents. The nodes of every document are well-organized in a tree structure which is called the DOM. Objects in the DOM tree may be addressed and manipulated by employing methods on the DOM objects. In order to get hold of the document to interact with and maneuver its layout, style and functionality a comprehensive knowledge of DOM is required.


JavaScript is another essential basic skill to ace for a front end developer. It’s been widely used in the client-side script language to add dynamic functionality to HTML pages, delivering users smooth and awesome browsing experience, such as scrolling ads, floating advertising effects, animations, blinds effects, user-interaction and responsiveness, sophisticated client-side processing, to mention a few.

According to the Stack Overflow Survey, JavaScript is the most popular and leading language among developers and dominates the market with 62.5% shares in the programming language segment. To become a front-end developer, the basic requirement after html+css is to learn JavaScript to a substantial level.

One cool thing to be noted about JavaScript is the existence of libraries like jQuery, a collection of plugins and extensions that make it faster and easier to use JavaScript on your websites. jQuery takes common tasks that require multiple lines of JavaScript code and compresses them into a format that can be executed with a single line. JQuery is such simple, efficient and time saving that over the years most of the developers prefer to use JQuery instead of JavaScript.

The internet is flooded with JavaScript tutorials in the forms of web pages, pdf, videos and e-books. Again a few mentioned below are for your reference:

CSS and JavaScript Frameworks

CSS and JavaScript frameworks are collections of CSS or JS files and libraries that do a bunch of the work for you by providing common functionality (e.g, logging into a website or searching a blog, providing efficient form controls). Instead of starting from scratch with an empty text document you start with a code file that has lots of JS and/or css code already provided.

Frameworks are awesome, specially in terms of saving time and providing plenty of automation, having the developer left with doing very little coding. Many advance framework provide necessary boilerplate code to get the developers rid of having to write lots of required but boring code.

Frameworks have their strengths and weaknesses and it’s important to choose the best framework for the type of website you’re crafting. For example, some JS frameworks are suitable for building complex user interfaces, while others excel the look-and-feel of your website and still some others exist which address the content of your pages.

Frameworks can work in conjunction so that you can get the maximum out of them. It’s common to couple Bootstrap with another JavaScript framework like AngularJS. The content and automation is addressed by Angular, and the look-and-feel is handled by Bootstrap, with some CSS added. Some popular frameworks provide a lot of features or components in a manner that you feel like heavily dependent upon the framework for most of your website features.

Since you’ll be using CSS and JS invariably all the time in your web development, and since many projects start with similar style elements and code, knowledge of these frameworks is critical for you to succeed in your front end development career.

Some leading CSS Frameworks:

CSS Preprocessing

CSS on its own, while essential, can sometimes be limiting and tedious to work on, specially for fairly complex-styled web pages. One of such limitations is that you can’t define variables, functions, iterations, or perform arithmetic operations, as provided by the contemporary computer languages. When a project continuously expands and you’ll soon find yourself wasting lots of time writing repetitive code to accommodate changes or new features of the similar look-and-feel. Like CSS (and JS) frameworks, CSS preprocessing is another way of making your life easier and more flexible.

Using a CSS preprocessor like Sass, LESS, or Stylus, you’re able to write code in the preprocessor’s language, allowing you to do things that might be tedious and time-taking with regular plain CSS. Pre-processor extends CSS with variables, operators, interpolations, functions, mixins, extends and many more other usable constructs. It then converts that code to CSS so it will work on your website quite seamlessly.

Pre-processors, with their advance, much sought-after features, help to achieve writing reusable, maintainable and extensible codes in CSS. By using a pre-processor, you can substantially increase your productivity, and decrease the amount of code you have to write in a project.

Following links will prove to be useful:

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)

JSON is the elementary data format used for asynchronous data interchange between server and browser. JSON replaces XML which is used by Ajax calls. Albeit originally derived from JavaScript scripting language, JSON is a language-independent data format. JSON data can be parsed and generated by a great many programming languages. The JSON filename extension is “.json”.

In order to learn JSON visit the following links:

Angular, React and Vue

As the most popular client-side frameworks, Angular, React and Vue have different implementation scenarios and characteristics:

Angular is a framework supported by Google-based TypeScript for developing native, hybrid and web applications. AngularJS is open-source; means it can be freely used, modified and shared by anybody. Angular is a tremendous framework to build but not limited to single-page applications and line-of-business applications. There’s a website called which lists a great many websites built in AngularJS.

React is a JavaScript library supported by Facebook for building web application UI components for web development and native rendering applications for iOS and Android.

Vue, one of the most talked-about JavaScript frameworks for web development, specifically for single-page applications.

These links will help you learn and excel your skills on Angular, React and Vue frameworks:

Fact of the matter is that the users now a days use a large number of devices of various types, screen sizes and resolutions thereby forcing the designers to consider these aspects carefully while designing the site. They are further required to ensure that their site shows up seamlessly in different browsers (cross-browser compatibility), different operating systems (cross-platform compatibility) and different devices (desktop computer, smartphones, tablets), and this requires a careful selection of front-end tools and technologies by the developers. Remember these tools and technologies are not “so-simple” to grasp. You have to undergo a substantial learning curve before you are well-capable to roll up your sleeves and dive into real coding (and designing) as a professional front-end developer.

The demand for front end development is high and is speculated to increase exponentially over the years in the near future. This is because of the huge increase in smart devices offering immense computing power and memory, and diversity in client-side features. The software companies, the developers and the freelancers can safely opt to make it their professional career and the future business for a fairly long period of time. Who knows?

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