• Aida Xie

What It Takes to be a Front-End Developer

Considering to be a front-end web developer as a career? There is no better time to be one as the demand for web development are rapidly increasing and there are relatively high salaries that come along with them.

The pace of the tech industry has now become almost overwhelming, that it can be baffling if you are just starting out. Having said that, if you are already in the industry, it is essential that you keep your skills updated as no doubt the more skilled you are, the higher the salary that you are able to command. Job postings may vary in what they are looking for in a front end developer, however there are a few skills that any front end development job will require. Now let’s explore what are these critical skills that are necessary for any successful front end developer.

Photo by Markus Spiske


HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the absolute first thing you need to learn to get started with web development as it is the key structural component of all websites on the Internet. Basically, web pages cannot exist without HTML and it is the beginning of your web development journey. It has evolved over the years, and today HTML5 is the latest version. Thankfully for all aspiring developers, HTML is easy to learn and there are plenty of free resources to learn HTML.


Probably now you know HTML but you may notice that the looks of your plain HTML website left much to be desired. This is where CSS comes in; CSS makes your web pages look awesome by adding color and style. Additionally, it enables you to resize buttons, play around with background images, include animations and much more which serves to provide a great user experience. An interesting analogy is HTML is like a face and CSS is like the make-up. The text, images and color styles that we usually see on the web are implemented through a combination of both HTML and CSS. As they form the web appearance together, it is almost a must to be proficient in both HTML and CSS in the beginning.


This is another basic skill to master for a front end developer. JavaScript has been advancing quickly in recent years and it is like the brain of your website. It controls the user interaction on your site by allowing you to create polls or form submissions. You will need comprehensive knowledge of JavaScript if you are looking to do a dynamic and complex web application. As a matter of fact, a survey shown that it is the most popular programming language in 2018 among developers.


A short mention on jQuery, it is a lightweight and popular JavaScript library that is compatible with CSS3 and other web browsers like IE 6+. It helps to handle HTML and animation effects in a more convenient way. However, some are saying that although jQuery is great but it adds no value to your skill set. With the use of modern and more powerful front end frameworks like React and Angular, jQuery could be obsolete soon.

While there are a plethora of programming languages with their respective frameworks and tools out there, the core skills that we recommend for you to know to kick start your front end developer journey would definitely be HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

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